Project details

The Dragon Wagon is an ongoing project at Drexel University's Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics. The Dragon Wagon project began in 2007 as an undergraduate Senior Design project under the advisement of Dr. Bradley Layton. Since its inception, the project has grown to include a second back-to-back tandem, constructed out of lightweight titanium, and a third vehicle currently being developed. The Dragon Wagons have competed successfully in the 2008 and 2009 ASME HPVC competitions in Madison, WI and Philadelphia, PA. Currently, the Dragon Wagons are preparing for a ride from Drexel University to Central Connecticut State University via the East Coast Greenway, in order to compete at the 2010 ASME HPVC East race!


The Dragon Wagon project aims to create low-cost, zero-emissions alternatives to the automobile, specifically for use in urban environments. Our first vehicle utilizes both the power of its two human passengers and a high-efficiency electric motor to do the following:

  • Accelerate the vehicle from 0 - 35 mph in time comparable to that of a traditional automobile.
  • Maintain a top speed of at least 35 mph.
  • Have a braking distance comparable to that of a traditional automobile.
  • Have a turning radius comparable to that of a traditional automobile.

The result of satisfying these four criteria is a vehicle that can fully integrate with urban traffic.

Environmental impact

In an urban environment, the Dragon Wagon can transport you wherever a traditional automobile can drive in the same amount of time, with the following benefits:

  • The Dragon Wagon does not run on gasoline, or any other fossil fuels.
    • A sustainable transportation alternative!
  • The Dragon Wagon is energy efficient.
    • Lightweight construction and high-end components mean that minimal energy is needed to operate.
  • The Dragon Wagon is emissions free. No combustion engine.
    • Reduces carbon emissions, reduces air pollution, helps fight global warming!
  • The Dragon Wagon is less than half the size of an automobile.
    • Helps reduce urban congestion! Fits in a bike lane!

Societal impact

The Dragon Wagon does not look like a traditional automobile. Driving around in the Dragon Wagon turns heads — everyone wants to know what you are driving. This attention-grabbing aspect of the vehicle helps raise awareness of green alternatives to transportation and arouses interest in the field.

The Dragon Wagon requires you to pedal the vehicle to operate at its peak performance. This helps to promote physical activity in a society where many simply do not have the time to work out on a daily basis. If used for your daily commute, you will receive your daily dose of exercise. Not only will you be helping the environment, you will be helping your health and well-being as well!


  • Electric drive train
    • Magmotor S28-150
      • Brushed servo
      • 3 horsepower
      • 1970 oz-in Torque
      • 24 volt
      • Neodymium magnets
    • VTX-75 motor speed controller
      • PWM Controller
      • Throttle input
    • ABS 12V18T4LT (x2)
      • 12V Sealed lead acid battery
      • 18 amp-hours
  • Bicycle drive train
    • Campagnolo Xenon Cranks
    • Campagnolo Veloce derailleurs
  • Frame
    • Custom designed and build
    • Steel construction
    • MIG welds
  • Brakes
    • Hayes Stroker Trail V8 Disc Brake
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