If we want ebikes and light evs to become a popular form of transport then we've got to come up with a design which is tailored towards commuters. Short trips to and from work account for a very large proportion of all journeys and many of these take place in urban areas where pollution from gas vehicles is an unpleasant and unhealthy aspect of city life.
I think that the tadpole tilting three wheeler design is the way to go. Two wheels up front mean it's harder to skid the front wheels when cornering which is a lot worse than letting the back slide out a bit and also allows for quicker breaking. Four wheels adds weight and rolling resistance which for a bike needs to be minimised and if you want more than 750W (200-250W in the UK ) then that adds a load of red tape as it would be classed as a car rather than a motorcycle or moped which are subject to a lot less rules and regulations in order to get them registered. Although if the vehicles speed was restricted it could probably be classed as a neighbourhood vehicle.
Here's an example of a tadpole TTW. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNAipmCKj2M&feature=user
Then there's the Piaggio mp3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjPEu0n2Kbc
I'd like to know the exact stipulations of their patent to see if there's room for us to create an open source design for a narrow tilting tadpole three wheeler.
Then again if you just want a kick ass ebike then you could probably do a lot worse than this frame on ebay
, if you can afford the price tag. Lots of room for batteries in the frame triangle there.