Solar and human powered trike and trailer made out of bamboo (or wood) for passenger and cargo transport.
Cars are rather expensive during purchase and operation and contribute to environmental damages as well as health risks through air pollution and accidents. The Zolar Trike together with other (electric assist) trikes and bicycles is aiming at replacing and complementing the car for most of its current applications.
The trike and trailer are mainly built out of locally grown bamboo (or wood). Conventional materials like steal or aluminum could of course be used, too. Sustainability, mechanical suitability, availability, costs and ease of manufacturing will decide the choice of material. 250 Wp solar panels on top of both the trike and the trailer give protection against rain and direct sunlight while producing enough electricity for the propulsion of the vehicle and recharging its batteries.
The trike and trailer can transport up to 5 persons (one driver, 4 passengers in the trailer). Thus the Zolar Trike can replace the family car or be used as a taxi.
Cargo can be transported in the basket in the rear of the trike or under the passenger seats of the trailer. When no passengers are transported the trailer can be modified in few minutes to utilize its complete interior as cargo space.
During sunny weather the trike will have practically unlimited range. In the case of depleted batteries and no sunlight the trike can still be driven by pedal power – even though at a slower speed. No more getting stranded with an empty fuel tank.
Maximum speed for the electric assist can range from 25 km/h to 45 km/h depending on local laws and customer wishes.
The development of the Zolar Trike began with some 3d (Blender) drafts.
The design went through several iterations and is still far from final. The linked video above shows an earlier version with a wider trailer. The current design is shown in the picture above with a longer but narrower trailer.
In order to get some experience in bicycle building I took part in an university project. Together with other students we built a bamboo bicycle frame.
The trike design is base on this bamboo trike.
As I have still only little experience in bicycle building and the project is still in its early stages the trike won't be built very soon. Current estimate for a finished trike would be 2016-17.