Odyssey Electric Trikes - The Way Forward
We are evolving transportation with a vehicle design that gives you abilities you never had in your commute.
The Mk. 5
The Mk. 5 trike is legally a bicycle, but has the power and speed of a motorcycle. It has a 4kW electric motor capable of powering you through your commute and a removable high capacity battery pack that makes charging simple, yet versatile. It has options for on-vehicle storage capacity, options for lighting, options for gearing, and - we may not have mentioned it before- pedals!
The Mk. 5 represents the culmination of a five year development process. We ended up with an effective vehicle design that uses the best aspects of everything between a motorcycle and a bicycle, but has the stability of three wheels instead of two. We keep pedals on these trikes to make them street legal- in every state in the US.
As an emerging form of transportation, the trikes themselves need to have options. So, we make sure that riders have access to all the capabilities they need.
The Mk. 5 has the option to remove the battery pack bag from its sliding rack for charging and also has significant carrying capacity, in the form of saddle bags that can be attached to the side of the battery rack. Add that to the fact that you can park this trike at any bike rack, and you end at transportation that gives you the options you need to use it on a regular basis.
It's fast. That's the easiest way to describe the way the Mk. 5 operates. It accelerates quickly and has a fast top speed. Specs follow:
This is the fifth iteration of our trike prototype and we are proud of what the Mk. 5 has evolved into.
The model is based on a frame design with well-known operational characteristics, and is the culmination of a variety of new technologies that have matured to the point where they work, and they work well.
The Mk. 5 represents the logical evolution of transportation.
The Mk. 5 has a well-designed, sturdy frame which will take the abuse of racing, trail riding, and even skipping the trails entirely. We know this because we have been there. We tested our prototypes to the point of failure and we were surprised at what it actually took to cause damage.
In addition to superior frame strength, we integrate LiFePO4 batteries which are known for their safety compared to other lithium cells. When overcharged, the cells' electrolytes react to render the entire cell inert instead of bursting into flame like LiPO and other Li-ion cells.
We include disc brakes, which have demonstrated the ability to stop the trike in a hurry, and a bike flag and reflector for greater visibility.
Odyssey Trikes was founded by Dustin Herte and Ryan Bass, both of Slinger, Wisconsin. Dustin is out of college with a degree in International Business and another in Industrial Engineering, and Ryan is still in school, studying IT Networking. Besides racing and trail riding our trikes, our other interests include aviation, electrical engineering and nuclear physics projects, and gaming. Take a look at our bio's on our website: http://odysseytrikes.com/About%20Us.php
Five years ago, Odyssey built its first trike as a side project in an airplane hangar in the neighboring town of Hartford, Wisconsin, as a high school business project.
Our initial prototype looked relatively similar to our latest prototype, but had its share of issues. Due to the nature of our steering mechanism on our home built frame, we had a stability problem that presented itself starting at 10 mph and prevented us from surpassing 30 mph.
We also had some issues with the battery system. We originally used lead-acid batteries, which are known for being inexpensive but having a poor power to weight ratio.
Later iterations of the trike improved on stability, battery range and general utility. The Mk. 2 was a marginal improvement.
The Mk. 3, however, added a great deal of stability. It was only capable of going about 25 mph, but we incorporated a lithium-based battery that gave us the range we wanted. Battery problems eventually plagued this model, and we moved on to the Mk. 4- which was a serious improvement in speed and power.
We took a critical look at these improvements and designed the Mk. 5. It ended up being the perfectly engineered vehicle we needed!
Once our Kickstarter campaign ends we'll be purchasing all our components and materials. The production, testing, and shipping processes will take place simultaneously. Our goal is to manufacture, test, and ship one trike every other day until our orders are fulfilled.
Gear that will accompany our trikes will ship out with those trikes, but other gear for other tiers of our campaign (shirts, bumper stickers, manuals) will ship out in May.
Our production process starts with some pre-built frame components and some raw materials. For the course of this production run we'll be machining all components (torque arms for the rear wheel, axle and dropout components, some brake and steering parts) while we wait for our outsourced parts to arrive.
We spend the rest of our time before our final assembly modifying our outsourced components as they arrive.
Then, we do the final assembly. If we have all the parts lined up, we can generally assemble one trike per day. This isn't always the case, but we make sure we allow ourselves plenty of time on our schedule to get through the assembly process.
Last, each trike will be test driven and later driven directly to our shipping center. There it will be crated and sent to its backer.
We can also ship our trikes via ocean freight. You will be in charge of picking your trike up from customs, and holding charges will be applied if your trike is left there too long.
Why We Need This Campaign
We believe we have an outstanding product that can become an integral part of people's lives. Kickstarter is the perfect channel to get this initial push we need to get our business's doors open. This campaign will help spread the word regarding what our trikes can do- how they can better your life- and how we can change the standards of transportation.
Risks and challenges
The first thing we'll have to do is decide on a shop location. We like the airport, but it's not necessarily a good fit for building trikes. A future location is up in the air, but we have some good options at the moment- including the possibility of building a mobile shop and being able to tour with it.
Next up, we'll be retooling one of our CNC machines for the build process. Nothing we haven't done before, but it's one of those things that can throw a wrench into our plans. If we can't machine our parts, we can still weld up what we need in-house.
One of our biggest immediate goals is to diversify the sources of our products. We know where to get the parts we can’t make, but we want more options- and we want to be able to produce even more of these parts ourselves.
Moving forward, one of our intermediate goals is to become energy and materials independent. We will be removing our shop from the power grid by integrating solar power with a few other technologies including gas generators and wind power. We already have the ability to melt down and recycle many metal components into blocks that we machine into new parts, but we want to expand on the philosophy of being completely independent.
We also will be aggressively experimenting with new technologies to integrate into our trikes. Our main focus at the moment is on new battery chemistries that offer longer ranges, lower costs and less manufacturing waste. With regards to these technologies, we prefer a very educated approach, so we actually experiment in-house with electrochemistry, electrical and mechanical engineering concepts to verify what we learn from outside sources. If there are claims for technologies out there, we’ll be among the first to verify claims and utilize those benefits.
Our biggest long term goal is the mastery of 3D printing. Our company has foundations within industries ranging from aviation to CNC manufacturing, and among the lessons we learned from these industries are the great benefits offered from being able to prototype in-house. We will be expanding on our 3D printing capabilities until we can print frames from scratch. Our 3D printing department is in its infancy now, but we are confident we will be able to innovate until we incorporate it into our production lines themselves.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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