As an adult (or big kid!), when was the last time you thought about riding a tricycle? There’s a good chance it has been a while! You may even ask, are electric tricycles for adults even a thing? Well, we have great news, they definitely are. If you are looking to buy an electric tricycle then be sure to consider these things before you buy.
The key is understanding how and where you are planning to ride your electric tricycle. Will it be for quick trips to the local shops for your groceries or a longer commute to and from work? Will you have lots of cargo to carry or not so much? Or do you want to travel with your best friend (dog), heck even a cat? Or a kid, or 2? Or your golf clubs. Or using it more as an industrial workhorse to haul your tools or pull a cargo trailer? Or just for fun?
Generally speaking, the bigger the battery the farther you can ride on a single charge. Our electric tricycles use lithium-ion batteries and range in size. Let’s take a look at the 48v 20ah battery on the eTc Cargo etrike and break it down.
A batteries capacity is how much energy it stores, usually described as Watt-hours (Wh). A Watt-hour is the battery voltage (V) times the amps (Amps) the battery provides over a fixed amount of time (often in hours). Voltage x Amps x hours = Wh. For most cases a higher amp battery over a lower amp battery is recommended.
Let’s start by determining the Watt Hours (Wh) for the eTc Cargo battery: 48v x 20amp x 1 = 960Wh. This means that the battery can deliver 960 watts over 1 hour. Next, dividing the Wh by the motor size will give an approximate length of time your battery will power the cargo electric tricycle on a single charge. In this case 960/500 = 1.92. When not using pedal assist the eTc Cargo battery will operate for approximately 1.92 hours per charge.
Combined with battery size, any electric tricycle motor is the most important element of your setup. A large motor combined with a small battery will mean that you won’t get as far on a charge as your battery will struggle to provide enough power to the motor.
If you live in an area that is hilly or the terrain is not all paved and level city streets then a larger motor will be more suitable. When it comes to climbing hills the 500 Watt motor on the eTc Cargo has more than enough power to get you up steep inclines and challenging terrain.
Canadian law restricts the maximum size allowed for any ebike or etrike motor. Power Assisted Bicycles (or tricycles) are defined by Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations as a separate category and do not require a license or special permit to operate. Power Assisted Bicycles are defined as either a two or three-wheeled bicycle with handlebars, operable pedals, a motor attached of 500W or less and a maximum speed of 32/Kmh on level terrain.
The higher the step through, the higher you have to lift your leg up to get onto your trike. So if mobility is an issue for you then consider an electric tricycle for adults that has a lower step through, like the eTc City or eTc Compact.
Getting on your etrike is a little bit different than getting on a traditional two wheel electric bike. Instead of swinging a leg over the seat you grab the electric trike handlebars with both hands, firmly applying the brakes, then you step through the frame between the seat and handlebars with one leg. From there you can plant a foot on a pedal if needed, then step up to the seat.
Folding vs Rigid Frame
Are you riding your etrike directly from your door or do you need to transport it to your starting point somewhere else like a local bike path? Or do you have limited storage space for your electric trike when you are not out riding?
You will probably want an electric trike that can fit into the back of a vehicle but don’t necessarily drive a pick up truck, so a foldable etrike is a great option. Hinged in the centre of the frame both the eTc City and eTc Compact fold up when not in use for easier storage and transportation.
While more compact for transportation and storage they are not necessarily any lighter so you still might need an extra set of hands to load up your electric tricycle into your car or SUV
Where can I ride my electric tricycle in Canada?
Currently 8 Canadian provinces allow electric power assisted bicycles and age restrictions vary. A vehicle license and liability insurance is not a requirement. eBikes and eTrikes are considered vehicles (like motorbikes and normal bicycles), and are subject to the same rules and regulations of the road as regular bicycles.
Canadian law states that power-assisted bicycles could be restricted from operating on some roads, thoroughfares, pathways or laneways by the local municipality, so always check with your local regulations if you are unsure. Ebikes and etrikes are generally allowed on the National Capital Commission's (NCC) Capital Pathway network. All Power Assisted Bicycles (bicycle and trikes) are generally allowed on dedicated NCC bike lanes.
Age requirements vary for each province as follows: Alberta - 12 years of age and older, British Columbia - 16 or older, Ontario - 16 and older, Manitoba - 14 and older, New Brunswick currently has no minimum age, Quebec - 14 and older.
If you are not sure what etrike is best suited for you, please contact us and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you find the right electric tricycle for you.