Affordable EV? This new car-bike hybrid aims to democratise electric vehicles

·2-min read

Northern Light Motors claims its vehicles are extremely energy efficient and a fraction of the cost of a regular electric vehicle.

Their three models start with the pedal-powered '428', priced from £4,000 (€4,730), the '557', which e-assists the pedals with a 48 volt 10AH battery, giving a 50-mile (80 km) range, and the top of the range fully electric 630 model, priced from £6,000 (€7,100) with a 1.5kW hub motor and 48 volt 20Ah battery.

Northern Light Motors founder Graham Browne was previously an automotive designer who says he grew frustrated with the complexity of cars and the legislation they have to comply with.

“I think a simple vehicle that's got the key ingredients, i.e. weather protection, some safety, some luggage is the way forward,” he told Reuters.

The aerodynamic body design includes lights and indicators and front and rear crumple zones which act like a safety cocoon for the driver.

“All of the contactable surfaces are well above bumper height, which is another important consideration,” Browne said.

“It's much safer than driving an e-bike or a moped, somewhere between a moped and a car”.

Comparisons with Sir Clive Sinclair’s C5 recumbent electric trike from the 1980s are not missed on Browne, who says the market is only now ready for this kind of vehicle.

“It was 40 years ago. It had lead-acid batteries that were pretty pathetic. The technology has moved on a great deal since then. But having said all of that, if we can sell 12,000 of these, like Clive Sinclair did with the C-5, I'll be a very happy person,” said Browne.

Full production starts this summer and the first 630s will be delivered early next year.

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