Suspension Technology - APAX VEHICLES



APAX has developed a new suspension technology for its leanable 3-wheeled HPV. During the early development stage, conventional suspension resulted in an unacceptably low riding height. Very few riders were willing to adopt this vulnerable position, particularly in traffic. Therefore, a new suspension solution was required.

There are many ways to implement a suspension system for a narrow, leanable, 3-wheeled HPV (cables, levers, etc.). APAX selected hydro-pneumatic as the most compact and high-performance technique. The HPV also required a lockable suspension, so that riders could remain upright at a stop. This allowed rider convenience, and enabled them to use their feet to pump up the propulsion system on certain models. A hydro-pneumatic suspension strut with an internal locking mechanism was patented to provide this functionality.

Prototype vehicles have been built and tested, and they demonstrate the desired performance. The 2-wheel independent rear suspension also provides a phenomenally smooth and supple ride. These prototypes glide over curbs and down staircases. They float over gravel roads and wilderness trails like an air-cushion vehicle.

This technology can be used in a number of other applications:

  1. Small powered vehicles (gas or electric). These would be extremely energy efficient, and particularly suitable in crowded areas (urban congestion, 3rd world). These vehicles would be able to use narrow bicycle paths, and easily navigate rough roads.
  2. Wheelchairs. Stairs, curbs, and rough terrain are the bane of wheelchair users. Although it is necessary to balance the vehicle in unlocked mode, (similar to a bicycle), many paraplegics are capable of this. Electronic control of the suspension could be implemented to allow most quadriplegics to benefit from this technology. Sports models could be developed for wheelchair athletes.
  3. Large powered all-terrain vehicles. Electronic controls would be employed to selectively lock suspension struts, and to alter strut pressures. The locking mechanism can provide a continuum of resistance to strut movement, from zero to full lock. This adaptive suspension could cover extreme terrain in many environments.
  4. Load leveling and locking technology to serve industrial processes, mining operations, etc.

The patented APAX suspension technology is highly versatile and scalable. It provides an exceptionally smooth ride, and a great deal of controllability.


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