A new electric vehicle concept called the Eco E-Trike shows how designers are looking toward green solutions in order to traverse the often dense traffic found in urban areas. Conceived by Stephen Reon Francisco in Pasig, Philippines, the all-electric concept seems to be inspired by the dense city where the designer resides, and where motorized tricycles are often seen on the busy streets.
The city of Pasig is, in case you haven’t brushed up on your Southeast Asian geography lately, part of the Metro Manila region in the Philippines, one of the most populous areas in the entire world.
We’ve covered concepts quite a bit here at EarthTechling, and one of the things we try to do when reporting about unique designs is try to gauge the level of real-world use these potential products might have if ever fully materialized.
In terms of size and passenger space, the Eco E-Trike provides great functionality for a four person passenger transport (no including the driver) while staying relatively small—something of a necessity if you’re going to be darting in and out of rush hour traffic in a city of millions.
Not a proper car, the Eco E-Trike is an open-air vehicle, with only a single side having a cross-support structure, making it easy to get in and out quickly, but also making passengers vulnerable to accidents. Still, as the designer notes, the half-cage is probably safer than many of the motorized tricycles on the road.
The Eco E-Trike does a great job of using some relatively simple yet innovative features to make the vehicle better, like well-placed handrails, pull-out dashboard storage compartments, blind-spot side mirrors, several strategically places LEDs for better visualization and seats that feature storage underneath and that can flip around in case you’d like to face your fellow travelers.
As the Eco E-Trike is just a concept, the most important specifications, and perhaps our favorite as a tech site, are not listed. That’s right, no details on the motor or battery systems. So, we’ll have to speculate. To start, the current model has the motor compartment in the rear of the vehicle, as the extra space in the front would be for the driver’s legs.
The position is well and fine, but perhaps a bit small. Of course the electric vehicle wouldn’t be as heavy as a car, but it would still be carrying up to five adults at one time, needing a fairly good size propulsion system. Battery storage would have to come with that, and it would need to be larger than what the design currently calls for in order to avoid having to make frequent stops to charge. And unless there are several DC charging stations around the city, charging an electric vehicle can take a good deal of time.
Still, overall the Eco E-Trike has an innovative approach to green transportation in densely populated urban areas. And if current trends are any indication, cities across the world will only become bigger in the coming decades, and we’ll need smarter alternatives than the single-person, gasoline vehicles on the road today.