TerraTrike has a model being offered with an electric motor at a lower price than their previous offerings. They named it CHARGE. This time they went with a small rear hub motor. It is only 250 watts of power .
It has an 8 speed drive train and the trike weighs a hefty 57 pounds (26 kg). The price is $3249. It comes with a 374 Wh battery and no hand throttle. This model comes with direct steering.
Quite frankly one could do better just buying an e-motor conversion kit. It can be installed on any trike and for $700 to $1000 or even more … mainly depending upon the battery purchased … one could have a much better e-motor system and a lot more power. And a hand throttle would be provided. I have had several e-motors on my trike ranging from 350 watts to 2000 watts. And I have always had a hand throttle … something I would not want to be without. The e-motor I have now is the lowest cost but the most powerful and I really like it.
Here is a video of an e-motor conversion kit added onto a TT Rambler. As you can see it has more to offer than the factory installed system.
HERE is an article on the TT Charge.
There is only one positive thing I can say about this model. Buying a trike from the manufacturer with an e-motor system installed on it means the manufacturer stands behind it. If one installs an e-motor conversion kit they are pretty much on their own. That’s ok by me however. I have been doing fine for years all on my own. My system has been quite reliable and I have been able to …
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6 thoughts on “TERRATRIKE CHARGE”
I base my statement on two things. A well known company which does tests of various e-bikes and writes reports on them as well as create videos stated that the 250 watt e-bike they were testing didn’t have enough power to climb a hill. The second thing I base my statement on is my own experience. I have a reostat I can use to adjust my motor’s wattage output. If I turn it down to only 250 watt it only creeps along and is not capable of climbing any hill.
and yet there are a multitude of Youtube channels showing road legal emtbs climbing all manor of hills e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5bknbXFxjM
Then they must be producing more than 250 watts. Most motors do produce more than they are advertised at. I once had a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T with a 426 Hemi. Chrysler rated them at 425 hp for insurance purposes. My engine produced 555 hp on the dyno at Grand Spalding Dodge in Chicago where I bought it. They said it was the highest hp they had ever tested to that date and they sold a lot of them. That has nothing to do with e-motors, but I am sure it happens with them as well. My 350 watt BionX motor produced about 1300 watts peak.
“Then they must be producing more than 250 watts” err yes, that is what I tried to say in my first reply but equally all the bikes used in the tests by GMBN channel are UK road legal 250W motor 25kph limited pedelecs unless clearly stated. QED, so the 250W motor in the Charge trike might not be “about worthless in my opinion”.
I checked and my own 250W 48V pedelec motor and the controller peaks at 16 amps which according to Georg Ohm is 768W peak power. The speed sensor not only limits the top assist speed but also acts as a limit on continuous power.
I believe that in many of your states it is legal to run an ebike at 20 m.p.h which I would think is within the capability of a 250W r.m.s system. The disadvantages of greater speed include lower range for a given battery and greater wear on brakes and suspension.
“250 watts is about worthless in my opinion”
I beg to differ! I have a 250W rms powered motor fitted to my trike and also have two similarly powered upright bicycles. All are legal to ride anywhere in the UK and the EU as the power assist ceases at 25 kph (15.5 mph). With the motors I find I can ride further than I can unassisted; with my range increasing from 35 miles unassisted to 60 miles assisted. The motor is especially useful climbing hills and riding into headwinds and all three have enough torque for the task.
I would also suggest that motor rated power is a poor way of assessing how useful a motor may be. The power ratings listed should be root mean square (r.m.s) values but I’m sure some are listed as peak power. A better method of assessing system power is looking at the power handling capability of the motor controller and multiplying the figure with the battery voltage.
For example on my trike the controller is rated at 10 amps continuous with a voltage of 48 volts. This suggests that the max continuous power of my 250 W motor is in fact 480 W with the limiting factor being heat and thermal shut down. These numbers are supported by the fact that the same motor may be purchased with different power ratings stamped on the side yet all models share common internal windings.
Finally and in my opinion there are sound reasons why most countries have laws requiring driving licenses, insurance and safety inspections of vehicles capable of higher speeds on our respective countries roads.
I agree, a 250 Watt motor is useless in my opinion. That is unless you only ride about 10-15 at a time. Plus not enough power to get you up and moving and to go up the steeper hills. I have installed 4 Bafang 750Watt motor kits on my four trikes and it works very well and I get 35 – 50 Miles per charge. There are other motor kit options but Bafang has performed well for me. On two of my trikes we just past 5000 miles on same motor and battery. The battery has just started to show some wear but still get over 25 mile on those batteries.