Gallery: TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: The 80mph TRIAC Goes on Sale!


Although we love our public transportation here at Inhabitat, we cannot deny the allure of a zero-emission vehicle. We’re always excited to see more sustainable transportation options for consumers, especially when they go from concept to completely available. The TRIAC, designed by Green Vehicles, is a three wheeled highway capable plug-in electric vehicle that is ready to achieve up to 80mph on the open road. This fun, fast, eco-friendly ride is set to go on sale this summer!

The TRIAC is essentially a large, covered trike. The 20kw electric motor can achieve a very reasonable 80mph, and will take you on travels up to 100 miles on any given charge. It takes about 6 hours for its lithium-ion battery to recharge fully and, as with most electric vehicles, it comes with a regenerative braking system. The package for all of this three-wheeled fun runs about $20,000 dollars.

+ Green Vehicles TRIAC


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  1. A Sporty and Affordable... August 29, 2008 at 8:44 am

    […] read more | digg story […]

  2. deedubya August 7, 2008 at 3:20 am

    Will they have financing available!!

    I desperately need a vehicle and don’t want to pay for gas. I so want one of these!!

    Also, I live in missouri, would it be possible for the battery(ies) not to die/explode because of the cold winters??

  3. elepski July 29, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    20k is a good price.. not great.. but good… that’s cheaper than some high end cycles….

    And using the excuse of “But, it requires a motorcycle endorsement”.. is lame.. it’s a small matter to get one.. and allot of states have exclusions for motorcycles of this type. A special endorsement may not be needed.

  4. xenochem June 3, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    This is way to expensive for this to make it in a real world market. Another problem is that this is not a car but a motorcycle under most state laws. Unless you have a cycle license you can’t even drive it.

  5. DanBailiff June 3, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I still think $20k is too pricey for a new vehicle that small. I love the idea, but your money would be better spent on a used hybrid or gas-efficient vehicle that could actually carry more than just 2 very skinny people. Granted, it’s intended to be a short-commute vehicle, but $20k makes it a bit pricey for such a narrow role.

  6. DigitalMind June 1, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Some people forget that not the WHOLE world runs on coal power plants. I’m in Quebec, Canada. My power is generated by water. Except for the flooding of area’s where damn’s are built, that’s VERY clean and emission free power.

  7. An Electric Car You Can... May 27, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    […] little number has been getting some good press lately (see EcoGeek and Inhabit), and for good reason: it’s the first commercially available electric vehicle with a price […]

  8. kat May 26, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    i just gotta say, if your head hitting an airbag broke your nose, think of what your head hitting the windshield or steering wheel would do.

  9. WBrooke May 21, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    To Chas and VirtualRichard,

    It is true that most of our electicity is generated with coal, and “electric” vehicles essentially are “coal powered” vehicles.

    However, that’s not the end of the story, and electic vehicles offer a lot of advantages.
    Firstly, the efficiency of one, big power plant is much higher than having millions of tiny, mobile power plants (vehicle engines). Vehicle engines rarely operate in their highest efficiency range since the speed of the car is constantly changing, while a power plant is tuned to operate at a constant speed at its highest efficiency. Also, the cumulative friction of millions of vehicle engine pistons is much much greater than the internal friction of a power plant turbine.

    Secondly, the electicity grid can be fed by many different sources. Wind capacity is growing all the time, as is solar, biomass, low-impact hydro, and many other renewable sources of power. As green regulations come on line, and as electricity consumers demand cleaner power, the electicity mix is (slowly) shifting to cleaner technologies. If you are in a deregulated electricity market, you can talk to your electicity provider about green tariffs where you pay a small premium to purchase “green” electricity. Then you could say that your electric car was driven 100% by wind power. As the market for “alternative” energy heats up, the electicity grid will become cleaner.

    Thirdly, having all of the emissions for driving come from a central power plant gives us the opportunity to deal with those emissions at a point source in a stationary setting. It is extremely difficult to scrub and treat vehicle exhaust, simply because the vehicle is in motion. And just think of it…we have all of these vehicle engines chugging away spewing noxious gases directly into where we work, live and play. Think how much cleaner the air in our cities would be if we all drove electric cars. Sure the emissions are just shifted to the power plant, but the emissions would be outside of the city, the toxins could be scrubbed from the exhaust, and even the carbon dioxide could be sequestered (or dealt with in other ways).

    Fourthly, with central power stations, you have the opportunity to combine cycles for much greater efficiency. Specifically for gas turbines, the hot exhaust from the turbine cycle is used to make steam for a steam turbine, thus generating more electricity from the same amount of fuel. The same opportunities do not exist for millions of individual vehicle engines.

    Fifthly, you can generate green electricity at home with solar panels or home wind turbines, so if you have the talent to set up such a home power system, you would never have to purchase fuel for personal mobility ever again! That’s pretty attractive.

  10. Chas May 21, 2008 at 11:52 am

    yes, EV’s use electricity that comes from a coal burning power plant but the amount of emissions created by the powerplant inorder to recharge the vehicle is insugnificant compared to emissions of a cumbustion engine. the thing you need to keep in mind is that they are producing electricity to handle the daylight load levels. at night when everyone sleeps & it’s cooler outside the electric demand is a fraction of the daytime demand but the generators are still pumping daytime levels. this means that there is a huge amount of available overnight electricity without producting any more emissions than would otherwise be produced. if everyone on the planet switched to electric vehicles and they recharged them overnight, there would be absolutely no increase in power production than current levels but the planet would be much better off.
    the ideal sulution is for everyone to have solar panels or wind turbines so that you could recharge the vehicle off grid.

  11. VirtualRichard May 21, 2008 at 4:41 am

    Sorry to burst your bubble but electric cars are absolutely not ‘zero emission’. Electric cars use electricity. Electricity comes from power stations. Power stations, let me tell you, have a whole lot of emitting going on! All you are doing is switching the emissions somewhere out of mind so any feelings of immediate guilt are assuaged.

    If everyone on the planet switched to using electricity for transport, just think what that would mean for electricity supplies. The only way to sustain it properly would be to go nuclear. There just isn’t enough alternative energy sources out there to sustain millions upon millions of electric vehicles…

    Think about it. An electrical future won’t work unless we all go nuclear. That really sucks, non?

  12. Xencer May 20, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Looks like a death trap to me, I wonder if you can go faster than 8 mph while turning without flipping it.

  13. 4abtrlife May 20, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    I want it and I want it now!

  14. Nick Gallegos May 20, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    @ Chas, Obviously you have never been in a car accident with a modern air bag. I am a male that is well built and had an accident in my 2005 Mini Cooper S. It bruised my chest, broke my nose and gave me chemical burns on my left arm. I thought the car was on fire and jumped out and ran over 30 feet before I stopped to see if it was going to blow up. I could have been hit by another car at that point, but was lucky. I have also been in a head on collision with a garbage truck in a 1971 VW Carmann Ghia, and had a slightly bruised left shoulder. Airbags don\’t mean safety. Do you have any idea what that chemical mix is that they use to propel that bag at you? Why don\’t car companies use deflection methods for energy? I once saw a video of a guy that made a seat that would bounce up during an impact. He used a 70\’s station wagon and hit a concrete wall doing 40MPH with no seat belt on. He walked away without a scratch. I also know the original inventor of the chemical device in air bags and he said they should have never used it. Also, maybe you need to learn how to drive in snow like a reasonable person. I have driven a 49.7cc scooter for over 2 years in Colorado weather without problems. Do you work for GM or Ford?

  15. Niggertits May 20, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Zero emmissions? where does the electricity come from, fairydust?

  16. DeadPanDan May 20, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    They probably ditched the airbags for cost reasons. But if you’re willing to ride a motorcycle, and you don’t want to get wet in the rain…

  17. Kenny May 20, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    but my 200cc lifan motor cycle looks better, gets about 80mpg, can take plenty of abuse, hwy capable, and cost $2000….. I may consider buying the triac if they can bring down the price to $8000-$10000? Am I asking for too much? For $20000, I would rather get a mini that gets 40mpg and keep my bike for short commutes.

  18. tehrooni May 20, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    No need for airbags because when one of these gets run over by a Hummer, no airbag can make a difference (hehehe).
    I am keeping my Hummer for a few more years. Sure, the gas price at the pump is outrageous, but nothing comapres to the powerful feeling I get when I am ramming that baby down the road. I just hope not to run over a lot of these elctric mosqitos….

  19. FlatGreg May 20, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Chas – trikes classify as motorcycles, which don’t require airbags. The 4 wheeled versions they sell are designated “NEVs” and are speed limited to 35mph, which is how they get around the no airbag rule.

  20. Chas May 20, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    it is wierd to read that this vehicle and the other variations don’t have air bags. I wonder why that is? Is it simply a decision to eliminate every ounce of extra weight that they can? Don’t think I agree with sacrificing safety for a little more performance.
    One of the biggest stigmatisms about the introduction of micro-cars into the American market is a fear of what will happen if they are hit by a huge road-hogging SUV. My guess is that if that happens….your toast.

  21. Chas May 20, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    LIke other vehicles I’ve seen (i.e. Aptera), I don’t think this vehicle can handle winter driving. Hopefully one of these EV’s, that are coming out now, can handle driving conditions in places other than sunny California. My lease isn’t up for a couple years. At the rate these are coming out I’m optimistic that there will be some reasonably priced options on the market by then.

  22. Brian Lang May 20, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Sweet! But how will it handle in Winter?

  23. Scott May 20, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    And it seats 2!

  24. DeadPanDan May 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Cute, sporty, and reasonably priced. There’s a market for this.

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