Apr 08, 2023

BMW and Cube pitch Trike Hybrid as electric car alternative for modern city life

Cube recently unveiled the Trike Family Hybrid 750 and Trike Cargo Hybrid 750 (via InsideEVs). The two electric tricycles were developed by BMW and Cube as an eco- and wallet-friendly alternative to cars that often cost thousands of dollars to fuel and maintain every year — yes, even electric cars. The Trike Hybrid is based around a step-through bicycle design with the rear wheel replaced with a subframe with cargo or passenger space between two wheels.

In places like Europe, where cycling is facilitated by good urban design, cargo bikes have become increasingly common for working professionals that need to haul tools or deliveries, and families that need to cart children around. The Cube Trike Hybrid takes the cargo bike idea and reorganises things to achieve a shorter wheelbase than traditional cargo bikes. The short wheelbase makes the Trike Hybrid easier to park and manoeuvre in tight urban settings.

Cube's Trike Hybrid Family and Cargo both feature a Bosch CX Cargo Line motor system, which delivers a claimed 250 W of pedal assist from a 750 WH battery. Both rear wheels are driven by a custom differential that allows the wheels to spin at different speeds around corners. The motor's assist tops out at 25 km/h (15.5 mph), which is probably for the best, considering the inherent instability of a top-heavy three-wheeled design.

While the maximum capacity of the motor is 220kg (485 lbs), the cargo area of the Trike Hybrid is only rated to 50 kg (110 lbs), and the Trike itself weighs in at 70 kg (154 lbs). Considering a rider weight of 75 kg, that leaves an extra 75 kg of carrying capacity on the table — this is probably for the best, considering the limited assistance from the motor. The weight limit of the cargo space applies to both the Cargo and Family versions of the Trike, meaning even two children are unlikely to exceed the weight limitation until they're around eight to ten years of age.

Cube and BMW have tried to mitigate the instability of a trike design with a clever pivot mechanism that allows the frame and front wheel to pivot while the rear wheels remain solidly planted on the ground. The Cube Trike Hybrid is unlikely to see the US market, but the Trike Cargo Hybrid is expected to be available in Europe in September 2023 with the Trike Family Hybrid following soon after. MSRP is set at £6,499 (US$8,093 or €7,485) for both the Family and Cargo versions.

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Cube (1, 2), Bosch, Disabled World, InsideEVs

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