Venture Vehicles has formally announced in Los
Angeles, the development of a revolutionary three wheel, tilting,
plug-in Hybrid vehicle under the working name VentureOne.
This ‘super samlor’ carries two passengers and has a hybrid engine
returning 100 mpg, accelerate from 0-100 kays in six seconds, will
have a top speed of over 160 kph, and is priced at under US$20,000.
Venture three wheeler.
In addition to the low-emission, flex-fuel hybrid
model, a zero-emission all-electric version is also being developed
that will have an all-electric range of nearly 200 miles.
A key feature of the VentureOne is the patented Dynamic Vehicle
Control tilting technology from Dutch-based 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.
Carver already sells petrol-engined versions of the machine, and the
Phiaro 3-wheeler is also closely based on the Carver. But a plug-in
hybrid with a 200 mile electric range and sportscar performance is
Production is not scheduled until late 2008 and Venture Vehicles
will initially offer two propulsion packages for the VentureOne: the
hybrid E50 and Q100, and all-electric Venture EV model. The
US$23,000 all-electric model will top the range while the E50 hybrid
will sell for US$18,000 and the Q100 hybrid is expected to be priced
“It’s a truly unique and innovative vehicle,” says Ian Bruce, one of
the founding partners of Venture Vehicles. “With the same height and
length as the MINI Cooper, the VentureOne will have both the
performance of a sports car and the agility of a motorcycle,
creating an incredibly exhilarating driving experience. The only way
I can describe the sensation is comparing it to flying a jet fighter
at two feet off the ground. Plus, this extraordinary performance
combines the significant environmental benefits of a flex-fuel,
plug-in hybrid with a high level of affordability.” Two electric
pancake in-wheel motors will power the two rear wheels, with a small
combustion engine providing on-road recharging. When garaged, it
need only be plugged into a normal 110 outlet. Regular readers will
recognize this as the principle behind the Lohner-Porsche of 1902!
Safety is another crucial aspect of the VentureOne’s design. The
vehicle will be surrounded by a steel “safety cell” providing
overall protection, along with other important safety features
typically found only in cars. Things like a driver’s airbag, front
and side-impact protection, and rear bumper will be standard. A host
of world-class partners in design, engineering and production are
supporting the development of the VentureOne - firms such as BMW
DesignWorks, A123 Systems, Carver Engineering, Swift Engineering,
Boshart Engineering and PML FlightLink.
The VentureOne weighs approximately 600 kg in prototype form, with
an overall width of 1.25 m, a length of 3.5 m, and a 2.5 m
wheelbase. The engine is located in the rear of the vehicle at a low
height. The passenger compartment and the front wheel tilts when
cornering; however, the forces are aligned with the vertical axis of
the driver’s body, resulting in the driver being pressed into the
seat rather than pushed across it, as per the usual motorcycle
Although classified as a motorcycle according to the NHTSA (since it
has three wheels), the VentureOne has an enclosed body. The
reinforced roll-cage construction in combination with
front-and-side-impact protection, and a highly efficient passenger
restraint system, give the occupants a level of protection
comparable to conventional cars - or statistically, 33 times the
safety of a typical motorcycle.
All VentureOne’s will incorporate the patented Dynamic Vehicle
Control system, or DVC™, developed by Carver Engineering, which
allows the vehicle to tilt up to 45° side-to-side at a rate of 85°
per second, plus ventilated disc brakes.
The vehicles’ propulsion system is of a series hybrid design. The
system consists of a small internal combustion engine connected to a
15-20 kW generator, two in-wheel 25 kW electric motors, a four
gallon fuel tank, and a 3 kWh Li-Ion battery pack. The system is
able to take energy normally lost as heat due to braking and return
it to the battery, increasing overall system efficiency.
Will we ever see anything like this running on the streets in
Bangkok or Chiang Mai? The simple answer is “Not very likely!”