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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.


David M Scott

Have placed my order for the deluxe plans package XR-3 Hybrid. Also searching the web and getting prices for the Kabota engine and the 8inch dc motor. Can hardley wait to get started. Was involved with a triMag in 83 Was a lot of fun. If some of the rich people people out there get off the pot and start putting their money to the projection of the XR-3.

Rich Easton

Riley has done a wonder. I have no complaints about his excellent work. However, here are some ideas: polycarbonate canopy to give rear vision. Use narrow tires and cycle fenders, allowing the body to be narrower with the same inside space--narrower body will reduce the CdA. Reduce the weight further. Build one with the ICE and transmission in back, a "delta" rather than "tadpole" configuration. Use less powerful engine/motor, drive surface streets only at 45mph or less. Less is more! Formula three cars weighing 500lb. with a 50hp motorcycle engine used to race with the ferraris.


I think this looks cool too. However, I was wondering what the rpms would be with a 4 speed VW transmission and a little tractor motor when you get up to highway speeds. I'm sure there's a way to figure it out, but I don't remember how to do it.

Also, I was thinking about safety. But if Nascar can build something that protects guys going at 180mph, maybe DIYers can figure something out.

All in all, I like the way this one looks the best. Has anyone purchased the plans?

Oh yeah, the website says that the car could be built for about $10000 without electricity stuff. The Lithium Ion/electric stuff was said to cost about $9000 in and of itself. The website also says that cheaper electrical stuff would cost around $2000.

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