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The fact that we nevertheless decided to design a tricycle at TWIKE had one main reason: significant weight reduction and thus higher energy efficiency. By addressing the tricycle’s weak points – lower tipping stability due to a smaller contact area – and taking appropriate compensatory measures, we were even able to increase the lightweight construction and driving dynamics potential without any disadvantages for the user. But that is by no means all when it comes to safety.
One thing in advance: The TWIKE is not a passenger car and accordingly the safety of our tricycle cannot be compared to that in a car. As the number of wheels already indicates, the TWIKE as a vehicle moves between a motorcycle and a car. The requirements applicable to a fast tricycle EU vehicle class L5e are basically less extensive than those of the passenger car registration class. This also means that the requirements in terms of safety are lower. Nevertheless, the well-being of our drivers and fellow passengers is very important to us. And so we have done quite a bit for the TWIKE to optimize active and passive safety.
Active safety through chassis
Very important factors for stability are the position of the center of mass and the response of the chassis. We have placed the center of gravity very low and far to the rear. This allows the TWIKE 5 to get through demanding maneuvers safely, even at high speeds. The chassis was developed in collaboration with an experienced suspension specialist and already has a noticeably high reserve in terms of lateral dynamics in the TWIKE 4 concept car. As a result, it offers an impressively safe, agile yet comfortable driving experience. Braking is primarily by means of so-called recuperation, which is controlled via a finger rocker. The experienced rider brings the TWIKE to a stop with the touch of a finger. In extreme situations or even when stopping at the intersection, a powerful coaster brake is also used.
Alu-Space-Frame – Modular safety cell for passive safety
The lightweight and crash-optimized vehicle frame made of bonded and riveted aluminum sheet shells, cast nodes and continuous cast profiles in combination with structural components made of fiber composites was developed in cooperation with an experienced development service provider from the automotive industry. Integrated into the frame structure is a three-point seat belt safety system. Common crash scenarios (roof crush, pile, frontal and side impacts) were digitally simulated and the frame structure optimized as a result.
TWIKE pilots and passengers are thus not only sustainably mobile and protected against all weather conditions. You can also move with a clear conscience in the general traffic hustle and bustle with regard to driving safety.