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Venture Vehicles Developing 3-Wheel, Tilting Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Ventureone1
The VentureOne.

Venture Vehicles Inc. formally announced the development of a 2-passenger, 3-wheel, tilting, plug-in series hybrid electric vehicle under the working name VentureOne. In addition to the low-emission, flex-fuel hybrid model, Venture Vehicles is also developing a zero-emission all-electric version that will have an all-electric range of nearly 200 miles.

Two in-wheel 25 kW electric pancake motors will power the two rear wheels, with a small (15 to 20 kW) flex-fuel genset providing on-road recharging. The hybrid will use a 3 kWh li-ion pack from A123Systems. When garaged, it need only be plugged into a household outlet.

Ventureone2
The two different powertrains. Click to enlarge.

The all-electric version is planned to have two in-wheel 20 kW electric motors and a 17 kWh li-ion battery pack.

A key feature of the VentureOne is the patented Dynamic Vehicle Control tilting technology from Carver Engineering that allows the body of the vehicle to actually tilt when going through turns while all three wheels maintain firm contact with the road.

We’ve licensed the Carver One’s dynamic tilt control system, but the vehicle we’re building is different in many other respects. For example, we’ve focused exclusively on hybrid, biofuels, and electric propulsion, while the Carver One uses standard gasoline.

—Ian Bruce, Founder, EVP Design & Engineering

The VentureOne has separate power to each of the rear wheels which allows automatic traction control, steering assist, and ABS braking to be entirely embedded in software. This eliminates the need for costly additional components and combined with the lack of transmission, severely limits the amount of money a consumer will have to put into maintenance.

The vehicle will be surrounded by a steel safety cell providing overall protection, along with other safety features such as a driver’s airbag, front and side-impact protection, and rear bumper will be standard.

The VentureOne will get up to 100 mpg, accelerate from 0-60 in 6 seconds, and have a top speed of over 100 mph, while being priced at less than $20,000.

Venture Vehicles is working with BMW DesignWorks, A123 Systems, Carver Engineering, Swift Engineering, Boshart Engineering and PML FlightLink on the design, engineering and production.

Resources:

Comments

Jim

Website says look for them in CA on July 2008

Andrey

One wheel at front poses grave problem. If during a turn single front wheel hit oily patch, water covered hole, or just a couple of gravel pieces, it will slip and send vehicle into deadly spin. Motorcycle riders know this problem (making motorcycles 10 times more dangerous vehicles than 4-wheelers) very well. After that occurs, see Shaun Mann scenario.

neptune

"the reason they won't actually come to market is that they will talk to a lawyer and that lawyer will tell them that if anything goes wrong and somebody gets injured because of the designe (for example b/c it is so short, an SUV drive will accidentally run over it b/c they couldn't see it), they'll get sued into oblivion. they'll look for legal insurance, but won't be able to afford it."
If this were true, there would not be any motorcycles on the road. They would only get sued if the tires fell off during driving or the motor explodes etc...

Jon Abbott

Shaun Mann -- why not make all purchasers/owners of this vehicle sign an indemnity form? I suppose John Q. Public could still run over the things and sue the company for damages (hot coffee, anyone?), but I would think the overall potential for litigation would be reduced significantly.

Jon Abbott

After further investigation, I realized what I am referring to is called a "hold harmless" agreement, not an indemnity agreement. I am definitely not a lawyer. :^)

Patrick

I have hit plenty of gravel at highway speeds and have NEVER EVER been sent into a "deadly spin" [probably obvious since I am sitting here typing?] while operating my motorcycle. Darn construction trucks dumping crap allover the roads...good reason why I always wear full face helmets when I ride.

Only problems I see are that it is too much fun and people looking for everyday transport will overlook it thinking that it is only a toy for those who like to drive fast.

Even though it isn't required to do safety tests I would like to see how well it performs. Sure seems 10 times safer than a motorcycle to me with airbags and a rigid structure to keep you from being thrown out of the vehicle in an accident.

Now with all that electric torque, how well will it pull a wheelie?

richard schumacher

Roger: http://tinyurl.com/ is your friend.

Some Jerk

I think this design should be more resistant to terminal spins than a motorcycle: If the front wheel goes wildly off course, the ABS/Stability brain can still steer the trike by independently applying power and brake to the two rear wheels.

I think a simple warning in the sales contract that says:
"OPERATES DIFFERENTLY FROM A TRADITIONAL AUTOMOBILE, ALWAYS OPERATE ACCORDING TO INSTRUCTIONS" and/or requiring a motorcycle permit would cover their asses.

antigravity

100 miles per charge for less than 25k, in the last year g-wiz sold 500 EVs in london and their car looks like it was built by someone who wants electric cars to fail, they wont be able to build this fast enough

SF

The BMW C-1 200 is a partially enclosed, one passenger motorcycle. Great if that is all you need. Where I live, motorcycles would be suicidal on winter roads.
Why the excessive performance on the Venture 1. A city car that could cruise at 45 (and sell for less) would seem to fit a better niche for a 3 wheeler.

