The CLEVER, standing for, Compact Low Emission VEhicle for URban Transport, is the culmination of three years of research and design by a European consortium (including BMW and the University of Bath) setup to explore future environmentally friendly transport concepts.
The CLEVER is a vehicle which combines the safety of a microcar, and the useful maneuverability of a motorbike, all while powered by a natural gas fueled engine.
The 230cc BMW engine was modified by the Institute Français du Pétrole (IFP) to accept the natural gas, this environmentally responsible engine produces 17 hp (12.5 kW) and a maximum torque of 15.5 Nm at 6,300 rpm, this gives the CLEVER a top speed of around 50 mph. Fuel consumption for the CLEVER is estimated to be 2.4 liters/100 km gasoline equivalent (98 mpg US), with 59.5 g/km of CO2 emissions. The two connected gas bottle fuel tanks provide a range of approximately 93 miles (150 km).
An inherent problem with three-wheel vehicles is tipping during high speed cornering. To solve this dangerous problem the CLEVER leans, just as a motorcycle and it's rider do during cornering. The cabin tilting mechanism present on the CLEVER was designed by the University of Bath. Basically it uses two hydraulic actuators to rotate the cabin around a maximum of 45° each way. The system is controlled by a computer which calculates the desired lean angle by taking into account speed, tilt angle of the cabin, and lateral acceleration.