This disadvantage of an etrike is that you cannot overload them like you can a gasoline engine. The electric motors are not as forgiving. Plus most units do not exceed 100 kms in distance. We watched one motor burn up last February (not our brand) when it was pushed over it's limit on an extremely steep hill.
|ET3 is sexy at night|
Overloading the units with too many passengers also causea the distance to dwindle. Driving the units too fast or "goosing" them like a gas motor, will cause the batteries to discharge faster as well.
In most Philippine cities they have what they call boundaries or routes. My suggestion is to replace the gas trikes with electric ones and set the boundaries a little below the limits of the units. You just know these trike drivers are going to push the envelope.
|Mayor Edward Hagedoron ET3|
The other very important factor in conversion to electric trikes would be an extensive training period that should be required before the drivers take possession of the units. The drivers need to be taught the many variables in passsengers loads etc.
We have eletric motorcycles out in town and when they bring them in for repair, its almost always operator error. And worse, they have tried to fix them on their own, compounding the problem.
It's not just a matter of converting gas trikes. It's not that easy. It's also a matter of re-educating the drivers. Without doing this, I am afraid the conversion will be more problematic in the long run. And this, is a monumental task on it's own, given that most drivers have not even gone to high school.
Once so many hundreds are rolled out across the nation, there is the problem of parts and service. We intend to train people as we build so they will develop the skills to weld, build the fiberglass bodies, install and repair the motors etc. We will be working with the local technical institutions who are providing OJT's (On Job Trainees). At the end of this training they will be able to branch off on their own or we will hire them for the next batch of trikes and so on.
With the help of Micro Financing, they should be able to open up their own repair shops and provide any after market accessories each trike driver, I am sure will want to add on later. This would be a good template for the other cities or entrepreneurs to follow. Without proper training in the serivice area, the plan to replace all the gas trikes will create more problems down the road for the end user. I speak from my own experience.
As part of our public education, Dave and I do take the ET3's to the Baywalk on week end evenings when we can. We have loaded them up with 11 to 12 children and we take them up and down the length of the Baywalk. I can feel the burden on the units, but they still perform well. However, when driving home, the battery guage is inevitably much lower than had I just run to town on my own.
|Dave with 11 children on ET3|
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