Electric Bicycle

New full-size folding electric bicycle introduced in USA

A new full-sized folding bike with a 36 volt Lithium Ion battery pack is available in the U.S. for the first time. Named the EW-475-Li, it was introduced in late March 2011 and is currently on sale at High 5 Scooters. See pictures below:

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X-Treme introduced a comparable full-size folding bike with a 24 volt Lithium Ion battery pack in September, 2009, called the XB-310Li which was very well received but it has been out-of-stock on since March of this year and is not expected to be restocked until early June, 2011. The EW-475 has a larger battery pack than the XB-310Li (36 volt and 10 amps vs 24 volt and 8 amps for the XB-310Li) and uses the super-stable extremely long-life LiFePO4 battery chemistry.

The EW-475-Li has 26" wheels, folds in half and comes with folding pedals. It is powered by a state of the art 300 watt hub motor combined with the powerful 36 volt lithium battery. This bike has it all including both front and rear shocks, disc brakes and a lightweight aluminum frame. And it is built with all top of the line components. It weights a lightweight 52 lbs which includes bike, battery and motor.

The EW-475-Li has an independent full twist throttle -- in addition to the regular 'pedal assist' mode. So, you can pedal with a significant boost from the electric motor or not pedal at all. The bike has a top speed of 20 mph* and up to 25 miles per charge using the motor only. There are really three modes operation: (1) You can turn off the power and pedal this bike like any other bicycle; (2) You can turn on the power and receive a strong electric motor assist as you pedal (this is when you'll feel like superman or superwoman!); or (3) You can use the variable-speed twist-throttle the entire time - no pedaling required.

More specifications and pictures can be found at http://www.high5scooters.com/productinfo/ew475.htm

reikiman's picture

Some electric "bicycles" make you scratch your head and say "that's a motorcycle"

I recently had the privilege to test and review a pair of bicycles including one that just makes me question "what's an electric bicycle." See - Head-head the A2B Metro and EMS Elite bicycles

EMS's Elite has a 1000 watt electric motor, top speed a bit over 30 miles/hr, on a road bike style frame. It's very fast and so easy to get up to speed ranges where the laws say it is supposed to be registered and the rider have a motorcycle license. But the manufacturer is selling it as a bicycle.

The laws about electric bicycles are murky to say the least. Some places ban electric bicycles outright for unknown mysterious reasons. Other places restrict the power to 250 watts. I think that some places must be unregulated, and anything goes. In the U.S. the general rule is 750 watts or less and 20 miles/hr or less, but every state and some cities have their own rules and it's a mixmaster of different regulations. At 1000 watts and a 30 miles/hr top speed the Elite is way beyond the majority of the legal definitions regulating electric bicycles.

Many times I've seen electric bicycle riders chafe at these rules. Limited to 20 miles/hr? Unpowered bicyclists can often go faster than that! Uh, yeah, the lycra clad types on racing bikes probably are. In my neighborhood the majority of unpowered bicyclists are riding in the 10-15 miles/hr range and sometimes slower than that.

I'm wondering about safety, about compatibility with other vehicles, and opening the eyes of the people around us to see value in electric bicycles. And I see a possible role for crossover vehicles that are recognized as being a grade above "bicycles", a grade below "motorcycles", and combine pedaling and a motor.

Safety: Would it be safe to take a cheap bicycle and put a 72 volt crystalyte system on it? Some people are doing this and I'm sure it's quite fun. But is it safe? Really? One of the legitimate roles for government is testing and validating product safety. What should government do in this case?

Compatibility: There's a continuum of transportation ranging from the pedestrians, to bicyclists, to scooters, to motorcycles, to cars, to mass transit, etc. Each tends to have their own place on the road. Bicyclists in many places have bicycle lanes giving a place where bicyclists can go bicycle speed. Bicyclists are generally not compatible with the traffic on the road, because they generally go much slower. In the bicycle lane the prevailing speed is bicycle speed while over there where the cars go the prevailing speed is faster. An electric bicycle needs to fit into one or the other, but a fast electric bicycle is going to be faster than the prevailing bicycle speed. That either will frustrate the electric bicyclist (I can go faster than the unpowered bicyclists let me go) or else be a danger as they continually pull out into car traffic to pass other bicyclists.

It is unusual for electric bicycle regulations to be based on motor power. Most vehicle definitions don't have motor power ... e.g. you can get a car with any power you want, one that can go insanely fast, much faster than the speed limit, and there's nothing to stop you so long as the car meets safety regulations. Why do electric bicycles have a limit?

Some guesswork ... I hear that one of the reasons behind banning electric bicycles is that by adding a motor the ebike falls into "motor vehicle" regulatory snafu's. If a given motor vehicle code doesn't have definitions allowing electric bicycles the authorities might say "well, it's not allowed". Also by limiting the power levels below which an electric bicycle can go unregulated it carves out an exception to the general rule that motor vehicles have to be regulated.

A hundred or so years ago when they were first developing motorcycles - they were essentially bicycles with a small gas motor. Some of the motorcycles back then even had usable pedals. Nowadays motorcycles are quite a lot hugely different (to say the least).

Riding the EMS Elite bicycle just had me thinking about this history and the gap between bicycles and motorcycles. I'm wondering whether "bicycle" is the best label for a this kind of vehicle. There is this "moped" label that for example in California's vehicle code the EMS Elite fits perfectly. A Moped in California's law has a speed up to 30 miles/hr and a motor less than 2 HP which would be 1500 watts. Mopeds have lesser regulation than motorcycles but have to meet higher regulation than bicycles. For example lighting and turn signals and rear view mirrors and horns must be up to snuff. I think they're expecting mopeds to be out in traffic rather than in the bicycle lane.

