Four skinny wheels, two electric motors and one engine
The Peugeot Citroen Group (PSA) has created a new electric 'mobility solution' for the European EU-Live consortium.
With four wheels, two electric motors and one internal-combustion engine, the funky-looking vehicle can be driven on tight city streets or, if you're feeling particularly brave, on the motorway.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain is good for 300km of driving, 70km of which can be run on pure-electric power. The single-cylinder petrol engine automatically kicks in over 70km/h. Samsung SDI has provided a 48-volt battery, which can be plugged into the wall or (partially) recharged on the fly with regenerative braking.
Thanks to its flip-up scissor doors, a closed (heated!) cabin, an airbag and seatbelts, the driving experience is more akin to a car than a motorbike, in spite of the vehicle's skinny 0.85-metre width.
PSA is at pains to mention the fact you won't need protective gear or a helmet. In wet or snowy weather, both of which are prevalent in European winters, that promises to make life much easier.
A tilting mechanism backed by a patented new roll-control system, both of which rely on a combination of pneumatic and hydraulic components, is designed to make the 'mobility solution' drive like a three-wheeled scooter.
You will, however, need a valid driver's license to pilot the vehicle – probably a good thing, given its top speed is 130km/h.
"Groupe PSA has committed to protecting individual freedom of movement," said Carla Gohin, senior vice president, research and advanced engineering at PSA.
"EU-Live is an illustrative example of it. This new electrified light vehicle allows an individual, safe and sustainable mobility thanks to its zero-emission mode. We are proud to take part in this European project with all our partners."
The new PSA 'car' is part of the L5E vehicle class. It was launched to the Efficient Urban Light Vehicle (EU-Live) consortium, a European body made up of 12 partners from six countries. The project has been funded by the consortium to the tune of €6.7 million ($10.5 million), and worked exclusively with PSA Group to create the vehicle.