The DDS from Daymak looks to be an easy way to convert most any bicycle to an electric-assist bike. The wheel contains its own battery, motor, and even solar panels to charge it (~.6 miles range per hour of sunlight). It looks like it’ll only work with V-brake bikes (not disc), though will be available in either a 26″ or 28″ rim size…for about $700 next year. The 250W motor is powered by a 12Ah lithium battery and controlled by a wireless handlebar-mounted controller (with its own solar panels, too). Interesting idea! I could see this being useful for commuters perhaps. The extra mass and rotational inertia will detract serious bicyclists though. Check out the product page here.
For a long time, people have talked about the concept of roadways that can provide electricity to the cars, trucks and busses running above. While a cool idea, I always thought the economics of this didn’t make sense and it wouldn’t be implemented in our lifetimes. At least on a small scale, I’m proven wrong. South Korea has equipped fifteen miles of city streets with just such a system – underground cables that charge EVs that are either parked or driving above. It’s cool to see this technology progress…but I still question whether it’ll be widely adopted this century. It requires massive public infrastructure investment and commitment to this transportation technology. In the US at least, those are two things that we are so incredibly far from, at least politically. Maybe some other country can pull it off. I can see this working out well with only major roads having this charging capability…the EVs would still use a small battery to power them on trips off those main arteries.
Specialized Bicycles has unveiled a new electric-assist bicycle, the Turbo. Like other e-bikes, it uses an electric motor to supplement normal pedaling, offering both higher top speed and increased range. In this case though, it’s that top speed that’s a bit of a problem. It seems the aptly-named Turbo is just too fast to be legal in many places (like the US), topping out around 28mph. So for now, availability is limited to some areas of Europe, but it also seems that a simple design tweak could reduce its top speed to a more legal level for broader appeal.
More pictures can be found here, or check out the video below.
With gas prices rising and expected to continue to do so for, well the rest of our existence, alternative forms of transportation are becoming more and more appealing. Electric bicycles are one option that offer some great functionality with few compromises. Towards the higher end of the spectrum is this $6k PiCycle Limited bicycle from Pi Mobility, which offers a 35-45 mile range at 30mph. Sure, it’s pricey for a bicycle, but when you view it as more of a replacement for a car, it becomes incredibly attractive, especially when you consider the very low maintenance cost and low energy costs.
They also made a cool commercial for this, check it out after the jump below.