SOLAR TODAY Blog


>>Laps on the Solar Trike
May 4, 2008, 8:46 pm
Filed under: Electric fun, Transport

On the first day of SOLAR 2008 in San Diego, the SOLAR TODAY staff motored a few laps on the ASES Photon, the University of Florida’s slick, fast Solar Trike. It’s a recumbent tricycle with a hub motor on the rear drive wheel, Brooke on the University of Florida\'s Solar Trikepowered by a 48-volt, 10-amp hour lithium-iron phosphate battery. The 80 pound trike accelerates briskly to about 25 mph, and can cruise at 12 to 15 mph for about 20 miles, without pedaling. Pedal a bit to extend the range. The trick to maximize range is to pedal briskly when accelerating and relax in cruise.

The PV modules on top can be oriented to face the sun, and recharge the battery at about one amp. If you park it in the sun while at work, the battery will hold a full charge for the commute home.

The thing is incredible fun. It accelerates and rolls easily on pedal power alone. When you hit the thumb-button accelerator, it zips along quickly enough to evoke little squeals of joy from some drivers, and yips of surprised panic from overtaken pedestrians. Use the horn!

Cornering is go-kart quick but the narrow low-drag bike tires can skip a bit if you’re too aggressive.

University of Florida’s Nate Mitten said the parts are worth about $4,500. A less-expensive production version would make a practical commuting vehicle in any town with good weather and a well-developed network of bike trails.

In the photo, SOLAR TODAY”S Brooke Simmons grins as she peels off, headed for trouble, leaving UF’s Dan Robinson (blue tee shirt) in her dust. –Seth Masia

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7 Comments so far
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[…] Second item that will likely find its way into our household is a solar power assisted bicycle. PERFECT for helping you get up that killer hill that is really the only obstacle between you and your plans to bike to work a couple of times a week….  Well, so this one isn’t quite available at your neighborhood bike store, but we were assured that it could be cobbled together by a competent bike enthusiast who had the right equipment. Check out Seth Masia’s write-up of the bike along with a pic of one of Solar Today’s staffers taking the bike for a spin in the Solar 2008 demo area: University of Florida Solar Trike. […]

Pingback by Earth Rated Products » Blog Archive » Solar 2008 - San Diego

[…] Photon in Solar Today Follow this link Solar Today to read about the University of Florida ASES Photon.  Thanks to Seth Masia for the […]

Pingback by The Photon in Solar Today «

Great job Seth. As a member of the Photon team I can say you presented some key facts and still got across how fun it is to ride the Photon. Good stuff.

Comment by apalom

[…] under: Uncategorized Ever since SOLAR 2008 in San Diego, where I got to scare pedestrians with the electric Photon trike, I’ve been lusting after a fast e-bike. As we reported in the July/August issue of Solar […]

Pingback by >>Good clean fun « SOLAR TODAY Blog

Where can I buy a solar trike?

Comment by John L Meyer

You can’t, yet. But you could build your own. Start with an electric trike and hang the appropriate solar panels on it.

Comment by Seth Masia

That solar trike looks awesome! I’ll have to figure out how to build my own version with this as the inspiration.

Comment by Pure Energy Solar




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