DIY: XR3 Hybrid 3-wheeler

The XR3 diesel\electric hybrid three-wheeled vehicle kit is available from Robert Q. Riley Enterprises. Like other three-wheelers, this one will be a motorcycle when it comes to regulations.

The XR3 uses the latest hybrid power system technologies in the most simplified way possible. While the front wheels are powered by a three-cylinder diesel engine, a single rear wheel uses an electric motor run by a lithium-ion battery. The ground provides the connection between the two systems, eliminating the need for a complex electronic and mechanical interface.

Using fiber-reinforced-plastic, or FRP, the body shell will be constructed over the chassis, using the chassis as a jig to ensure a proper fit. Many people with the DIY spirit have already done this when building his past project vehicles. Check this site out for examples. And, check this site for more on three-wheelers.

A DIY Job
Designed to be assembled by someone with average mechanical abilities and no prior experience, the all-wheel drive vehicle will be available as a kit or plans for complete do-it-yourself construction.

“We’ve made a technology leap by designing a super-simple hybrid power system, but ‘technology’ itself was not the main thrust of the project,” said Robert Q. Riley, company president and author of “Alternative Cars in the 21st Century.” “We focused on the power of ‘design’ to define a new category of personal mobility products that are neither automobiles nor motorcycles.”

By the Numbers
Driving on power from its diesel engine, the XR-3 can achieve fuel economy of 125 miles per gallon. However, when the diesel and electric power systems are combined in a hybrid driving mode, fuel economy can exceed 200 miles per gallon over an 80-mile trip.

A simple three-position switch allows the driver to select between battery-only, diesel-only and hybrid driving modes. The diesel engine can remain off for local trips, since power from the advanced lithium-ion battery pack gives the car a battery-only range of up to 40 miles.

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