This highly economical three-wheeled microcar is designed to lower growing traffic fatalities and injuries worldwide, while also improving fuel economy.
It’s called the Spira4u. The Automotive XPrize finalist car has already entered into production in China with both gas and electric versions. While the gas version weighs 440 lb (200kg), the electric version is 520 lb (236 kg). Both versions have the same honeycomb chassis, fiberglass body and foam body panels. The foam absorbs the shock of accidents which makes it safer for its passengers.
The Spira4u was invented by Lon Ballard, an engineer from the University of Illinois who wanted to create a lighter, safer and highly efficient vehicle for everyday use.
The gas-powered version costs $5,000 and uses a fuel-injected, 150 cc Chinese Wangye motorcycle engine with automatic transmission. The car has a top speed of 53mph (85 km/h). The 2.5 gallon (9.5 liter) gas tank delivers a 200 mile (320 km) range.
The electric version costs $9,000 and uses either one or two 10 kW (13.4 hp) motors. The additional motor can be fitted to the rear wheel at an additional cost of $1500.
The vehicle can hit a top speed of 62mph (100 km/h) with just one motor fitted. With one motor and a standard battery pack, the Spira4u’s range is around 70 miles (115 km) though the range can be doubled with an additional battery pack.
This car-scooter-three wheeler hybrid has already finished emission testing to gain United States EPA requirements, and approval is expected shortly.