Ohio drivers looking to zip around in three-wheeled electric cars may be in luck: the state government is working to classify the small EVs as motorcycles instead of cars.
Currently, three-wheeled vehicles can only be registered in Ohio as automobiles.; Rhetoric in the state law deems motorcycles as vehicles having saddles, not full-fledged seats.; As such, the electric cars – which sport conventional automotive seating – are considered automobiles.
This system troubles EV manufacturers, as an automotive classification requires their products to be fully crash tested and NHTSA certified.; Although it’s not hard to affix seatbelts or construct a vehicle that conforms to national lighting standards, it is costly to engineer air bag systems and have the vehicle undergo impact testing.
One manufacturer that may benefit is Myers Motors, based in Tallmadge, Ohio.; Myers presently builds the three-wheeled NmG electric, initially launched by Corbin Motors as the Sparrow.
The wording revisions passed both the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate; if approved, they simply need the signature of Governor Ted Strickland to become law.
Even so, critics are calling for further revision – perhaps even a separate class of vehicle for the trikes.; Even if the cars are considered motorcycles, the Ohio law will still require drivers to obtain motorcycle endorsements and wear a helmet during their first year of driving.
Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer