What has three wheels, three motors, and seemingly endless possibilities? The Dolas Defender 250 electric bike. It may be a three-wheeler, but just don’t call it a tricycle. It’s something of a rollerblade to the rest of the rollerskates of the trike world, fitting all three of its wheels in a single track.
That’s just one of several clever and sometimes strange engineering choices found throughout this German electric bike.
Not only does the bike feature three wheels in a row, human-centipede style, but each wheel also houses a hub motor. I’ve seen interesting trikes and multi-motor e-bikes, but nothing like this before.
European e-bike laws aren’t as liberal as those in the US that allow 750W of power. In Europe, e-bike motors can only provide 250W of power. But Dolas seems to have found a workaround by simply putting three 250W motors on the bike for a total of 750W of power. Whether or not that’s totally kosher is a question for the regulators. For this reporter, it looks like a pretty fun ride!
And this isn’t just some rendering or concept bike, either. The company has actually built these, and the video evidence speaks for itself! Check it out in action below.
Two of the biggest use cases for the Defender appear to be sharing rides tandem style with a second rider and for use in heavy-duty cargo-carrying roles. Or both!
In fact, most cargo e-bikes can carry people or gear in the back, though not both simultaneously. But the Defender is so long that it can fit two riders and still has room for a cargo basket in the rear.
With up to 250 kg (550 pounds) of weight capacity, it seems purpose-built for exactly that dual use.
Priced at €4,650 (US $5,100), the Defender is actually not that much more expensive than many other German e-bikes. And that’s with not just three motors, but also a surprisingly large 48V 53Ah battery pack featuring 2,544 Wh of capacity. That’s around 4-5x the size of an average e-bike battery pack.
The company says that translates into up to 180 km (112 miles) of range, though by that point you’ll probably be ready for a saddle break anyway.
There’s no word on if this model will be coming to North America, but perhaps next time we’re in Germany for Eurobike we can try to take a spin on this interesting-looking trike… err, inline bike?
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