The American-made Morgan 3-Wheeler

Introduced in the early days of the automobile, three-wheeled cars have remained a rare, exotic thing to this day. It’s actually pretty surprising that they’re still around and we probably owe it to Morgan, which revived its three-wheeled car in 2012 after a very long hiatus. Needless to say, Morgan isn’t the only company making small cars on three wheels, but it’s one of the very few that are also developing an electric version. Come 2018, and it gets some competition from Vanderhall, a small company from Provo, Utah that has been making three-wheeled vehicles since 2012. It’s called the Edison and it’s based on Vanderhall’s first design, the Laguna, but it has an all-electric drivetrain.

The brand’s third vehicle, it joins the carbon-fiber bodied Laguna and the retro-oriented Venice. While the former was launched in 2012, the latter was rolled out in 2017. The Edison is Vanderhall’s first EV, using two electric motors and a battery instead of the GM-sourced, 1.4-liter gasoline engine found in the Venice. Like the existing Vanderhall models, the Edison is hand-built at the company’s Utah factory using almost entirely American-sourced components. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Vanderhall Edison.

Vanderhall Edison Exterior

- * Three-wheeled design
- * Simple, clean design
- * No rear bodywork
- * Not as exciting as the Morgan
- * Black exterior color only
- * LED lights
- * Accent stripes

2018 Vanderhall Edison
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The Edison is heavily based on Vanderhall’s previous three-wheeled cars, so it has the same simple design on the outside

The Edison is heavily based on Vanderhall’s previous three-wheeled cars, so it has the same simple design on the outside. Just like the Morgan 3-Wheeler, the front wheels aren’t hidden under proper fenders and it doesn’t have conventional bumpers. The front fascia is actually much simpler, with the headlamps mounted in a big, almost square opening that’s covered by an equally large grille. There is a small bulge on the hood though.

The side panels are almost featureless, but they’re small too since the car doesn’t have actual doors. A small, angled windshield will prevent the wind from ruining your hairdo.

2018 Vanderhall Edison
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There’s almost no rear bodywork, with just a small, motorcycle-like element stretching over the rear wheel

There’s almost no rear bodywork, with just a small, motorcycle-like element stretching over the rear wheel. This a different approach from Morgan’s 3-Wheeler, which has a fully covered rear wheel and even a trunk. A pair of roll-over hoops and a set of multi-spoke wheels round off the exterior design.

The Edison is equipped with LED headlamps, turn signals, and brake lights, and it’s available in just one color, metallic black. According to Vanderhall, this is "a tribute to the seminal Thomas Edison-Henry Ford electric car project more than 100 years ago. Yes, you can have it in any color as long as it is black. The dark paint is complemented by gold stripes on the sides though. Hopefully these can be ordered in more colors.

Vanderhall Edison Interior

- * No-nonsense cabin
- * Analog dials
- * Three-spoke steering wheel
- * Synthetic upholstery
- * No leather option

2018 Vanderhall Edison
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There’s no option for leather or fancy stuff as Vanderhall is trying to keep pricing reasonable

The interior is equally simple, but that’s to be expected from a small, no-nonsense car like this. And it definitely has a vintage vibe to it thanks to the flat, veneer-like dashboard with analog clocks and the plain, three-spoke steering wheels. It also has classic knobs and switches on the center stack, features you rarely see nowadays outside Morgans and Caterhams or race cars.

The floor is almost naked, with aluminum panels visible in the footwells and in front of the seats. Both the seats and the side panels are wrapped in synthetic upholstery. There’s no option for leather or fancy stuff as Vanderhall is trying to keep pricing reasonable.

While it doesn’t have an infotainment system, it’s equipped with heating and cooling. However, the system is very simple with just two vents under the dashboard. Granted, it’s not the most comfortable car out there.

Vanderhall Edison Performance

- * 30-kWh battery
- * Two electric motors
- * 180 horsepower
- * 240 pound-feet of torque
- * 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds
- * Top speed at 105 mph
- * 200 miles per charge

2018 Vanderhall Edison
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The electric drivetrains delivers 180 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque

This is where the Edison stands out compared to other Vanderhall vehicles. Named after Thomas Edison, the man who invented the electric light bulb and patented electricity distribution, the Vanderhall Edison replaces the turbocharged, 1.4-liter, four-cylinder gas engine in the Venice model with two electric motors and a 30-kWh, lithium-ion battery pack.

The combo delivers 180 horsepower, which is comparable to the Venice, and 240 pound-feet of torque, about 30 percent more than the gas version. That’s also significantly more than the Morgan EV3, which will have around 100 horsepower in production form. On the other hand, the Edison tips the scales at 1,400 pounds, while the Morgan EV3 weighs a bit less than 1,000.

2018 Vanderhall Edison
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The Edison can return more than 200 miles per single charge

But despite being heavier, the Edison is the quicker car, needing only four seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph. Top speed is rated at 105 mph, a solid figure for a small electric car. Surprisingly enough, Vanderhall says that the Edison can return more than 200 miles per single charge. Of course, this depends on driving conditions.

