Cycle car limits?

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Night Train
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Cycle car limits?

Postby Night Train » Wed May 27, 2009 2:14 pm

Does any one know what the limits are to a cycle car?

Just thinking of the constraints to get something through without recourse to IVA SVA etc. but still be road legal.
Was thinking of the limits for:
Weight (unladen and max gross)
Physical size
Motor power
Speed

Also being a woody person would there be any legal or regs problems with building a wooden monocoque or floor tub?

Thanks.

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MB
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Postby MB » Wed May 27, 2009 5:24 pm

I'm not sure there is a legal definition of a cycle car any more. Also, pretty much everything now needs to have some form of SVA test, although the test is a lot less rigourous for a quadricycle or tricycle compared to a car.

The nearest to a 'cycle car' is a quadricycle or tricycle. Unless you are thinking of an electric trike?

If you're thinking of a pedal-assisted tricycle, the whole thing needs to weigh no more than 60kg, have a maximum continuously output of 250 watts and have a top power-assisted speed of 15mph.

If you're thinking of a quadricycle, here is the definition of a 'heavy quadricycle' as laid down by the Department For Transport:

A four wheeled vehicle with a maximum unladen weight (ULW) of 400kg, (550kg for goods
vehicles), with a maximum net power of 15kw. The ULW is the weight of the vehicle in full working
order but less fuel (batteries if electrically driven) and loose tools.
My new book is out: The 2011 Electric Car Guide is available from Amazon and all good bookshops.

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Night Train
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Postby Night Train » Wed May 27, 2009 11:51 pm

Great, it was quadracycle I was looking for, couldn't remember the correct term to look it up.

So that means I should have 15kw to play with, which is quite a bit. 550kg plus batteries and payload.

Now I just need to look up the legalities of a self build.

Thank you.

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Jeremy
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Postby Jeremy » Thu May 28, 2009 6:11 am

All you need to do with a self build is ensure that you comply with the Construction and Use Regulations and the Single Vehicle Approval test requirements. These get progressively more arduous as weight and power increase.

There is a Light Quadracycle category too, which is classed as a three wheel moped. The snag is that weight is limited to 350kg, power to 4kW and speed to 45kmh. The test requirements are much simpler though!

Generally speaking, C&U compliance is pretty easy, just really a matter of using approved lights, horn, tyres etc, with things like lights being inside the proscribed dimensional restrictions (height above ground, spacing from edge of vehicle etc). SVA is reasonably straightforward, but has a few gotchas, like the need for radiused edges all over the place and some form of compliant security/immobiliser device.

This document is a good starting point for leads to the other things you need to know: http://www.vca.gov.uk/additional/files/vehicle-type-approval/vehicle-type-approval-for-motorcycles/vca039.pdf

There's no problem with making a wooden vehicle, or using wood for primary structure. It's been done a few times before, including on at at least two production cars that I know of, the early Marcos models and the Clan Crusader both used stressed ply in the chassis. There is no requirement in the regulations for any sort of structural testing or proof of structural strength, the only inspection is the SVA one, which will only look at obvious structural things, like the security and integrity of seat belt mounts.

Good luck with the project, it sounds fun.

Jeremy

duxuk
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Postby duxuk » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:13 am

You can build an EAPC, that is an electrically assisted pedal cycle with three wheels, optional pedal assistance, and a max power of 250W. The max. speed at which the motor can drive you is 15 MPH. The assistance must reduce up to 30MPH where it must cut off completely. Otherwise you need MSVA for a trike or quad up to certain weights. If your trike fits into the moped category then MSVA is much easier. I found a draft of the MSVA regs. via the Pembleton OC website. So if you Googled "pembleton" I'm sure you'll find it.

gwing
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Are you sure on EPACs?

Postby gwing » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:11 am

Hi Duxuk,
My understanding of electric bikes is that as well as the 250W limit (continuous that is, they all exceed that short term) the maximum speed they can legally provide assistance to is 15mph and that assistance has to be progressively ramped down from something like 12mph onwards.
Possibly there is a separate class that allows higher speed at the cost of licensing and insurance requirements but for electrically assisted cycles I think the limits are as above.
There is a huge amount of information on pedelecs/electric bikes at e.g.

http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/electri ... strictions

It may be worth asking the question on those forums also. There was apparently a deal of discussion around confusion with different UK and European based leccy bike legislation, don't necessarily believe the first thing you read :-) Any replies you get from 'Flecc' there *will* be the correct info.

Rgds,
Rob.

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MB
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Postby MB » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:00 am

duxuk wrote:The assistance must reduce up to 30MPH where it must cut off completely.


That information is not entirely correct. The motor assistance should cut out at speeds of over 15mph.

As you say, there are lots of conflicting opinions and advice out there. There is also a category for electric bikes with a top speed of - I think - 35km/h (22mph).

This was created because of the Swiss who had a more powerful electric bike than everyone else. These bikes are classed as a form of motorbike, however, and are subject to additional tests over an EAPC (although what they are, I don't really know). The vehicles also need to be taxed, insured and registered as powered vehicles.
My new book is out: The 2011 Electric Car Guide is available from Amazon and all good bookshops.


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