CLEANBALANCEDEFFICIENT

Video Production by StartMotionMEDIA

What’s next for Tipping Point Trikes?

We are developing our new eTrike model with intent to bring it to market. It will feature cargo options for the front and the rear, lightweight and beautiful design, as well as high quality bicycle components. Interested? Help support our upcoming campaign or drop us a line.

WHY?

We’re here. We’ve reached the tipping point.

If you’re like me, you’re tired of living in the dark-oil-ages, stuck in traffic, and polluting the air as you stare into a sea of red taillights. You know you have to make a change—not just to improve your quality of life but improve the environment, too. Climate change affects all of us. Our choices—when cumulative—can be either transformative, or devastating.

You’ve been thinking about switching to a bike for trips around town, but you haven’t been able to make it work. It’s either too far to travel, too many hills, or you can’t carry anything comfortably.

What if you could get there fast and easily, get those groceries, and not break a sweat before that big 9 a.m. meeting? No gas or parking costs and you get a thumbs-up from your doctor. An Ultra-Light Electric Vehicle (ULEV) starts to look like a much better option.

In response to these issues, I’ve combined the best of a cargo bike’s utility with the stability of a trike. My goal is to make urban transportation clean, balanced and efficient. The result is a tilting electric cargo trike that is as functional as it is appealing.

It’s happening. We’re here. We’ve reached the tipping point. The lane on your right is open. Move to the front of the line every time. Join us.

WHO?

Bill

Bill, 26

Mary

Mary, 35

Orion

Orion, 42

Sarah

Sarah, 67

bill_1

Bill

Bill has a new tech job in the city. The startup he works for supports bike parking. Bill doesn’t have a car in San Francisco due to cost and parking.  So the fastest and most flexible way for him to get to work is by bike, but he has to tackle some major hills through the city to get there. He could always take public transpo but he likes the idea of making exercise a part of his daily routine especially since he sits most of the day at his job. On his new eTrike, Bill no longer worries about getting around the busy city quickly, spontaneously, and economically.

Mary

Mary

Mary is a mother of two. She shares a car with her husband Dan. After breakfast, he heads off to work, taking the oldest to school on his way. She puts the youngest on the back of her eTrike and heads across town to her kid’s pre-school. She then rides a few more miles to hit the family’s favorite farmers market. She parks, without having to wait for a spot, and grabs some fresh groceries. Mary does a few more errands and loads more things on her eTrike. She decides to also pick up that cactus she’s been eyeing on her way home. With the eTrike, Mary is able to meet all of her local transportation needs. The family is also eating healthier and fresher foods since carrying groceries from the market is a snap on the eTrike.

Orion

Orion

Orion has just bought the house in the hills he’s worked so hard to obtain. He loves to ride his bike and used to commute from his old apartment. Now he has to hurl himself up a 750-foot grade both ways, and it’s twice as far! Carrying his gym bag with spare work clothes and business papers is too much to haul on his bike every day. With his eTrike, he can easily get the extra load up that hill. Before he used to have limited space to hold his architectural drawings, but now he has room for everything. And best of all, he doesn’t arrive a big sweaty mess when he needs to be at that early meeting.

Sarah

Sarah

Sarah is retired. She no longer drives, but still loves the freedom and flexibility to go places—like visiting her grandson and attending her book group. Her new eTrike offers her independence and safety. She doesn’t have to worry about falling down. Its three wheels allow her to effortlessly run over those enormous potholes that seem to be breeding in the streets! Sarah likes riding her eTrike in a bike lane because she’s got her own space to negotiate the streets. She also loves the exercise, fresh air and time to admire the views, which she never got to do when she drove. All her friends ask if her new eTrike is the secret to keeping her looking so healthy and vibrant. She enthusiastically confirms this.

HOW?

Change lanes at every turn

Did you know?

More than 40 percent of urban trips in the United States are less than two miles, yet nearly all of those short trips are taken by car?  Some claim it’s even worse.

Bicycles are amazing, but they aren’t always a viable solution for many commuters or for those who need to carry more than a few things over longer distances. There’s a huge “practicality gap” between a bicycle and a car, waiting to be filled.

No one likes traffic, but you need to get there—work, the grocery store, drop the kid at daycare—and you have to head back up that hill on the way back. An ULEV can get you out of your car for all those trips!

HOW?

The “local trips” problem

I’ve commuted for years, both by car as well as by bike and like most people, I despise traffic. Chances are, during your car commute your speed is a grim 15-40 m.p.h. at best most of the time. Using a GPS app, I found my normal commute averaged a whopping 19 m.p.h. and that included segments of 60+ m.p.h. on the freeway.

No need for reports telling us the trends. Just look around and see that traffic congestion is at an all-time high, and getting worse. I have a car—it’s tough to ignore the dependency—but we can bridge the gap between a bike and a car if we think outside the four-wheel box.

Even on a good day, my commute by car was no faster than on my eBike through town and the fresh air, exercise and view were a lot more enjoyable. Add parking, gas, wear-and-tear on my weary car, and driving just doesn’t seem worth it for solving our local trips problem.

HOW?

EBIKE REVOLUTION

The eBike revolution has come again, from its beginnings in the late 1800s to a time when there are now more dedicated bicycle lanes carving out space for bicyclists in nearly every city on the globe.

Electric bicycles are promising as a means of seeing the bicycle not solely as Americans typically view it—the exercise machine—but as a viable and practical low-cost car replacement. Americans love the independence and freedom that a bicycle lane brings and people are already taking action with cargo bikes as viable urban transportation.

