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  1. #1
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    Future of electric bicycles

    Is this technology here yet or in the next 5-20 years? Can a electric bicycle batteries last for over 5 years of continuous electric bicycle riding (like traveling 30,000 or more miles) without charging the battery one time? After that then charging time with this electric bicycle only takes 4-6 hours or less on a standard 110v outlet and after that charging the batteries the bicycle it will have another 5 years of continuous riding before charging the bicycle again?

    Thanks,

    bluetriforce

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    no. I very much doubt it.

  3. #3
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    I don't think so myself. Part of it has to do with the inefficiencies of the elelctric motors.

    See the motor is on it's own fixed gearset usually, or it's a rim drive system (obscenely ineefficient). what you need is a freewheel crankset, where the cinarings will turn, but not your pedals, to get the most out of an electric bike...for this one reason: it will sue your bikes exisiting 21+ gears. This allows you to use a lower gear on climbs and a higher gear on declines, maximizing power efficiency.

    The problem with this is insanely increased complexity of teh bike. Plus where is the electricity coming from? Fossil fuels? If so, thats jsut conterproductive.

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    If we were forced to make out power and motors effient who knows? but right now there is no modivation to do so.

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluetriforce
    Is this technology here yet or in the next 5-20 years? Can a electric bicycle batteries last for over 5 years of continuous electric bicycle riding (like traveling 30,000 or more miles) without charging the battery one time? After that then charging time with this electric bicycle only takes 4-6 hours or less on a standard 110v outlet and after that charging the batteries the bicycle it will have another 5 years of continuous riding before charging the bicycle again?

    Thanks,

    bluetriforce
    It would take a major technological breakthrough. The solar racers aren't even close to what you asked about and many of them use some pretty cuttong edge (and expensive) technology. There's a big difference between electronics, which require next to no power, and an electric device that is expected to do something.

    Next question is: Who would buy it and for what price? I don't think that bicycle riders is the market. It's more likely to be Lambretta people and there aren't very many of them.

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    Pat
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    I really don't think it is going to happen. Batteries are batteries and they all work on the same basic principles. What you are asking for is a tremendous improvement in the performance over current batteries. I mean it is conceivable that batteries will improve 50% but not the amount you are asking for.

    A dealer rep came out to one of our club rides with an electric bike that you could pedal or use the batteries as a power assist. The thing was it was heavy (40lbs) and the max speed was about 15 mph and a range of 30 miles. With a bike that heavy, most people were far better off riding a conventional bike and forgetting about it.

  7. #7
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluetriforce
    Is this technology here yet or in the next 5-20 years? Can a electric bicycle batteries last for over 5 years of continuous electric bicycle riding (like traveling 30,000 or more miles) without charging the battery one time? After that then charging time with this electric bicycle only takes 4-6 hours or less on a standard 110v outlet and after that charging the batteries the bicycle it will have another 5 years of continuous riding before charging the bicycle again?

    Hmm... let's do a little rough math here.

    Bicycling magazine once published some figures for calorie burn rate. Let's assume rider weight of 170 lbs. and an average speed of 15MPH. The figure I have is 0.0561 Cal/lb-min. for flat terrain. So given that...

    0.0561 Cal/lb-min x 170 lbs x 525,600 min/year * 5 years = 2,5063,236 Cals

    Converted to joules that's 104,934,756,484.8 joules. Just to give you an idea of how much energy that is, a gallon of gasoline has about 1.3x10^8 joules worth of energy. Thus we're talking about 800 gals worth of gas here. In order to achieve this type of energy density, in a compact enough form to be placed on a bicycle, you need to start looking at miniature nuclear batteries. Have you been talking to Fleischmann and Ponds?
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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    >>Batteries are batteries and they all work on the same basic principles.
    except when they are fuel cells. Methanol liquid or hydrogen has a fairly high energy density, and once you have used up a cylinder, you dont have to spend all night recharging, you just refill. Aprilla have a prototype.
    Most electric bikes couple heavy batteries with crappy materials and poor engineering.

  9. #9
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    Hmm... let's do a little rough math here.

    Bicycling magazine once published some figures for calorie burn rate. Let's assume rider weight of 170 lbs. and an average speed of 15MPH. The figure I have is 0.0561 Cal/lb-min. for flat terrain. So given that...

