On 30 November, the European EU-LIVE consortium unveiled a new L5e-category (3-wheeled vehicles one can use at a speed above 50 km/h and on any road) electrified mobility solution. Positioned between the two-wheel and four-wheel segments, it is equipped with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, two electric in-wheel motors and a gasoline internal combustion engine.
Based on an architecture similar to a tricycle, the electrified light vehicle is adapted for urban and peri-urban trips with a zero-emission mode for city driving. The hybrid vehicle is permitted to all roads, with a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph). It runs in zero emission mode up to 70 km/h (43.5 mph), after which it switches to its gasoline motor. The modular powertrain can be used on a variety of L-category vehicles—one of the main foci of the EU-LIVE project.
Groupe PSA was involved as the only automaker in the project, and as a result has expanded its design expertise beyond the automotive industry.
The new EU-LIVE electrified mobility solution offers an array of benefits:
Suited to both roads and motorways, all it requires is a driving licence.
Its tilting mechanism offers superior handling, making the vehicle as easy to drive as a three-wheel scooter. This and the roll-control technology account for more than half of the 13 patents filed by Groupe PSA. The system notably makes use of hydraulic components and hydropneumatic suspension.
The vehicle runs in zero-emission mode at speed of up to 70 km/h using two rear electric in-wheel motors developed by consortium partners Elaphe and Brembo.The 48-volt electric battery—designed by Samsung SDI—can be recharged using regenerative braking technology. When driving on inter-urban roads at speeds of between 70 and 130 kilometers per hour, the Peugeot Scooter 31 kW single-cylinder gasoline engine takes over the propulsion. The light vehicle has a total range of 300 kilometers (186 miles) and a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour (81 mph).
The vehicle’s small footprint (2.4 meters x 0.85 meters) and rotating doors facilitate perpendicular parking and free up road space. As well as an enclosed, heated cabin, the vehicle also features seatbelts and an airbag, making helmets, gloves, waterproof jackets and other protective gear unnecessary.
Each in-wheel motor is able to produce 25 kW of peak power; the systems are air cooled and come with custom disk brakes. The L5e vehicles are equipped with customized 18″ rims and are mounted with pneumatic tires.
One of the EU-LIVE consortium’s main aims is to develop common powertrains that can be used for a variety of L-category vehicles in order to achieve economies of scale.