RAHT-Racer-2015-1

For some, commuting to work by bicycle can be a drag. There is the preparation time required to kit up, packing lunch, packing clothes and the motivation factor. Sure, you may be the type who is organized and carted the week’s clothes into work last Friday, but swinging a leg over the top tube when the temperature is below 32º Fahrenheit isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And, there’s the complication of lugging around a laptop or running errands during a lunchbreak.

However, for those who like to commute to work by bicycle, but are looking for similar benefits offered by an automobile, there may be a solution for you, RAHT Racer; Recumbent-Automotive-Human-Transport. It takes pedal power to a whole new level…

RAHT-Racer-2015-2

RAHT Racer is a three wheeled, fully enclosed, weatherproof vehicle, complete with roll cage, suspension, seat belts, air bags, headlights and trunk space.  Where the RAHT racer differs from most other alternative energy vehicles, is the rider provides pedal power, which is converted to electrical energy via the vehicle’s patent pending hybrid flywheel generator technology.

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RAHT’s pedals are directly connected to its generator, not the wheels, meaning all human power effectively extends the vehicle’s range and recharges the battery. At the same time, state of the art hybrid technology in RAHT amplifies pedal power, enabling the rider’s legs to propel the vehicle up to highway speeds. Alternatively, if the rider is feeling lethargic, all electric drive is available at the press of a throttle button. A regular household power outlet provides a full charge to the vehicle’s battery.

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The RAHT is more than just an alternative method transportation. Rather than sitting idle in traffic, you could kill a little wait time, and simulate a short climb. The on board computer can run workout programs, and display rider performance information such as power generated, range extension, calories burned, etc. GPS terrain sensors inform the vehicle if a hill is being climbed or descended, and adjusts pedal resistance accordingly, mimicking the feel of a regular bicycle. 

Specifications:

  • Top speed of approximately 100 MPH / 160 KM/Hr.
  • Range of approximately 50 miles / 80 kilometers.
  • Regenerative disc brakes at all three wheels.
  • Electric engine power rated at 26.8 HP / 20KW.
  • Li-on battery, rated at 9.2KWH.
  • Two seats, only the front seating position provides pedal power.
  • Curb weight of 570lbs / 258.5kgs.
  • Expected MSRP between US $35,000US and US $45,000.

RAHT-Racer-2015-5

The State of Minnesota provided company CEO Rick Kronfield with a grant to build the first RAHT prototype. Rick and his team are looking to continue development with the next version of RAHT with the help of Kickstarter. Planned changes in RAHT 2.0 include improvements to the chassis, drivetrain, safety systems, and tweaks to the aerodynamic body structure.

RAHT Racer Kickstarter

32 COMMENTS

  1. Swap the pedal nonsense out for an extra battery pack, make it a bit lighter, and it’s a pretty cool eco-friendly car alternative.

    Not sure how useful the pedal power ‘backup generator’ is if the motor is 20kW. The average cyclist might put out around 250W on a good day.

  2. Incredibly dumb. Human power is only a tiny fraction of the power of the electric motor so it adds almost no benefit. If the battery dies, try pedaling a 570lb machine. The human power component was added to make it seem more “green” when it is really just an electric car with an exercise bike inside. There are already electric cars with better range, horsepower,and more interior space at the price range mentioned (Ford Focus electric, for instance). And you don’t have to pretend to be pedaling them either.

    Now if you want to address weather concerns, try a velomobile. Unfortunately, velomobiles suffer from taking up too much space and are too slow to mix with car traffic under most conditions.

  3. The swiss have been building and selling “twikes” for 18y. They are a bit slower but have a range between charges of about 500km. This one fall short with only 50mi/80km. This is deceiving, especially in 2015. I would have expected at least 150 to 200km of range for this to be interesting.

  4. “human power effectively extends” – No. Converting human power to electric power with a generator and then back to mechanical at the wheel is not efficient, and cannot be, compared to direct power. “Bicycling Science” says it can only be 50-80% efficient, compared to 98-99% for an optimal direct drivetrain.

    One can say that in this case it doesn’t matter, when the human provides ca. 1% of the (max) power. The “pedal power” seems indeed just for show, even though the riders percentage of cruising power may be much higher.

    On the other hand, it does give the driver a workout, and it is vastly more efficient than most other cars on the road, even the electric ones (due to being much lighter). I’m sure it can be a good thing for the right drivers. But note that if your goal is weather protection, convenience and workout, then a velomobile seems a better choice. They are now 35-45 kg, compared to this thing at 258 kg. And they have much better aerodynamics than any bicycle, so on open roads in flat terrain you’ll be much faster than other cyclists (at the same power).

