The European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) and Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) schemes require compliance to Council Directive 93/93/EEC (Masses and Dimensions). This includes a limit on the maximum 'passenger payload' for tricycles of 300kg and quadricycles of 200kg. The mass of the passenger is not defined within the directive and because 6-seater vehicles are available on the market in the UK there is evidence that in practice the passenger payload limits are not enforced at type approval.
The UK Department for Transport commissioned this project to investigate the potential impact to the safety and stability of certain bodied three wheel vehicles approved under the current schemes when they exceed recommended passenger payload limits by virtue of the number of approved seating positions.
Analysis of the tilt test results showed that having a full passenger load of 450kg reduced the maximum cornering speed of the vehicle by 4% compared with the same vehicle with maximum permitted passenger load of 300kg (as defined in Directive 93/93/EC). A comparison of the tilt test results to the roll stability requirements for other vehicle types showed that the performance of the Tuk Tuk fell somewhere between that of an HGV and a PSV and was less than a typical SUV. However, unlike the HGV and PSV, the driver/owner of a Tuk Tuk is not required to have any special training or license.

Want to know more about this project?