    0.0561 Cal/lb-min x 170 lbs x 525,600 min/year * 5 years = 2,5063,236 Cals

    Converted to joules that's 104,934,756,484.8 joules. Just to give you an idea of how much energy that is, a gallon of gasoline has about 1.3x10^8 joules worth of energy. Thus we're talking about 800 gals worth of gas here. In order to achieve this type of energy density, in a compact enough form to be placed on a bicycle, you need to start looking at miniature nuclear batteries. Have you been talking to Fleischmann and Ponds?
    I have a zero-point energy drive that you might be interested in.
    This guy might also be able to help: http://www.davesplanet.net/store/

  10. #10
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    I have a zero-point energy drive that you might be interested in.
    This guy might also be able to help: http://www.davesplanet.net/store/
    That website is such a ripoff. I can find better deals on eBay. Plus it doesn't seem like they stock any Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulators.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member izgod's Avatar
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    The future is here:
    http://www.ecospeed.net/index.html

    They are now offering a 650 watt motor powered by 24V lithium ion batteries.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    See the motor is on it's own fixed gearset usually, or it's a rim drive system (obscenely ineefficient). what you need is a freewheel crankset, where the cinarings will turn, but not your pedals, to get the most out of an electric bike...for this one reason: it will sue your bikes exisiting 21+ gears. This allows you to use a lower gear on climbs and a higher gear on declines, maximizing power efficiency.
    Damn... You think just like I do. I just described that exact system in another post. Basically, replace the crankset with a freewheeling motor. Something like the narrow Bion-x hub motors would do nicely.

    And I did build my own system very similar to that using an extra crank on the left side that was driven by a motor and it's own chain. The problem is the need for a freewheeling crank so a thumb throttle can work as well and a way for the strain guage to detect the torque of the cyclist to provide the appropriate assist.

    One system I came up with that would probably work on a tadpole trike is an "in between" system. At the front of the trike you have the usual crank. At the back you have the usual gears and derailleur. But in the middle, probably right behind the seat, is a Bion-x hub motor. The front crank drives the Bion-x like it normally would but a gear would be bolted to the Bion-x's case and would chain drive the rear gears and derailleur.

    It would work well on a tadpole trike or even a recumbent bike because of the big distance between the crank and rear gears. But on a regular bike it would be pretty difficult to pull this off.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    Hmm... let's do a little rough math here.

    Bicycling magazine once published some figures for calorie burn rate. Let's assume rider weight of 170 lbs. and an average speed of 15MPH. The figure I have is 0.0561 Cal/lb-min. for flat terrain. So given that...

    0.0561 Cal/lb-min x 170 lbs x 525,600 min/year * 5 years = 2,5063,236 Cals

    Converted to joules that's 104,934,756,484.8 joules. Just to give you an idea of how much energy that is, a gallon of gasoline has about 1.3x10^8 joules worth of energy. Thus we're talking about 800 gals worth of gas here. In order to achieve this type of energy density, in a compact enough form to be placed on a bicycle, you need to start looking at miniature nuclear batteries. Have you been talking to Fleischmann and Ponds?
    Right... and my moped has an 800 gallon tank as well.

    In reality, you'd need to refuel the moped about 1600 times over 5 years to burn all that energy. Modern batteries can go about 500 charging cycles so they're still not there yet but when you compare the environmental and economical costs of 800 gallons of gas vs. the same amount of electricity, I'll take a battery.

  14. #14
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluetriforce
    Can a electric bicycle batteries last for over 5 years of continuous electric bicycle riding (like traveling 30,000 or more miles) without charging the battery one time? After that then charging time with this electric bicycle only takes 4-6 hours or less on a standard 110v outlet and after that charging the batteries the bicycle it will have another 5 years of continuous riding before charging the bicycle again?
    As many have said, without a brakthrough of a magnatide that is not even, currently, under discuccion or forseen this is not a likely, near, future.

    That being said, to apply an overused phrase, we must not let the best become the enemy of the good. I would like to see range closer to one-hundred miles and charge time closer to one hour per hundred miles. Idealy would be a charge time of closer to ten minutes per hundred miles. Lets face it, other than a few, most people woulf never consider spending over a hundred miles (4 - 5 hours) on an ebike.

    This would begin to push the ebike applications out of the current role of pedal assist and into the role of lite motorcycles, which they currently are not. I see this as both good and bad. It would also begin to make ebikes practical for touring and to take when going camping (due to, very mild, cerebral palsey I do not hike well).

    I feel that for ebikes to remain practical, they have to be able to be lifted, by their rider, onto the bicycle rack on municiple busses. However, this reveals my view of the best use of ebikes in general. I would liek to see them used for many applications; however, at the present, I see then as an exelent "last mile' (really, last 5 - 10 miles) solution for public transport. Even in a country like America, which is so spread out, if public transport only tried to get within five miles of all residences and destinations, then it would have a chanch of working.

    Starting to ramble, so, ther is not way that a five year charge would work and I know of no other current methods of land transportation that pack a five year charge. It is an unrealistic goal. Give me a 100 mile charge.