  5. I think it’s awesome but….

    -To market to bike riders wouldn’t something more like a velomobile be more appealing for the reasons mentioned by other people above.

    -To market to non-bike riders wouldn’t it be more appealing WITHOUT the pedal function?

    This really is an electric motorcycle.

    It looks incredible, although I wouldn’t buy one (don’t have need where I live).

  6. I have a velomobile and those could be interesting indeed. However they require elecrical assist to be fast enough for true high speed road but at the same time they aren’t very safe (very nervous direction) at high speed. Still this proposition is much too expensive and energetic efficient (20kw ?) probably due to wide front.
    Velomobile have to get better at safety too. head is badly placed most of the time.

  7. As someone who despises cars and petroleum, I thought this was a cool project. In less than five years we’ll have automated electric cars in progressive areas. I’d love to see that take over all cars – just have highways for automated cars and leave back roads to bicycles and other self propelled vehicles. Just like in parts of the Netherlands where people take a bike to and from the train station and don’t use cars at all. Imagine that, car free back roads, safe highways and no car exhaust pollution.

  8. The pedal assist in this thing seems to be just a rule beater. If it’s classified as an E-bike instead of an electric automobile, it gets around a lot of Federal and state safety equipment requirements.

  9. @Dave B: In that case the US safety equipment requirements are about as watertight as a fishing net. EU rules of max 250 watts means this thing could only be registered there as a car or motorbike (not sure which).

  10. It doesn’t make much sense on any level, but whatever. I doubt that anyone who actually coughs up $35-45k for this thing is going to ever bother pedaling it. The pedals really need to drive the wheels directly so you can at least get home when the battery runs out. Sitting in a 7-Eleven parking lot pedaling your guts out for two hours just so you can generate enough juice to get home isn’t going to go over well with anyone.

  11. I agree with Dave B. This is a regulation dodge, pure and simple. Anyone who would pedal it would just get a much cheaper velomobile. Anyone that buys one at that price will pedal it for the first few trips, then eventually get lazy and just rely on the battery power.

  12. If it so d*mn cool and next generation for all. Then build it with your own private funding sources and give back the taxpayers money in Minnesota.
    Good ideas well executed survive by their own merit, and don’t need handouts.

  13. Anything above 750 Watts is defined as a MOTORCYCLE. It has to meet motorcycle regulations and be insured and you’ll need a motorcycle license.

  14. It’s awesome when someone needs to vent their political spleen. Awesome. And this is exactly the perfect place to do that. Kudos on that move. If there’s something that the comment section at BikeRumor really needs, it’s political spray. Yessiree Bob. Cuz nothing makes for peaceful, good vibrations like people venting their political spleens.

  15. PSI-The article stated clearly it was funded with a grant from the State of Minnesota.
    I am certain 95% or more of all things on this site are privately funded enterprise. I salute anyone with the balls to do that. I abhor welfare for companies, especially when they a clearly risky ideas benefitting from PC ideology.

  16. Your vehicle isn’t efficient enough. 200 mile range aught to be possible at highway speeds. It is also a bit porky in weight. I think you are going in the right direction but your numbers are not good enough. Good luck and possibly the wheels are causing too much drag. Look at some other two 3 and 4 wheel solar cars and velomobiles. The Lit C1, Stella solar champion. Craig Vetter economy challenge.

  17. Here we go, range anxiety and safety being trotted out again. Bigger does not necessarily mean safer, a bigger vehicle is less maneuverable and so is more likely to have an accident in the first place.

    The main advantage if this vehicle is that it a narrow tracked vehicle. It already requires 1/4 the power of a typical “small car”. And also, you can fit twice as many of them in each lane, that’s a game changer.

  18. Wow! That is a steep price!! Yes, it is just an electric car pretending to be a bicycle. Yet another trike with better quality called Elio (yes, it is a trike car but for $6,500 and 84 miles a gallon) is a far better choice.

  19. The concept is not new. I thought of it more than a decade ago. I lacked the finances to make the prototype. The pedaling would be geared up to a ratio of 9:1. I was working on doubling that before installing it into the system. The Raht racer is heavier than I would want, but the concept is sound. Humans turn the generator, which feeds the battery, which powers the vehicle.

    BTW, the Elio still uses gas, and the production date has been delayed for the $6800th time.

  20. Finna be nice I wish the price was a lol lower u can get a fully electric arcimoto srk for under 11,000 your price is going to make u go down people would just buy a car for that price or the srk wit that being said I’m getting one of these mfs either way just remember what I said !

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