Electric motors and battery aside, the Edison shares many components with the Venice model. These include the front pushrod suspension system and the rear suspension with an aluminum single-sided swing arm with mid-mounted coil spring. It also has a GM rack-and-pinion steering, brake assist, steering assist, and Brembo brakes.

Vanderhall Edison Pricing

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Pricing for the Edison is set at $34,950, which is somewhat affordable compared to other three-wheelers on the market, including the upcoming Morgan EV3.

Vanderhall Edison Competition

Morgan EV3

2016 Morgan EV3 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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While there are a few three-wheeled cars to choose from out there, all-electric options are limited to Morgan EV3. Actually, the EV3 is not even in production yet. The Brits showcased a prototype back in 2016, and a production model won’t be ready until later in 2018. The cool thing about the EV3 is that it’s quite different from the 3-Wheeler on the outside. Sure, it has the same three-wheel configuration and a similar body, but the front fascia is brand-new. The traditional 3-Wheeler grille was deleted, with the nose now featuring an offset headlamp and brass conductive cooling fins that encase the batteries. The interior has the same traditional layout, but the gauges have been replaced with a digital screen that displays info about the electric drivetrain, battery status, charging status, and range. The drivetrain consists of a 20-kWh, lithium-ion battery mounted at the front and a 101-horsepower electric motor that drives the rear wheel. Less powerful than the Edison, the EV3 is also slower, needing around nine seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. Top speed is estimated at around 90 mph, also inferior to the Edison. Morgan predicts a range of around 150 miles per single charge. Pricing information is not yet available, but Morgan said the EV3 will be priced comparably to the 3-Wheeler. This means that it could cost anywhere between £27,000 to £30,000. This converts to at least $36,000, but the actual pricing may be bigger once the EV3 lands in the U.S.

Read our full story on the 2016 Morgan EV3.

Conclusion

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While some say that three-wheeled vehicles aren’t real cars and that they are far from safe, I’m actually a big fan of the design. Okay, I admit that I’m a big fan of the Morgan 3-Wheeler in particular. Not only compact, it seems fun to drive and it’s the perfect weekend drive on back roads. While I do prefer the gas-powered 3-Wheeler, the EV3 seems like a good option too, and nice to see that Morgan is trying to step into the future with an electric drivetrain. The Vanderhall Edison might not have the heritage of the 3-Wheeler behind it, but it’s definitely a solid option. It’s not particularly exciting design-wise and it lacks the 3-Wheeler’s vintage vibe, but it’s the better option when it comes to performance and range. The fact that it’s built in the U.S. and comes with a reasonable price tag only makes it that much better!

  • Leave it
    • No trunk
    • No heritage

Press release

Vanderhall Motor Works debuted its latest three-wheeled auto-cycle model
today at the 2017 Progressive International Motor Cycle Show in Long Beach, California. An electric vehicle (EV) known
as the Vanderhall Edison2, it joins the company’s two existing auto-cycle models: the carbon-fiber-bodied Laguna and
retro-oriented Venice.

As a tribute to the seminal Thomas Edison-Henry Ford electric car project more than 100 years ago, the Vanderhall
Edison2will be painted any color the customer wants — so long as it is black.

The Edison2 model replaces the Vanderhall Venice’s 1.4L turbocharged GM four-cylinder engine with dual AC motorsand
a 30 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The immediately available torque from the electric motors drive the front wheels
directly; acceleration is instantaneous.

Edison2 horsepower is comparable to the Venice’s gas engine at 180, but the Edison2 has about 30 percent more
torque: 240 lb-ft compared to 185 for the turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine. This extra off-the-line thrust propels
the Edison2 from 0-60 mph in four seconds. Depending on driving conditions, range can exceed 200 miles per full
charge. Base Vanderhall Edison2 MSRP is $34,950.

“EVs have amazing performance advantages,” says Vanderhall Marketing Director Daniel Boyer. “Offering an electric
powertrain is in line with Vanderhall’s focus on innovative, effortless performance. Our Venice model is already incredibly
nimble, and the Edison2 is the quickest Vanderhall we have ever produced.”

Like the existing Vanderhall models, the Edison2 will be hand-built at the company’s Utah factory using almost entirely
American-sourced components. Vanderhall founder/designer Steve Hall follows his family’s legacy of innovation, holding
several patents for the Edison2 and other Vanderhall models: including the tab-and-slot double-wall chassis and the
non-welded cross-hatched front grille. (His grandfather H. Tracy Hall developed the process for creating synthetic
diamonds, used in industrial applications.)

Many Edison2 components have similar underpinnings to the Venice model. These include the front pushrod suspension
system. The rear suspension employs an aluminum single-sided swingarm with mid-mounted coil spring. GM
rack-and-pinion steering incorporates GM-sourced knuckles. Additional GM technology incorporated in the Vanderhall
Edison2 includes brake assist and steering assist. Standard Brembo brakes halt the Edison2 from 60-0 mph in less
than 85 feet.

The Vanderhall Edison2 was created to modernize open-air roadster driving excitement. Pre-orders are being accepted
now for 2018 Q2 initial deliveries. For more information or to locate your closest dealer, please visit Vanderhall Motor
Works Inc. at vanderhallusa.com.

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