  15. #15
    Calixfornia dreamin' thimblescratch's Avatar
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    Batteries are getting lighter and more efficient. I think soon there will be a 10lb battery that lasts a couple years. The Schwinn Campus is very lightweight, but I can't find info about how much the battery weighs. From their website:

    "Long range – Hi-tech patent-pending Protanium® lithium polymer battery is the lightest and most durable on the market. One charge will last approximately 60 miles(Depending on user weight, climate and terrain)."

    That's pretty impressive. And it's tiny. http://www.schwinnbike.com/products/...ail.php?id=889

    I guess I'm just an optimist.

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    I'd like to see a bike with bottom bracket based motor. Something like optibike, but nothing as fancy and more regular looking. With a BB motor, the motor is smaller and lighter (but a little noisier because of the internal gearing), center of gravity is low, you can use normal wheels for both front and back, and the motor will always be operating at peak efficiency because you can use your bike's regular gears.

    And there might be enough room near the bottom bracket to stuff a battery there too. The whole thing could possibly weigh less than 40 lbs.

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    Why go towards the direction of storing enough energy to last 5 years, when the easier approach is to continuously recharge. Think solar power, with the battery only acting as temporary storage to smooth out the power output as you cycle through sun and shade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamtki
    I'd like to see a bike with bottom bracket based motor. Something like optibike, but nothing as fancy and more regular looking. With a BB motor, the motor is smaller and lighter (but a little noisier because of the internal gearing), center of gravity is low, you can use normal wheels for both front and back, and the motor will always be operating at peak efficiency because you can use your bike's regular gears.

    And there might be enough room near the bottom bracket to stuff a battery there too. The whole thing could possibly weigh less than 40 lbs.
    Something like this?



    I totally agree. Yamaha pulled it off on their Racer-01. I would like to see that further developped into a full production model we can buy. I'd like to get a close-up view of how that bottom braket V-twin electric motor setup was done. They must be using some type of freewheel crank or something. You can tell from that picture that the crank seems to be some special custom made deal.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skidurts
    Why go towards the direction of storing enough energy to last 5 years, when the easier approach is to continuously recharge. Think solar power, with the battery only acting as temporary storage to smooth out the power output as you cycle through sun and shade.
    When I was in college, 25 years ago, I came up with an electrical car system that combined an onboard battery and a network of under the surface induction coils.

    When using your car on major roads you would simply get the juice from the grid by driving over induction wires just under the road surface. No rails or anything. Just contactless induction coils.

    Then when you go on sidestreets which don't have the induction wires yet, the car would simply switch over to the onboard battery.

    The best part? Unlimited range when driving on a major roadway. You'd never need to "fill up" or even recharge the battery yourself. As your sitting idle on a streetcorner the juice from the induction wires underneath would recharge your battery.

    And when you get home you could also install an induction coil under your driveway or garage to recharge your car if you happened to be mostly riding on side streets.

    Two problems I couldn't figure out:

    1 - How to bill people for their electrical usage
    2 - How to get everyone onboard. There would be so much opposition from so many sides simply because they want to maintain their livelyhood. Car mechanics, auto producers, gas companies, service stations and so on.

    But one day we WILL run out of petrol. That's inevitable. My solution I dreamed up back in the '80s would work and would make perfect sense.

    PS: This could also be applied to electric bikes as well. They could use the juice from the same induction coils under the road as cars do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluetriforce
    Is this technology here yet or in the next 5-20 years? Can a electric bicycle batteries last for over 5 years of continuous electric bicycle riding (like traveling 30,000 or more miles) without charging the battery one time? After that then charging time with this electric bicycle only takes 4-6 hours or less on a standard 110v outlet and after that charging the batteries the bicycle it will have another 5 years of continuous riding before charging the bicycle again?

    Thanks,

    bluetriforce
    Did you mean without changing the battery one time?
    Possibly, there is a company down in Texas that has said they will ship this year, an ultracapacitor that will have 2.8-3 x the power density of NiMH at HALF the cost of lead acid and millions of charge cycles. The first units are going to ZENN cars in Toronto who say they will be shipping the cars next year. Claims include working down to-20C, scalable from pacemakers to trucks and protection against catastrophic shorting.
    I have to say I have some skepticism, but if they do it, it changes everything.
    Look for eestor on google.

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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    I don't think so myself. Part of it has to do with the inefficiencies of the elelctric motors.

    See the motor is on it's own fixed gearset usually, or it's a rim drive system (obscenely ineefficient). what you need is a freewheel crankset, where the cinarings will turn, but not your pedals, to get the most out of an electric bike...for this one reason: it will sue your bikes exisiting 21+ gears. This allows you to use a lower gear on climbs and a higher gear on declines, maximizing power efficiency.

