Meet The PSA-Designed Plug-In Hybrid Electric 3-Wheeler

JAN 6 2018 BY MARK KANE 26

The “Efficient Urban LIght Vehicle” (EU-LIVE) European consortium unveiled a plug-in hybrid 3-wheeler that in fact has four wheels.

There is four wheels

The €6.7 million project, sponsored by the European Commission, was conducted by 12 partners, lead by PSA Group.

The vehicle falls into the L5e-category and is equipped with two in-wheel electric motors in the rear wheels (developed by 2 consortium partners Elaphe and Brembo), as well a 31-kilowatt single-cylinder petrol engine.

The L5e denomination refers to the 3 wheels’ vehicles one can use at a speed above 50km/h and on any road.

The 48 V battery system was provided by Samsung SDI, but the press release didn’t disclosed capacity or range in all-electric mode (up to 70 km/h or 43.5 mph).

Top speed stands at 130 km/h (81 mph), while total range is 300 km (186 miles).

“Positioned between the two-wheel and four-wheel segments, it is equipped with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, two electric in-wheel motors and a petrol internal combustion engine. In leading the research and manufacturing phases for the new demonstration vehicle, Groupe PSA has expanded its design expertise beyond the automotive industry.

The plug-in hybrid 3-Wheeler was developed by the “Efficient Urban LIght Vehicle” (EU-LIVE) European consortium lead by PSA

Thanks to its silhouette and hybrid technology, the new EU-LIVE electrified mobility solution can be used on all roads and offers drivers a wide array of benefits:

  • Suited to both roads and motorways, all it requires is a driving licence.
  • Its tilting mechanism offers superior handling, making the vehicle as easy to drive as a three-wheel scooter. This and the roll-control technology account for more than half of the 13 patents filed by Groupe PSA. The system notably makes use of hydraulic components and hydropneumatic suspension.
  • The vehicle runs in zero-emission mode at speed of up to 70 kilometres per hour using two rear electric in-wheel motors, developed by 2 consortium partners Elaphe and Brembo. The 48-volt electric battery – designed by Samsung SDI – can be recharged using regenerative braking technology. When driving on inter-urban roads at speeds of between 70 and 130 kilometres per hour, the PEUGEOT SCOOTER 31-kilowatt single-cylinder petrol engine takes over the propulsion. The light vehicle has a total range of 300 kilometres and a top speed of 130 kilometres per hour.
  • The vehicle’s small footprint (2.4 metres x 0.85 metres) and rotating doors facilitate perpendicular parking and free up road space. As well as an enclosed, heated cabin, the vehicle also features seatbelts and an airbag, making helmets, gloves, waterproof jackets and other protective gear unnecessary.

One of the EU-LIVE consortium’s main aims is to develop common powertrains that can be used for a variety of L-category vehicles in order to achieve economies of scale.”

Carla Gohin, Senior Vice President, Research and Advanced Engineering said:

“Groupe PSA has committed to protecting individual freedom of movement. EU-LIVE is an illustrative example of it. This new electrified light vehicle allows an individual, safe and sustainable mobility thanks to its zero-emission mode. We are proud to take part in this European project with all our partners”.

The plug-in hybrid 3-Wheeler was developed by the “Efficient Urban LIght Vehicle” (EU-LIVE) European consortium lead by PSA

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26 Comments on "Meet The PSA-Designed Plug-In Hybrid Electric 3-Wheeler"

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Money well spent ?
This single seater measures:
“The vehicle’s small footprint (2.4 metres x 0.85 metres)”

Therefore it is Half as Smart as a Smart fortwo.

THe 451 smart fortwo is 2.5 meters x 1.5 meters.

Will it sell for half the price and travel twice as far?

If you look it has a rear headrest and can accommodate two for half the width of a Smart.

Was supposed to be the Efficient Urban Light Electric Affordable Vehicle for Europe project, but after Brexit the EU LEAVE project became a bit controversial.

Boondoggle by the given info.
Such a small vehicle (driver only, no much leggage space) is highly unlikely to be used for long-distance travel.
For (sub)urban use, no need for 300km range so this should be a BEV. The extra weight, complexity and cost of a PHEV system (and acc. to the description, it’s a true parallel-hybrid PHEV, not a serial-hybrid with a REx engine as generator only) are completely unnecessary.

As for dual-wheel tilting, yes, such scooters exist. The fancy dual-wheel setup (has to handle steering+suspension) is incredibly heavy, complex and expensive to build and maintain. Again, completely unnecessary.

Dual wheel tilting is needed for safety with an enclosed vehicle otherwise round a corner and hit a slick spot and its down. Also required for parking since you cant put your foot down like a bike.

So the EU has spent a load of money on a PHEV that only fits the driver? Even though compelling EVs and PHEVs are already developed!

I am glad we are leaving the EU. They are happy to waste everyone else’s money without asking.

You won’t be so glad next time you try to find a job in an EU country, or when you are trying to export something to us. Good luck sailing your rudderless ship…

No Thanks! Keep POS in Germany !

As an English speaker working in the EU has always been unlikely. Also we buy more from the EU then we sell back. So got luck exporting to us 😉


The Arcimoto SRK, with NO unnecessary ICE on board, has room for two (driver/passenger), one less wheel, with No tilting silliness or 4 wheel over complexity, and can be configured in a battery with 12 kWh (70mi. range), or 20 kWh (130mi. range). All that fun,starting for Under $12,000. here in the US.

Once the Arcimoto factory gets through their 2k preorder reservation list, sometime later this year, this cool FUV will become quite the contender to this PSA “EU-LIVE” design.

All that Arcimoto pure EV coolness found here:

The Arcimoto has the footprint of a small car,is open to the elements and a typical first gen design. Three wheelers should a least tilt like the Piaggio MP3 and be narrow for slipping past normal traffic.

But when do you think that they will start selling it in Europe?

European three wheel motorcycle standards might not completely work without some tweaks.

Or, it might be available as soon as when Mark Kane edits the caption in the article, where the rear view shot of the “EU-LIVE” says, “there is four wheels”.

“Depends on what the definition of “is” is”!

It looks like a consortium design. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

Exactly; design by committee. As in, “The camel is a horse designed by a committee.”

Exactly; design by committee. As in, “The camel is a horse designed by a committee.” 😉

Its an urban vehicle. The clues in the name.

What then is the point of an ICE engine?
Put more batteries instead or make it lighter by removing the ICE and its components, either would increase urban range and lower cost especially maintenance.

But then i suppose PSA wouldn’t have got a grant.

As they say “your tax Dollars(Euros) at work”

Just make an upgraded Twizy. . ?


So it’s a neighborhood vehicle.


Not legal in all areas.

Governments sure know how to waste money! Several small companies have brought out similar vehicles for a fraction of this investment. Only difference is hybrid instead of more practical gas motor or pure electric drive. This is not an improvement, only raises price and complexity for purchase and repair.

48v? Now c’mon, the twisy is an 80v system, which isn’t very hard to achieve.

Just when you thought the idea of EVs as tiny punishment cars, driven only by “green” fanatics, was dead…


Modern day Lumeneo Smera (google it). They were too early with the same footprint BEV vehicle. No wonder they went bankrupt after selling 10 of these at 25K euros after VAT in Paris, France. Nowadays, when PHEVs are closer to mainstream in EU this may be sold well if priced right. Way better than a Twizzy. Narrower, heated cabin, no problems with charging in urban environment, you can just resort to petrol all the time and drive it like a regular hybrid.