Eye to Eye with the Shenghao Q5 electric tricycle in China

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This is the beautiful Shenghao Q5 electric tricycleSpotted in China in the Dongba area in the far eastern suburbs of Beijing. The vehicle looks all the business, painted in bright red and some white, with a lot of shiny chrome parts, side bars, stickers of all sorts, a bull bar, and a roof rack.

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The stylish grille with the Shenghao badge in the middle.

The Shenghao Q5 is so called ‘low-speed electric vehicle’ (LSEV) from China. They can only ride inside the city and usually can’t go faster than 45 kilometer per hour. The exact rules for having and using an LSEV differ per city. In Beijing, the official rules say LSEV’s can only be bought by the elderly and the disabled. However, in reality almost everybody can buy one these days, especially in the lawless lands outside the Fifth Ring Road where Dongba is.

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The Shenghao Q5 is a rather large tricycle LSEV, with four doors and four seats. Huge windows for an airy feeling. Door handles and fuel cap in chrome. All this fine stuff comes standard.

The Shanghao Q5 is manufactured by a company called Jinxiang Qianyuan Electric Vehicle Corporation (web), based in the great city of Jinxiang in Shandong Province. Shenghao is the brand name for a wide range of electric tricycles. Price for the Q5 starts around 7000 yuan ($1096), depending on province, depending on local rules, depending on competition.

The Q5 is powered by a tiny electric motor with an output of 1.07 horsepower, mated to a badass 48-72v lead-acid battery. Top speed is 45 kilometer per hour and range is 100 kilometer. Charging takes ten hours on 220 volt. Size: 2450/1050/1650, and wheelbase is 1900.


This bald man is Chen Hanbai, a famous Chinese comedian. He is the brand’s ambassador so he got his sticker on the front fender.


Bench in the back and two seats in the front. The driver’s seat is on the right (!!!), and positioned slightly in front of the passenger’s seat. Normally, the wheel is on the left in China, as cars drive on the right. Double sunroof for even more air in the hot Beijing summers.


The dash with a tricycle handlebar steer with shiny gold knobs at the ends. Plastic wood on the doors and dash. Impressive radio unit has USB connectivity for playing the iPhone.


Feeling hot hot hot? Switch on the fan. Standard equipment, a lot of cheap LSEV’s got similar.


Racy shiny alloys, triple round taillights, a big red spare wheel cover, and a real spoiler with third brake light on top of the rear window. Need spoiler for downforce, to keep those wild 1.07 horses on the road. Roof rack empty here, but I have have seen them going go with all kinds of stuff, up to a meter high or more, wobbling around dangerously.


Q5 badge in Audi style. They also got the A6 and A8.


Showing the flag. See that stroller on the left? That’s my five month old in there. He was crying and shit, but he really had to wait until I was done with the Shenghao Q5. When I work I am dedicated, not dad-icated.

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  1. This kind of tricycle, also available as quadricycle , is perfect to be a solar powered vehicle. Already few companies offer this LSEV with a solar panel on the roof to get a longer range of about 25 km per day. With the improvement of the efficiency of the solar panels, it could be possible to create completely autonomous from the grid vehicles. I strongly belive that is the future of the city car in China. EV that charge themselfs just with the light of the sun. No need charging point, just live your car park on a sunny road to be always fully charged.


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