Pashley are the longest established bike manufacturer in the UK and, until they lost the contract to make post office bikes, were also the biggest (losing top spot to Brompton). They have always specialised in tough, classically-designed, high quality bikes but their latest 'concept' chainless electric Multi-trike looks set to catapult them from the realms of tradition to the cutting edge of e-bike tech.
Kaunched at Cenex-LCV, the Multi-trike is apparently targeted at the consumer market being, "designed to safely and efficiently carry light goods, shopping and young children."
When you pedal the Multi-trike you are effectively pedalling a generator and producing electricity in the process. This is then used to power the two rear wheel hub motors with any excess power being fed into the battery.
The big advantage for a trike is that it does away with the heavy and complicated chain and differential transmission system that is normally used. The disadvantage is that you lose quite a lot of energy in the process of converting pedal movement to electricity.
A simple throttle operation would be the simplest system, so it's a bit surprising Pashley haven't gone down this road (throttles are allowed on e-bikes under current laws but the pedals need to be turning for the throttle to function).
Pashley say they have gone with the eDriveIN system which offers 70Nm of torque to each of the rear wheels. The carrying design is also impressive as, according to Pashley, "A simple design means that the rear cargo box can be mounted lower than on a conventional tricycle, thereby keeping the centre of gravity of the load that is carried as low as possible for increased stability."
There is some competition in the area of chainless systems - earlier in the year we reported Schaeffler's system was apparently in production whilst another clean looking drive systm with new tech (though not chainless), Driven, attracted our attention recently.
Pashley have also designed a unique, multi-purpose cargo box, the ‘Multi-Pod’ which has a 240-litre capacity and a lockable lid. It also incorporates a built-in headrest and fold-down seat for carrying one or two children as well as the shopping. Pashley also say various other designs of rear boxes can be fitted, as well as a flat-bed/pick-up configuration.
Pioneering track record
The Stratford-on-Avon company are building up a significant track record in e-trike innovation as the Multi-trike comes fairly hot on the heels of their ALECS (articulated, lightweight, electric, cargo solution), which is aimed at replacing vans and lorries for last-mile deliveries in urban situations. What makes it different to other electric cargo solutions is the tilting front section, which Pashley says, “means it rides like a bicycle but with the stability of a tricycle”.
The Multi-trike also uses the same tilting tech. Adrian Williams, Pashley’s managing director, commented: “The Multi-trike shows yet again that Pashley is a forward-thinking innovator and manufacturer in this rapidly developing world of micro-mobility."
He added: “The Multi-trike will add to our extensive sales offering of practical and purposeful light-transport products designed for both business and consumer markets, all designed and hand-built at our factory in Stratford-upon-Avon.”
It is expected to enter production in the first half of 2024 with retail prices expected to be in the region of £6,500.
Other notable initiatives from Pashley include the opening of a design office and development workshop in December in December 2022 and continuing support for a Midlands public hire scheme (including e-bikes) that launched in 2021.