Electric bicycles are quite common these days. Electric trikes though? Not quite as much. It is a category though seeing some activity, such as the recently unveiled Scorpion fs 26 S-Pedelec which, quite frankly, looks to be an amazing, but expensive, piece of electric pedal assist technology.
The Scorpion fs 26 S-Pedelec is made by HP Velotechnik, who is calling this three-wheeled ride “the first full-suspension electric trike with assisted speeds of up to 45 km/h that can be compactly folded up for transportation.” Gizmag, which noted the trike, said even prior to its public unveiling at the recent EuroBike show it had won a design award. We can understand why.
Making use of chassis technology from the automotive sector, this touring trike has a low center of gravity and an ergonomically-designed recumbent seat that help reportedly to “enable dynamic acceleration.” This so called “low air resistance” helps to extend the trike’s rechargeable battery range, especially when one hits that top assisted speed of nearly 28 miles per hour.
A 500 watt rear wheel BionX hub motor provides the extra power as needed when one wants a little help with pedaling, with the motor getting its power from a 48 V Li-Mn rechargeable battery with a 423 Wh capacity. Regenerative braking helps to extend the battery’s charge life, with it normally taking up to five hours to charge it in a standard wall socket. The Scorpion fs 26 S-Pedelec comes with a start assist function as standard, which propels the vehicle to a speed of up to 3.7 miles per hour to help one get going more easily.
As this vehicle can hit such high speeds, it is required in Germany at least to have insurance and an operating license. For those who don’t want to go that route, a lower pedal assist speed option is offered as well.
Of note on the Scorpion fs 26 S-Pedelec is its high-traction, 26-inch rear wheel, which helps with road handling. It is tied the chassis that also hosts an independent suspension with adjustable MacPherson struts on the front axle, stabilizer system, full suspension and a long wheelbase.
There are a variety of options one can add to the Scorpion fs 26 S-Pedelec, including a better ergonomic mesh seat and a suspended luggage rack in two panniers. It comes with a 27-speed Shimano XT chain gearshift, hydraulically coupled Tektro Auriga E-Twin disc brakes and a LED lighting system from Busch & Müller.
What’s also great about this trike is its portability, according to HP Velotechnik. When one wants to store it, the Scorpion fs 26 S-Pedelec folds up into a tight package measuring 48 x 37 x 27 inches. As for pricing and availability, it will appear in Europe in early 2013 for around 6,990 euros, while a US export version will be made available for $7,495.