Lectric eBikes, the Phoenix-based electric bike maker that is known for its ultralow prices, has done it again with a new budget-friendly e-bike. This time the company rolled out an electric tricycle known as the Lectric XP Trike at far below the going market rates. But how did they do it, and what makes their e-trike so affordable? Let’s check it out.
Lectric’s CEO Levi Conlow teased the Lectric XP Trike earlier this week, but now we’ve finally gotten the complete rundown of specs.
The trike features a 500-watt rear motor with a peak power rating of 1,092 watts. It is mounted on a central jackshaft at the rear of the trike to drive the two rear wheels through a differential axle, allowing two-wheel drive. The motor itself is a hub motor, though it is implemented more like a mid-drive motor.
A cursory look at the trike shows that it’s actually quite similar to Lectric’s already quite popular $999 Lectric XP 3.0 folding e-bike. You could almost say it’s a very similar bike, yet with a larger battery, hydraulic brakes, and an extra wheel.
In fact, it sort of has two extra wheels, in the sense that the rear end is similar to a trike conversion style setup that allows the front of a more typical e-bike to be combined with a trike assembly in the rear. That likely helped expedite the design process and allowed Lectric to quickly bring an electric trike to market after the last major e-trike launch, the RadTrike from Rad Power Bikes. Sticking with more standard parts that could be adapted into a three-wheeler also helped Lectric keep the cost down while maintaining a similar strategy to the Lectric XP 3.0 e-bike.
It’s a different design but one that still follows Lectric’s playbook, as the company explained:
We took our award-winning XP series e-bikes and added a bigger battery, hydraulic brakes, and a third wheel to create the industry’s first fully foldable and fully-assembled electric tricycle. This 65 lb three-wheeler is purposefully designed with convenience and fun top of mind.
At just 65 pounds (29.5 kilograms), the Lectric XP Trike’s folding frame will be a manageable lift for many people.
The frame folds in both the center and at the handlebars to fit into tight places. That handlebar folding mechanism will likely be the most useful for lowering the height of the trike to fit in SUVs and other rear-opening vehicles, though the center fold may help the smaller bundle fit into tighter closets, etc.
Folding also allows the electric trike to arrive fully assembled, meaning riders simply need to unfold it, inspect the bike and ride.
The electric three-wheeler is powered by a 48V and 14Ah battery with 672 Wh of capacity. Lectric claims that riders can travel as far as 50 miles (80 kilometers) on a single charge, though that high efficiency is likely helped by the slower 14 mph (22 km/h) top speed. A slower top speed might sound like a downer, but it is an important safety consideration for three-wheelers that can feel tippy at higher speeds.
It’s hard to say how wide the rear wheels are set on the Lectric XP Trike, but narrower wheels can compound the tipping feeling, making it important to keep speeds reasonable. Don’t expect to fly at 20-28 mph (32-45 km/h) like the rest of Lectric’s e-bikes! But at least you have both pedal assist (5 levels) and throttle to choose from.
To bring you down from top speed, the XP Trike has hydraulic disc braking and also includes a parking brake to prevent the trike from rolling away when parked on an incline. Hydraulic disc brakes are normally seen on faster and more expensive e-bikes, but the XP Trike’s massive weight capacity of 450 pounds (204 kilograms) means that it will likely need to make full use of those powerful hydraulic stoppers when fully loaded. Fortunately, the motor is rated for a peppy 65 Nm of torque to help get that weight rolling when filled to the max.
Features like the included parking brake and a new upgradable two-part seat with back rest are news to us since the teaser was shared earlier this week.
The trike rolls on a trio of 20″x 2.6″ tires that provide slightly more cushioning than most narrower street tires, perhaps offering a bit more off-road readiness than a purely urban e-bike, but not nearly as much as that provided by larger fat tires.
Since most riders will surely stick to manicured paths, the tire size is likely appropriate for the target market.
The introductory price of $1,499 will include a cargo package consisting of a front and rear basket, though it looks like that might just be a promotion for the launch. Pre-orders will open on February 17, with the XP Trike expected to begin shipping in April.
Wow, you can’t help but be blown away by the price here.
I’m also glad to see that the company has an upgradeable saddle and a parking brake since those were two things that appeared to be missing to me when I first saw the teaser earlier this week. The included rear cargo basket also adds a ton of value to this already value-packed deal.
I definitely hope the XP Trike can live up to its wildly high weight rating of 450 pounds (204 kilograms). I imagine the company had to test at well over that amount to be able to claim that number, but it just seems quite high.
The biggest difference between this e-trike and the more expensive e-trikes is that it looks like they started with a similar base to their XP 3.0 bike instead of redesigning a ground-up trike. That’s definitely a quick way to get to a viable product and keep costs down, but I’ll certainly want to test this one out myself to see how it handles. Trikes can feel tippy when the weight is higher up, and the rear wheels aren’t very wide, so I’ll be curious to see how it feels in the rear and how stable the trike is. The wheels are only 2 inches taller than on a RadTrike, but the cargo seems to be higher also.
I might have liked to see some suspension or a multispeed drivetrain instead of the single speed, but it’s hard to complain about leaving too much off when the price is this low. And at these slow speeds, I can get by with both no suspension and a single-gear ratio.
There’s no denying it – the XP Trike brings affordable electric tricycles to folks that can’t afford several thousands of dollars for the higher-end e-trikes. And it does it with some good components thrown in too. The last thing a retiree wants to be doing is spending time on their hands and knees adjusting mechanical brakes, so seeing components like hydraulic disc brakes makes me very happy. I am curious to see how they implemented a parking brake, though, since those can be tricky on hydraulic brake setups.
Here’s looking forward to hopefully trying one of these soon to see how it stacks up to other e-trikes I’ve tested, like the RadTrike.
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