A folding electric bicycle from Dahon
This is a bike I saw at Interbike 2009 last week. Dahon specializes in folding bicycles and has a whole range of them. This is a new bicycle and doesn't seem to be listed on their website or I'd've made a link to it.
It's called the "Boost" ... 20" wheels ... 19.6 kg total weight ... 250 watt motor and claimed top speed of 25 km/h. The motor is mounted next to the bottom bracket hence can take advantage of all the gearing. The gear setup is 3 front, 3 rear. It's a Lithium-polymer battery pack. The brochure doesn't say how big.
While in their booth I noted this other vehicle leaning against the wall. They explained it was the CEO's personal experiment, not a product for sale. Later I was in the test ride area talking with Tom Boyd (of ZuumCraft) and the Dahon guy rode that up and they started talking frame design.
I got access to their press room and the following is the official press release and official photos
DUARTE, California — August 27, 2009 — Dahon, the world leader in folding bicycles, today launched the Boost, an ultra-light folding electric bicycle. The Boost combines the portable convenience of a Dahon folding bike with the riding ease of a highly refined pedal assist bicycle.
“There are some very good electric bikes on the market already but there aren’t many good ‘portable’ electric bikes,” stated Joshua Hon, Dahon vice president. “Electric bikes are a really compelling product for urban mobility with excellent growth potential but most are really heavy and difficult to transport. A truly portable electric bike can be rolled onto trains and buses and will really help to expand the usefulness of the category. In the cities of the future, we believe that most inner city transport will be a combination of personal transport (walking, bikes) and trains and buses.”
Dahon developed the Boost over a two year period with a Japanese technology partner. Sophisticated motor and torque sensors add power in proportion to the force the rider applies to the pedals. A 3×3 gearing system allows for nine different riding modes ensuring the Boost can easily meet the power assist requirements of every rider. Unlike many electric bicycles, the Boost rides just like a standard bike with the electric drive system turned off.
The system is based around a 250W motor and has a top speed of 25 km/h. The lithium polymer battery is extremely light and does not suffer from any memory effect.
Even fully equipped, with drive system, battery, integrated rack, mudguards and lights, the Boost weighs 19.6 kg (43 lbs), making it one of the lightest electric bikes on the market. The folding process takes less than 15 seconds.
The Boost drivetrain is very easy to service and consists of only three modules – a motor with integrated controller, the battery, and a handlebar controller. The controller and all circuitry inside the motor is embedded in a layer of waterproof silicon. All three modules are dealer swappable with no special electrical knowledge or tools needed to service the product.
The Boost meets EU, US, and Japan standards.
The Boost will be available worldwide in March 2010 at a suggested retail price of €1,999.