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Kit for Diesel Plug-in Hybrid Three-Wheeler to Debut

The powertrain layout of the XR-3. Click to enlarge.

Robert Q. Riley Enterprises, LLC, a product design firm in Glendale, Ariz., will soon introduce the kit and plans for its XR-3 plug-in hybrid, a two-passenger, three-wheel vehicle with an expected fuel economy rating between 125 and 225 miles per gallon.

While the front wheels are powered by a three-cylinder, 23 hp (17 kW) diesel engine, a single rear wheel uses an electric motor run by a lithium-ion battery. The ground provides the connection between the two systems, eliminating the need for an electronic and mechanical interface.

Side view of the XR-3. Click to enlarge.

A three-position switch allows the driver to select between battery-only, diesel-only and hybrid driving modes. The diesel engine can remain off for local trips, since power from the lithium-ion battery pack gives the car a battery-only range of up to 40 miles.

Driving on power from its diesel engine, the XR-3 can achieve fuel economy of 125 miles per gallon. However, when the diesel and electric power systems are combined in a hybrid driving mode, fuel economy can exceed 200 miles per gallon over an 80-mile trip.



Awesome!!!! Safety?

greg woulf

I don't think it looks safe, but safety is overated.

I believe most states call three-wheelers motorcycles, so it'd have to pass motorcycle standards for safety.

I wonder how fast it'll go, and how much it'll cost.

Big Al

If the put this system on a four wheel vehicle, they will have a winner!

Mark A

Super idea, compact packaging just like it should be. Similar to the ZAP post earlier, but geared towards economy, it appears. But notice someone already wants to know how fast it will go!!!

If its priced under 20K, I can see a hit here. If not, then it is just another toy for the Jay Lenos and George Clooneys of this world, as are the ZAP and Tesla offerings.

But how do they pass the crash test standards? And how do they pass the tier 2 bin 5 diesel emission standards? Or, are three wheelers/motorcycles exempt from these standards? I hope to be informed.


I hope "soon" means yesterday, not next year, when Venture Vehicles will launch a similiar vehicle, The Venture One. This XR3 should have a better market acceptance, as this wheel configuration has been more widely used in the past. Broad market appeal may be hindered, depending on what type of diesl engine is being used. Can't wait to get the details on what
appears to the rebirth of a market segment of vehicles that
has gotten little development in the recent past. A hybrid
platform whose time has come!


I would like to know if it goes over 40mph? Freeway capable and efficient, that's what I call a winner. How many people can fit in it? I hope more than just one.

Bruno Cipolla

I wonder what kind of diesel engine it is...
three cylinders for 17KW...

Bruno Cipolla

BTW, it's a "plan only" Vehicle, you build it yourself...

Mark A

OK for those who dont read the link:
max speed 85mph
1300 lbs
2 seats
88" wheelbase
66" track
ht 43"

Engine is not described. This is a "kit", so engine choice is available perhaps. As a "kit", perhaps it is also exempt from all the regs.


a different take on 3 wheels.....


Nice... now the need to make on that'll hold a VW TDI.



Being a "kit car" and having 3 wheels should exempt it from stringent safety and emissions requirements in most states.

I wonder if this is an attempt at grabbing the "X-prize".

Dave Lazur

You will also be able to buy one that has been completely assembled for us mechanically challenged individuals.:)


Have any of you seen this thing driving?
They had a video of it on the Internet its WILD!
The web site indicates several safety features but MAN
oh MAN this could change a lot of things.
According to the site like a Mini Cooper but you sit higher. SKIP the four wheels when you see this video this will be a blast.


what's required is change in habit for motorists in US. They use to drive huge vehicle to carry mostly single occupant. using compact vehicle is more than enough for most people. Technologies are already existing and applied, what's required is change in people's perception. Make wise use of public transport where it is available and using fuel efficient cars where it is necessary and remember time is running out...

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