Hybrids & Electrics

AKO Leaning Electric Trike: Brilliance Or Boondoggle?

Riders say it’s “like a spaceship on wheels.” Five designers from Lithuania have designed this electric leaning trike. If you were in the market for some fun, cheap transportation but didn’t want a motorcycle, would you buy one? That’s what AKO, the startup ready to begin production of the leaning trike, wants to know. They think you will and they’re banking on it. The leaning aspect is a patent-pending mechanism. It steers the trike under normal driving without any lean. But at higher speeds the trike adjusts to leaning at up to 30-degrees. So what do you think? Is the AKO leaning electric trike a bit of brilliance or a boondoggle?

“It’s like a spaceship on wheels.”

“The trike is based on pure mechanics and allows the vehicle to lean by simply tilting the steering shaft,” says AKO’s Jurgis Lecas. “In cases of lower speeds you can simply rotate the steering wheel just like in any regular car and the vehicle will steer normally. It’s pretty damn unique, I mean only seven people have ever driven such a vehicle and one of them is me. It’s like a spaceship on wheels.”

The development of the AKO leaning trike is ongoing and a final prototype has yet to be built. No final price has been determined but estimates are in the $21,000-$26,000 range. But with Harley LiveWires going for $30,000, that’s a lot cheaper and gives more comfort, protection, and fun.

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The trike has an estimated top speed of 149 mph

With a 140 kW motor the trike has an estimated top speed of 149 mph. AKO thinks that there may be governors in some countries limiting the top speed. Regardless, AKO thinks the trike can become a “true market disruptor.” And that’s where we get back to our original question, “If you were in the market for some fun, cheap transportation but didn’t want a motorcycle, would you buy one?” 

Why does AKO think it is? A vehicle that introduces a new type of maneuverability as it is capable of leaning into curves as well as simply steering at lower speeds. Enabling the rider to experience something breathtaking & extremely fun while at the same time providing essential features for a daily urban ride.”

The “capsule” is large enough for the driver and a rider behind him or her

But that thing looks cramped. Is it? According to AKO the “capsule” is large enough for the driver and a rider behind him or her. There would still be room for cargo. It also gives protection from inclement weather and adds protection in a roll-over crash. Visibility is excellent, and would you believe the trike comes with airbags? It has both front and side airbags and four-point seat belts. 

At under 1,000 lbs and an estimated 186-mile range the only stat missing we want to see is how fast will the electric leaning trike go? Lecas says AKO is looking for a vehicle that combines both a sporty feel and luxury. Plus, for some the uniqueness and funkiness of the whole concept is motivation enough to consider stepping up.

We would at least like to try the trike on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles. You know, to get a feel for how comfortable we feel being completely surrounded by Mercedes sedans and semi-trucks.