When people think of electric trikes, they tend to conjure up images of traditional delta-style trikes with two wheels in the back. But tadpole-style trikes, also known as reverse trikes, are much more stable in turns. They’ve generally been quite pricey, but the recently unveiled TerraTrike Charge is helping pull those prices down to more affordable territory than the bike store recumbent e-trikes that cost several thousand dollars more.
This isn’t TerraTrike’s first e-trike, not by a long shot. The company was one of the first on the scene with an electric trike back in 2014.
More recently, TerraTrike’s EVO recumbent tadpole trike made waves in the industry. That e-trike uses a stable and maneuverable platform with a reclined seating position for ultimate comfort. But the sophisticated design and Bosch drivetrain kept the price fairly lofty at around $5,000.
Now the company has revealed the new TerraTrike Charge at a much more attractive price of $3,249.
The Charge still uses a recumbent tadpole trike design, letting riders make quick and agile turns without feeling like they’ll tip over. But the Charge also adopts more price-conscious design notes like a rear hub motor to replace the pricier Bosch mid-drive setup.
It may look like a fun little three-wheeled go-kart, but don’t expect the 57-pound (26 kg) TerraTrike Charge to fly off the line or take the checkered flag.
That 250W hub motor from Promovec carries a modest 43 Nm torque rating, which is far from the highest performance we’ve seen in e-bike motors.
The 374 Wh battery is also on the lower end of the scale for battery capacity. There’s no word on official range, but the lack of a hand throttle means that efficient pedal assist is your only option and should result in decent range. The 8-speed transmission should make pedaling pretty easy, as will that electric assist motor.
The trike’s design puts recreational and leisure riding front and center, meaning the humble performance is in line with the type of riders seeking out recumbent tadpole trikes.
As TerraTrike sales and marketing director Marshall Randall explained:
This new Charge is going to open doors for so many riders wishing to extend their riding range with the addition of e-assist and the comfort a tadpole trike brings. We’re seeing a number of new offerings in the more upright delta style e-trikes, where you have two wheels in back, which is great, but we’re confident that riders wishing for a bit more comfort, stability and performance will fall in love with the benefits of the Charge.
A major advantage of tadpole recumbent trikes is that they are designed to be comfortable for all body types, and especially for those riders that don’t enjoy the prospect of sitting on a small bicycle seat with an upright ride posture.
In fact, the seating position of the Charge puts the rider closer to the center of the wheel axle and lowers the overall center of gravity of the bike/rider combo, helping to increase stability over upright e-trikes.
Compared to delta trikes with two rear wheels, the tadpole design with two front wheels is much more stable in corners and helps reduce or remove that tipping feeling when turning sharply.
And while tadpole trikes normally cost a pretty penny, Randall is proud of the Charge’s lower entry price compared to the rest of the industry.
I’ve never been so proud of a price-point trike. People of all ages and abilities can now enjoy the comfort, safety and just the pure fun of an e-assist trike at a lower cost of entry than we’ve ever been able to offer.
Electric trikes are coming into their own this year as several new models hit the market. Addmotor recently upgraded its M340 electric trike and Rad Power Bikes entered the market with its first-ever consumer-facing electric trike, the RadTrike. Wilder designs like sidecar e-bikes are even making electric trikes fun and edgy for younger audiences.
E-trikes are of course not a new format, as evidenced by TerraTrike’s work in the space since 2014. But electric trikes are now finally getting the attention they’ve long deserved as alternative e-bike platforms that offer advantages in stability, cargo capacity, and accessibility.
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