Powered by a 750W geared hub motor and 48V battery. Lasts for 45 minutes and can provide impressive speeds up to 30 mph. Motor offers 5 levels of assistance. Equips storage basket, odometer, mirrors, and a parking brake.
A very expensive pick. Assembly can be challenging for novices. Weighs 125 pounds.
Top speed of 9 miles per hour. Extremely simple push-button and handbrake operation. Riders can drift and pull off exciting spins with ease. Extremely durable. Offers 40 minutes of ride time per charge. Weighs just 33 pounds.
Only for riders weighing 120 pounds or less.
Powerful by a 500W motor combined with a 7-speed gearbox. Top speed is 20 mph. Hydraulic brakes. Wears 2 storage baskets. Fat tires allow for moderate off-roading. The 48V battery offers 35 miles of range. Supports up to 320 pounds. Weighs 75 pounds.
Expensive. Assembly instructions are limited. No liner is included with the baskets, so small items can fall through.
Utilizes a 750W brushless motor and 48V battery. Weighs 88 pounds. Battery provides 27 miles of pure electric power. Wears fat tires. Supports up to 350 pounds. Features include 2 storage baskets, a USB charging port, LCD mileage indicator, and integrated lights.
Price is quite high. Uses mechanical brakes instead of hydraulic ones, which often require more maintenance.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Are you in the market for an electric trike? Many riders find these bikes fun and highly convenient as a mode of casual transportation. Electric trikes have all the benefits of electric bikes in terms of environmentally friendly power, but they are much more stable. This makes them easier to ride, particularly for those with any kind of reduced physicality.
Another bonus with a wider platform is that electric trikes generally have much more carrying capability. There are often useful baskets or boxes at the front, rear, or both. Electric trikes can vary greatly in their power, range, and other features. If you’re looking for a new ride for yourself or someone close to you, the choice may seem a bit complicated. We can help.
To learn more about electric trikes and make the most informed purchase possible, continue reading our buying guide. Don’t forget to check out the electric trikes we’ve spotlighted in this article, too.
Electric trikes can be divided into two main categories: those that are entirely battery powered and those that have a choice of battery power, pedal power, or a combination of both.
Either one is capable of getting you out in the fresh air, which is never a bad thing. Although three-wheeled electric scooters are the obvious choice for those with reduced strength, they are about much more than physique alone.
This type of trike is popular as a mode of personal transportation at outdoor and indoor events and in large businesses, such as factories and warehouses. Electric trikes are also popular at airports. Several models are designed to be used either while sitting down or standing up. Folding electric trikes are also a consideration for these purposes; some fulfill the legal requirements for “luggage,” so they can be carried in an aircraft and used on both ends of a trip.
In general, trikes with pedals have the potential to deliver greater range. That’s because whenever you’re pedaling, you’re not using the motor. They are also an excellent choice for personal exercise — even for those who are not as fit as they once were. Pedal-assist is an option that can still requires you to turn the pedals, even if you’re not providing all the energy required to move the trike forwards.
Performance is rated in volts for the battery and watts for the motor. You can look at volts as the maximum power available — like having a V8 motor — whereas watts is how long the power can be delivered — the “fuel tank” of your trike.
Lots of electric trikes on the market have 48-volt batteries, but wattage varies from 300 to 750 watts (the largest currently allowed by law). This gives you an indication of potential but not a direct comparison of power between models. Overall weight and available gearing also have an impact.
In real-world terms, these are more important that volts and watts. In theory, most states restrict the maximum speed of an electric trike to 20 miles per hour, though it’s not unusual for some models to exceed that. Range varies from a low of around 15 miles to as much as 45 miles — though the latter requires at least partial pedal assistance. If regular travel over extended distances is important to you, the range of your trike is a crucial consideration.
Charging time will be a consideration for those who use their electric trike regularly. Generally speaking, it can be anywhere from three to eight hours. Therefore, charging your trike overnight is a good habit to get into. Expected battery life is frequently quoted as the number of charges it can take. Durability is important because replacement batteries are not cheap.
A maximum passenger weight is sometimes given, and for safety reasons, it should never be exceeded. Even on portable folding electric trikes, this can exceed 200 pounds, and 300-pound maximums are not uncommon.
Some electric trikes — those without pedals — look very similar to mobility scooters at first glance, and the latter are usually quite a lot cheaper. However, the majority of mobility scooters have a top speed of only five or six miles per hour and a range of just a few miles. Electric trikes might look much the same, but performance is on a whole different level.
Despite the obvious differences between pedaled and battery-only electric trikes, most features are common to both.
If you regularly use your trike to go shopping, you will need a basket of some kind on your trike. Options range from small front-mounted baskets to large rear baskets and even fully enclosed boxes. The latter can usually be removed fairly easily if you just want to use your trike for fun or for getting around.
Some electric trikes can be folded down to fit in the trunk of your vehicle. Many are narrow enough to go through a standard doorway. At the other end of the scale are some fairly large vehicles — particularly the recumbent (feet forward) models. What you use your electric trike for and where you’re likely to keep it will play a big part in this decision.
A monitor can provide all kinds of useful information, from battery power remaining to speed, distance, and time. If a speedometer isn’t included, it’s worth checking to see if you could install one later. In general, the maximum legal speed is 20 miles per hour, but you might find yourself in areas with lower restrictions and knowing your exact speed can save you a ticket.
Gears on battery-only electric trikes work just like gears on cars, allowing you to select the best power for the situation, thus reducing power consumption.
They also have a big impact on flexibility with pedal-assisted trikes. The more you can pedal, the farther you can travel — and the more you can conserve battery power for when you really need it. A wide range gives you low gears for more efficient hill climbing and high gears so you can stretch your legs on flat areas. Some advanced pedal electric trikes provide different modes so you can choose how much assistance the motor provides.
Brakes are either disk, caliper, or drum brakes in design. Disk brakes are considered to be more efficient than calipers on pedal electric trikes. Electric-only versions usually have drums.
The cheapest electric trikes sell for somewhere around $650. That said, the majority of electric trikes are in the $2,000 to $2,500 range. We expect most people to find what they’re looking for here, as popular features like impressive ranges and high speed engines are common.
The more sports-orientated recumbent electric trikes and fat-tired commuter versions push the price up toward $3,000.
Q. What laws impact electric trikes?
A. In general, an electric trike comes under the same rules as an electric bike. In most states you need to be 16 years or older to operate an electric trike. The motor should be under 750 watts, and the top speed should be under 20 miles per hour on level ground. However, laws do vary, so we strongly recommend checking with your local state motor vehicle authority. It’s the only way to be sure.
Q. Can I ride an electric trike in the rain?
A. Because of how well the battery and motor are protected from bad weather, it shouldn’t be a problem. Some fat tire models are even promoted for their ability in rain, mud, or snow. However, front-wheel drive electric bikes can suffer from wheel spin in damp conditions.
Q. Do I need to wear a helmet on an electric trike?
A. Laws on this point vary from state to state. However, it’s just plain common sense to do so, regardless of the law. An accident at 20 miles per hour could easily prove fatal without a helmet.
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