My years working in the urban planning field have shown that envisioning bike- and walk-friendly cities through visualization is key to foreseeing infrastructure changes we can agree upon. I have witnessed that in the auto-dominated transportation planning of the past; there is a rising awareness of a shared vision for bicycle-use that’s promising. Through the dedication of professionals in the planning world, in bicycle advocacy, and in local government it’s been proven we can make the lane-space needed to alleviate the congestion and pollution the automobile brings.

Along with other tireless people in both the public and private sector working to shift away from a car-centric urban center, I feel fortunate to be part of a group I call  lane-changers—a new moniker for the game-changers of this age.

LANE CHANGERS

URBAN VOICES

Over the last 10 years, California has engaged in a massive effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions … to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. To achieve such an ambitious goal, Californians must reduce dependence on automobiles, the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions. Throughout the state, planners and engineers are focusing their efforts to create infrastructure to provide safe and convenient alternatives to automobile travel. Tipping Point Trikes is developing just the product to meet the daily needs of commuters and shoppers by providing a practical, safe and clean alternative to the car. At PlaceWorks, we look forward to opportunities to plan for the future for products such as this.

— Steve Noack, AICP, Principal, PlaceWorks

URBAN VOICES

Walking, transit, bicycling, and ultra-small electric vehicles will be transportation in cities of the future. The idea that one large device—your car—will work for all your transportation needs is already proving too clumsy. In compact, social, and richly textured urbanism, vehicles need to be small, nimble, quiet, and easily parked. They will be a welcome, not an obstructive, feature of the built landscape.

— Steve Price, Urban Advantage

URBAN VOICES

Perhaps most important is the proliferation of bike designs intended for daily, utilitarian cycling and adapted to the needs of city travel. The increasing choice in bike designs in particular caters to a broader range of cyclist needs…

— John Pucher, City Cycling

URBAN VOICES

In most situations in the city, riding an electric bike will be faster and cheaper than either car or public transit.

— Justin Lemire-Elmore, Grin Technologies

WHAT IS IT?

The M1 Ultra-Light Electric Vehicle

It is powered both by pedaling and an electric motor, supplied by rechargeable lithium batteries. The M1 is a tilting cargo trike, bringing together the best in utility of a cargo bicycle with the stability of a tricycle. A leaning (tilting) trike provides more stability when carrying loads at higher speeds. The M1 was built as a car-replacement for local tasks. It has fully articulated independent suspension for a smooth ride in a safe and familiar upright position, providing a clear view of traffic and the road ahead.

What’s different about it? Why three wheels?

To combine the best of a cargo bike and a trike, it was important to keep the benefits of each, while avoiding the negatives of either. A trike which does not lean (rigid/non-tilting), is inherently unstable when cornering. A tilting trike is inherently more stable when carrying loads. We made the M1 and our eTrike tilting and fully suspended for a softer ride. It has room for cargo up front, distributing the weight across two wheels for increased traction. The dual disc brakes up front make for confident braking even under load. The rear has room for cargo pannier bags, and a wide rack to accommodate securing larger asymmetrical objects. Unlike most trikes, seating is high and upright for a clear view of the road and traffic ahead, making it safer and more agile. Rider position is the same as a standard bicycle.

Does your pedaling charge the battery?

In short, no. It’s possible, but not practical. For some reason, this is the number one question people ask. It does have regenerative braking, however. See the next question.

Does it have regenerative braking?

Yes!  What is regenerative braking? “Regen,” as it’s called, allows the motor to act as a generator which charges the battery. This is done by using the momentum of the trike‘s weight as a braking force when a switch is applied. Rather than squeezing discs to stop, regen causes resistance in the motor by reversing current, slowing the rider down and putting power back into the battery each time a stop is made. As a backup, there are three large diameter disc brakes to stop quickly. We typically get 5-13% power back from regen, which increases range.

How fast does it go?

Uphill or down? The M1 is a moped class vehicle with a top speed of 30 m.p.h. ( 48 k.p.h. ). Our eTrike model in development is a bicycle-class vehicle with a top speed of 20 m.p.h. ( 32 k.p.h. ) and is operable in bicycle lanes adjacent to roadways. Help support the effort!

How far does the M1 go (on a charge)?

Reliably over varied terrain around town, 40 miles. That’s not advertising miles, that’s ACTUAL miles. Mileage varies on riding style, cargo and terrain.

What’s that thing on the front?

The M1 uses a fairing, which is a wind diverter. At speeds over 20 m.p.h. wind resistance becomes a factor in the efficiency of the vehicle to a very high degree. Higher resistance limits range. Our eTrike model uses front cargo space combined as a fairing to double the functionality of cargo space and wind diverter. Functional and efficient!

What do you mean “tilting?”

Tilting means that the vehicle leans over as a bicycle would, despite having three wheels. You can see in the video how this works. It requires an articulated suspension system, and will fall over if left standing without a kickstand. This leaning ability is what adds to the stability when carrying cargo.

Can you ride in a bike lane?

The M1 is a moped under California law, so it is not allowed in bike lanes. However, we are developing an eTrike which is allowed in bicycle lanes so you can be a lane changer. Help support the effort!

CONTACT

Reach out!

We are a small group with design, architectural, urban planning, fabrication, engineer and software expertise. If this cause sounds just and interesting to you, we can use your help in completion of our next bicycle-class eTrike model. We would love to hear from you.