RIOT 3 is an all-out speed machine, designed to beat the world
land-speed record. Steering is almost irrelevant, power and
stability are everything. It's powered by a Kostov DC electric motor, which can
(for short periods) produce 200 hp.
So, Why Hybrid Electric?

Electric motors have some big advantages over gasoline. They generally
have a much wider power-band, which starts at 0 rpm, and so need little or
no gearing. The real pluses of gasoline engines are convenience, range,
and the noise.

Batteries are usually the stumbling-block for electric vehicles. In any straight
comparison, gas is always lighter. But with the RIOT wheel, there is an
inherent need for weight (see
The Big Picture). By going electric, we can pull
out most, if not all of the lead. By going hybrid, we get the ease and range of
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RIOT 1 is a big beautiful
beast... but it isn't exactly
practical. The power to
weight ratio is appalling,
it's not waterproof, and it
steers like an oil-tanker.
There are some good
reasons why it turned out
that way, mostly to do with
time, cost, and ease of
building. RIOT 2 changes
that. It's a nippy,
maneuverable vehicle,
perfect for running about
town, blowing minds.
The major changes are in the power systems, and the materials used -
mostly aluminum instead of steel - and the component layout. The driving
force will be a hybrid gas/electric 48V system. The gyro will be much more
effective, though much lighter and faster. In fact, we hope RIOT 2 will be able
to turn on the spot - something even a scooter can't do.