    The problem with this is insanely increased complexity of teh bike. Plus where is the electricity coming from? Fossil fuels? If so, thats jsut conterproductive.
    Close to what you want is the stokemonkey, you still have to pedal, the cranks go round when the motor runs, but it is pretty efficient. They claim with 20-30kg of cargo, an average guy can stay with a fast road bike for up to 50 miles. You do have to fit an Xtracycle first though.

  22. #22
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuser
    When I was in college, 25 years ago, I came up with an electrical car system that combined an onboard battery and a network of under the surface induction coils.

    When using your car on major roads you would simply get the juice from the grid by driving over induction wires just under the road surface. No rails or anything. Just contactless induction coils.

    Then when you go on sidestreets which don't have the induction wires yet, the car would simply switch over to the onboard battery.

    The best part? Unlimited range when driving on a major roadway. You'd never need to "fill up" or even recharge the battery yourself. As your sitting idle on a streetcorner the juice from the induction wires underneath would recharge your battery.

    And when you get home you could also install an induction coil under your driveway or garage to recharge your car if you happened to be mostly riding on side streets.

    Two problems I couldn't figure out:

    1 - How to bill people for their electrical usage
    2 - How to get everyone onboard. There would be so much opposition from so many sides simply because they want to maintain their livelyhood. Car mechanics, auto producers, gas companies, service stations and so on.

    But one day we WILL run out of petrol. That's inevitable. My solution I dreamed up back in the '80s would work and would make perfect sense.

    PS: This could also be applied to electric bikes as well. They could use the juice from the same induction coils under the road as cars do.

    RFIDs should work for this.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    RFIDs should work for this.
    I meant the whole billing/enforcement process and so on. Not just the technology for finding out who's using the juice. You have to consider who owns the roads. You go from one city to another and that's different bills. And then there's Provincial and municipal roads and so on. What about such a system up en Europe where you can easily cross into several countries all in a week's worth of biking?

    Complexities like that are what I was trying to figure out. If this thing is going to work, the whole process has to be simplified to reduce costs and make sure it's affordable for everyone. I hate overhead costs. Keep things simple = reduce costs.

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    If you pedal normally and use the assist sparingly (only help uphill, etc.) you can expect to use ~10wh/km. 30K miles is 48K Km, so you'd need ~480Kw. With an overall charging eff of ~75%, to get that kinda power in an hour at 115v would take ~5.217KA. That's ~116 times the rating of the baddest household 115v plugs I know of, at 45A. Not gonna happen.

  25. #25
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluetriforce
    Is this technology here yet or in the next 5-20 years? Can a electric bicycle batteries last for over 5 years of continuous electric bicycle riding (like traveling 30,000 or more miles) without charging the battery one time? After that then charging time with this electric bicycle only takes 4-6 hours or less on a standard 110v outlet and after that charging the batteries the bicycle it will have another 5 years of continuous riding before charging the bicycle again?

    Thanks,

    bluetriforce
    #1 -Rechargable batteries must be charged BEFORE the first use. Every rechargable (or cordless) device that has ever been produced, has an instruction book that says "Charge for 16 to 36 hours before initial use" . This includes cell phones, cordless drills, cordless vacuum cleaners, cordless phones and laptop computers.

    2# -The amount of power required to go thirty thousand miles can NOT be delivered though a standard 110 volt outlet in 4 to 6 hours, it would blow the fuse, or trip the circuit breaker INSTANTLY.

    Let's do the math:
    30000 miles at 30 miles per hour = 1000 hours

    750 watt motor times 1000 hours equals = 750 kilowatt/hours

    750 kWh would break down to 750 kilowatts times 1 hour

    (that's three quarters of a megawatt, no such breaker, no such fuse, in a home...You have to go to a powerplant to charge it)

    okay , you said six hours, 750 divided by six equals 125 kilowatts.

    125,000 watts divided by 110 volts,

    =1136.3636 Amps

    A standard 110 volt outlet only has a 25 amp fuse or circuit breaker.

    the average house only has a 150 Amp Service Main breaker.

    The charger required to charge this *hypothetical* battery would not only blow your fuse, but the main fuse, and probably knock out all the power in your neighborhood.

    And that's calculating 100% efficiency. Considering heat, you would need fifteen hundred amps,

    That's as much current as ten houses. Most houses only have a 150 amp MAIN fuse,

    1500 amps= ten houses.



    ------------------------------------------------------
    You might as well put an 800 gallon fuel tank on a moped.

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