top of page

EV-Polaris Project

Wild looking yet out of date as an ICE, we follow the electric conversion and safety upgrades. It's not for all yet it is a LOT of fun!

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. It hasn’t gone well ever since Karl Benz patented the first three-wheeled car in 1885. Yes, the same guy who later co-founded Mercedes-Benz. In the 130 years since, automakers have tried different designs and moved the motors around, yet very few customers ever buy one.

We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: They’re just not real cars.

In the modern era, three-wheelers have made a good showing as alternatives to motorcycles. If your heart wants to head out for Sturgis but your head says it’s pretty sure you don’t have the balance and endurance you had at age 21, there are trikes for that now. Three-wheeled motorcycles like the Polaris Slingshot, the Vanderhall, and the Can-Am Spyder now show up on beautiful country roads all over America.

Motorcycle trikes are not cars. Not even close. You have to wear a helmet to ride one, and depending on what state you’re in, you might need a motorcycle rider’s license to operate your vehicle. To compete as a car, a vehicle has to work like a car, without any special skills required to operate it safely.

We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: They’re just not real cars.

A bunch of companies are trying to get off the ground with car-like three-wheelers, including Elio Motors, Arcimoto, and others. Each has its unique selling points, but let’s add another requirement to be a real car: You have to be able to stay dry inside. That leaves out the Arcimoto, which has open sides. If you live outside the sun belt, that’s not a year-round car. The Elio comes closer, but at the moment it’s designed to use a gasoline engine — a great selling point for sure, along with the $7,450 target price.

But if you’re buying an entirely new kind of statement car, why not take advantage of the low weight and slippery aerodynamics of a three-wheeler and make it an EV? Well get ready: Two companies plan to do exactly that.

Visionary Vehicles

Malcolm Bricklin is a legendary figure in the automotive industry. He’s the man who brought Subaru to North America, and he headed up his own eponymous car company in the mid-70s with a goal of producing a safer sports car. Now Bricklin’s back, with a new company called Visionary Vehicles and a new design he believes will disrupt the automotive industry — and finally get people into a three-wheeled EV.

“It’s going to be different because it is different,” he told Digital Trends. “Up to now three-wheelers have been cute at best. We decided to build a vehicle that is a beautiful looking, fabulous driving, very luxurious feeling, inexpensive three-wheeler.”

Bricklin’s two-passenger design is striking, with a futuristic sci-fi look and Lamborghini-style doors that scissor upwards.

“It does not cost more money to make it look good,” Bricklin insisted. “With electric, it doesn’t cost all that much money to make it ride good, especially if you have a light vehicle. It’s 1,500 pounds less weight than a four-wheeler. That’s 30 kilowatts I don’t have to put in to get the same performance. Right now, we go 200 miles between charges and do 0-60 in 5.5 seconds.”

The old obsession with building a safe car is still foremost in Bricklin’s mind.

33 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page