Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

innovative EVs
Photo provided by Arcimoto

Clean Transport

Check Out These Cool, Weird, Innovative EVs!

Electric scooters, one-wheelers, mini taxi cabs — with so much enthusiasm about EVs these days, the newest entrants to the field are alternatives that appeal to smaller segments of the market.

We know that cities are working with transit agencies to transition their fleets to fully electric buses. People are lining up at dealers and clicking online to purchase electric cars. But we hear a lot less in the media about more outlandish, outlier, but fun EVs. Moving from R&D to prototypes and marketability, there are a whole lot of really cool — and occasionally weird — innovative EVs coming onto the scene.

Let’s check some of them out.

Ultra efficiency for fun and work: With the goal to move away from oversized, overpriced, polluting vehicles to right-sized, ultra-efficient EVs that nearly everyone can afford, Arcimoto offers small EVs built for one or two people to maximize efficiency. They’re looking to create the safest motorcycle-class vehicle on the road and offer the FUV (fun utility vehicle), the Deliverator, Rapid Responder, the Roadster, the Flatbed, and the Mean Lean Machine.

Aerial utility and urban air mobility: Interested in seeing the world from above? The Aero-X is a 90+ mph concept craft. Safety and reliability are important elements, so its enclosed fans, intuitive pilot interface, and redundant systems protect people on the ground from the hazards of exposed rotors. Aerofex ducted-fan technology manipulates the air-flow for thrust augmentation and control. The company has developed stable, stiff carbon-fiber ducts, and fans that are lightweight and tiltable — resolving the weight and drag issues usually associated with shrouds. The ducts on the Aero-X are over 6 feet in diameter and weigh less than 7 pounds.

Unicycle your way to local errands: With a 1,500 watt motor and a rechargeable battery, the Solowheel is a small, green, convenient “People Mover.” The gyro-stabilized electric unicycle is compact, easy to learn, lightweight, and portable. It has a built-in handle and fold-up pedals, making it easy to carry and store. With a maximum speed of 10 mph and a range of up to 10 miles, the Solowheel is a good alternative for errands and short commutes.

Another one-wheeled, electric-powered vehicle: Capable of operating at speeds up to 10 miles per hour, like a casual stroll, the Ryno is less than a motorcycle — in some ways. Outfitted with a full-size motorcycle tire and built in the US, it has a tech-y appearance and two high output SLA batteries that offer up to 15 miles of travel. (A lithium-ion option is available.)

3-wheeled scooter: With its stylish design, refined chassis, solid handling, and ample charge, the 100% electric Piaggio 1 has two versions of its MP3 Yourban — the 125 cc and the 300 cc, known as the LT. It has a range of 34 miles in ECO mode, a speed of up to 28 mph, a 1.4 kWh removable battery, and a whole bunch of smart details and functions. The combination of lightweight build, advanced lithium-ion battery, and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) function that recharges during deceleration means the Piaggio 1 delivers solid range. It also seems to be a good fit for female riders, due to its slick styling. Classed as a motor tricycle, a motorcycle license isn’t necessary to ride it.

3-wheel and low-slung: The Alpha Outrider carbon has a belt-driven electric drivetrain technology paired with a “state of the art planetary” gearbox for improved performance, durability, and capability. It offers a top speed of 45 mph where permitted for 4-series drive systems. You can even choose your battery — from 1512 watt-hours (20-60 mile range) all the way to 6048 watt-hours (80-240 mile range).

Self-driving electric-powered taxis in Israel: Not to be outdone by other countries around the world, Israel is adding 400 self-driving electric-powered taxis to the existing 640 startups already working in the autonomous segment of transportation. Permitted through a Transportation Ministry law, the taxis are part of the nation’s goals for zero road accidents and reduced emissions and congestion. Among the companies developing self-driving car technology is Intel Corp unit Mobileye, which is based in Jerusalem.

Case Study: How an E-Rickshaw Changed a Life

Monika Devi, age 35, is one of the first women to be driving one of the first e-rickshaws on the streets of Delhi. As she navigates the 3-wheeler amidst the whirl of city congestion, she’s part of the city’s efforts to reduce pollution in the world’s most air polluted capital.

Delhi’s air crisis is extreme because of what the Brookings Institute describes as a combination of smoke from thermal plants and brick kilns in the capital region, effluents from a congested transportation network, stubble or biomass burning by farmers in neighboring states, and the lack of cleansing winds that causes air pollution to hang over the city.

Devi’s e-rickshaw was subsidized by the Delhi state government, which has launched a fleet of 3,500 e-rickshaws. Unlike her male counterparts, who drive the standard yellow and green e-rickshaws, hers is painted a thick lilac and is designated strictly for female passengers.

“This city is unsafe for women, and, until now, they had no choice but to travel in an autorickshaw driven by a man, which can be scary at night,” she told the Guardian. “Plus, I hate the pollution and feel happy that I’m doing my bit by driving an electric rickshaw, which isn’t spewing out toxic fumes.” (The Guardian described Devi’s e-rickshaw as “a flimsy contraption on 3 wheels with no safety belts or protection and exposed to the fumes of other vehicles.”)

The Delhi government is promoting e-rickshaws to transition from fossil fuels to EVs. The main EV target segment has been the 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler categories. According to the Delhi transport department, sales of EVs increased by about 136% from January, 2021 – January, 2022 — or to 3,404 units.

Sales of 2-wheelers, for the first time, surpassed those of e-rickshaws. The electric motorcycle/scooter segment showed a jump in sales, too, contributing to 52% of the overall EV sales during the same period. The city’s first electric bus also began carrying passengers in January, and there’s a pledge to add hundreds more soon.

Devi’s biggest anxiety is the battery running out a long way from a charging point. Delhi’s transport minister, Kailash Gahlot, hopes to see the day when drivers are never further than 3 km from a charging point, but that will take some time. Until it happens, most women e-rickshaw drivers will avoid long journey that could leave them stranded on a lonely road.

Final Thoughts about Innovative EVs

If you’d like to peruse some cool and (mostly) battery-powered vehicles of today and the future, check out this YouTube video. The sky’s the limit!

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Carolyn Fortuna (they, them), Ph.D., is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavy Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla. Please follow Carolyn on Twitter and Facebook.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

Decentralization will promote decarbonization by deploying distributed energy resources, shrinking energy losses, and enabling energy storage.

Climate Change

Canada's pipeline to nowhere keeps getting worse and worse for Canadians. And it's not like anyone in Alberta is thanking the federal Liberals for...


We don't need to make 25 times as much biofuel, we need to make perhaps four or five times as much as we do...


Wind power is attracting more heavy hitters in the global shipping industry, including Sea-Cargo and Sumitomo.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.