Patrick

I hope that everyone who always balks at performance figures never need power when they are driving...being able to hit 100mph or have a moderately fast 40-60 or 0-60 comes in handy on a 2-lane road when you have a slow moving construction vehicle, farm vehicle, double trailer transport vehicle, etc travelling at 5-20mph in front of you and you need to get around them without loitering in the opposing traffic lane. Not that you would fly by at 100mph but having the power to achieve such speeds would be necessary to safely pass.

Neil

Where I live there are a number of choke points where you need to be capable of 120kph. If you can't (like my e-bike) you need to go quite a distance out of your way.

clett

A 1200kg C-size electric-vehicle can manage 5 miles per kWh, so this being probably half the weight and a third the frontal area, I reckon their claims of 11 miles per kWh are probably feasible.

Andrey

Patrick:

Probably my notion of motorcycle going into deadly spin slipping on gravel pieces on paved surface is emotional one: it actually happened before my eyes on winding mountain road. Any way, this danger is probably the reason for Chrysler Tomahawk concept V10 motorcycle to have 4 wheels on tilting body:

http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/photos/prototype-spy-concept/DodgeTomahawkV-10.htm

scatter

Looks like they only have some sort of removable luggage box for the roof. These little runarounds need proper baggage space in order to be truly practical.

I think if I had one of these things I'd have a permanent silly grin just like that person in the back seat!

andrichrose

I think the luggage rack is actually a spoiler !

scatter

I'm not so sure. It doesn't feature in any of the graphics except that profile on the "concept" page which shows what appears to be the spoiler behind it. Low baggage capacity seems to be a common theme of these tandem two seaters (e.g. http://www.clever-project.net). It would be nice if someone could lick this problem.

Mark A

Yes I would consider one. But will this be licensed as a car, or a motorcycle? As a car, it would not pass any crash standards that all new cars must pass, not to mention the emission and mileage standards (of which it should meet easily). Ralph Nader killed the Corvair in the sixties, due to safety concerns. So will the Ralph Naders of today allow a vehicle like this to be made? Will be interesting to see. I would hate to rear end an 18 wheeler in one due to black ice, or, a jacked up 4 X 4 diesel TRUCK with 48" tires. I see visions of its receiver hitch going straight through the bubble canopy towards my face.

Schmeltz

This is really an impressive idea. I hope it sees the light of day. Does anyone know if there are any Company or idealists out there who are pursuing something like this, except with 4 wheels? I would prefer an "electric ATV" sort of set-up to this and the leaning technology and tri-cycle arrangement. I have thought for a long time already of a small, fuel efficient, road worthy sort of ATV, except enclosed to protect from the elements.

Neil

Any engineering reason why you couldn't attach a detachable "trunk" to the back behind the rear wheels?

Neil

I see from the film on their site that the V support at the back that pivots would make this difficult unless you attached it from some sort of shelf attached to the bottom of the vehicle.

q

Andrey,
Bikes have all sort of stability issues apart from steady speed to gentle acceleration on a clean asphalt. Poor road conditions like ice, gravel or spilled diesel fuel will cause stability loss for ANY TYPE VEHICLE. I did hit gravel myself accelerating at a gentle lean angle onto a highway and sure enough my stability sucked, my heart stopped beating, etc. but I managed to stay up and keep going. This machine with an extra wheel can only do better, not worse.

I do ride a bike to work. Many people would like a smaller vehicle as many/most people commute to work alone. This is the fact of the modern big cities where work keeps changing and we can never live close to work.

Motorcycle is a perfect vehicle for commute to work, but due to many issues is not an option for most people. This machine solves some/many of the issues and will be more acceptable commute vehicle. I think it will become standard long term after oil prices double and triple.

I don't see how it can be over $20K, at least the pure electric version, if according to the article many ICE components are no longer needed???? If it really is that simple, battery, controller and motors, well hell it cannot be much simpler than that. Someone will surely find a way to sell them for $10K and still make money.

Of course, initial products will be more expensive so that R&D costs can be recovered, but long term it should be a fairly cheap machine.

BTW, for some climates/places, such as Canadian winter, clearly cars will still be necessary. This machine will be mostly for commutes within cities.

Dave K.

I'm ready! this is exactly what most people need to commute to work, much safer (and dryer) than a motorcycle, low energy consumption, just enough room for the driver and his/her briefcase, easy to park. I think I would prefer the EV model, not what I would take on vacation anyway.

Gio

Hi, for a high school paper I am looking for a good source on the total well-to-wheel efficiency of battery-electric vehicles compared to CNG-vehicles. I'm also trying to find info on the energy and carbon balance of producting, distributing and recycling batteries for EVs.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Ian Bruce

For more information, and an opportunity to contribute your comments, please visit our forums at: http://www.flytheroad.com/blog/forums/

-- Ian

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