But there aren't many examples of "mopeds" being sold, today.

Some of the companies are selling scooter-bikes, which look like scooters but have a less-than-750-watts motor and speed limited to 20 miles/hr. On this forum Xtreme's XB5xx, XB6xx, XB7xx and other scooterbikes have been popular. But on those the pedals seem useless and I think many people just take the pedals off. There are also scooters with speeds up to 30 miles/hr like my EVT 4000 and those get classified as mopeds despite not having pedals.

I do think it would be quite fun having a "bike" that can combine pedaling and an electric motor and go higher speeds than the 20 miles/hr electric bicycles are limited to. It should be properly designed for the higher speed, it should have lights and horns and turn signals and such so it can be compatible with the car dominated traffic. It should be designed so that the pedals are actually useful, unlike the scooterbikes. And probably it should be regulated and licensed.

kevin smith's picture

hi all can you help...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi all .
When i spent some time fixing my vectrix scooter .
the wheel bearing had broke.
Anyhow i had to pull out my old biycle and ride to work and i found it.

Really difficult as it didn't help all the bad weather i had to go through .

i lost 13lbs in two weeks theres the motivation...

So hear it is i need HELP.. i don't / won't give up my vectrix i am willing to cycle two/three days a week
And use the vectrix the other days .

i am willing to spend £1,000 on a electric bicycle but it needs to be ( electric bike ) as to wean myself back to biking..

And with a love of ev's this would be great..

So what i needs is ..

1. light weight bike....

2. needs to i think 250watts motor min this is for british law and road speed max 15 mph .unlees it has a off road switch /20mph??.

3. i am thinking front suspention forks.and for lightness mybe shoke seat post for light ness..

4. i want a distance of aprox 20 miles min milage..

5. i prefer lithium- ion pack first choice. nickel-metal hybrid.2 choice.

6. i would love bionx kit on its own so i can fit it to my bike but carn't find any where .

In england as i like the regen and digital display and all the levels it can do

i probbley would buy a resnobal priced one second hand ..

my bike that i have is a full suspention bike but needs lots changing but but kit would need to be 26" wheel....

7. reasonable geed quality bike / kit and water proof as we actually have rain / lot's over hear.

8. reliabillity . mountain bike type.

Thank you .
hope you can help me looking.??????????????

kev

will01's picture

Electric bicycle: Enjoy the responsibility

The threat of global warming looms large over the face of earth and is attracting war scale measures from various quarters. However there is also a unique way of fighting global warming which is really fun filled. The electric bicycle has emerged as a suitable alternative to traditional vehicles and can help you to reduce your carbon footprints while you enjoy a joyful ride through the beautiful countryside!

Electric bicycleis finding a lot of acceptability across the whole world although there are different rules governing the electric bicycle in different countries. Thus in Australia the electric bikes and electric scooter have to comply with the Australian Design Rules(ADR) before the vehicles can be legally allowed on the roads. The ADR covers a whole range of vehicles which include self powered as well as motor propelled bicycle.

According to the Australian ADR a pedal cycle is one which has one or more propulsion motors attached to it having a maximum output of not more than 200 watts. Thus an electric cycle is basically a cycle which can be propelled with the help of an external device. The source of energy in the electric bike is generally clean fuel cells which provide a constant supply of carbon free energy.

The different rules pertaining to electric bikes basically throw light upon various important criteria relating to electric bicycles viz :

* Identity: The type of vehicles
* Type: The type of the vehicle as per law
* Maximum speed: The maximum speed at which the bike can travel
* Maximum power: The maximum engine power permissible
* Helmet: Is a helmet necessary.

All the above factors determine the design of the electric bike that will be launched in the market.

Electric bikes have come a long way since their early days of inception. The present day electric bikes are sleeker and can pack many features together. They are distinguished by the use of super light LiFePo4 batteries which makes them super light and also highly portable. You can carry the bike around with you wherever you go! Also the motor bicycle kit makes it possible for you to assemble the bike right inside your home by following some simple Do It Yourself steps.

Electric Bikes and Batteries offer electric bicycle kits. The website http://www.electric-bicycle.com.au provides complete information about the company.

reikiman's picture

Electric bicycle touring in Ireland

Wow! GoEco is an electric bicycle dealer in Ireland (they say they're the only such) who is selling some wild looking trailers, and offering electric bicycle support for trekking around Ireland. Very tempting looking. - technorati: FHFZ84SC3QBA

They call these "midget bicycle campers". It's a cargo trailer that looks well built which can comes along with a tent. They also have a picture of a tent that appears to be built onto a camping cot.

MB-1-E's picture

MB-1-E Part One: Electric Conversion - 1985 Bridgestone Mountain Bike

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1985 Bridgestone MB-1 BEFORE Conversion:

(Note: I will be adding some diagrams and photos as the project progresses and I have time to add them)

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Not fully refined but a working proto-type

How It All Began

As Spring hits the Pacific Northwest, I find myself wanting to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
I've had a Mountain Bike for many years, but haven't been riding it in the last 5+ years.
Well, my wife asked me to work on her bike a few weeks ago and to be blunt, it's a POS ... so I went out and bought her a new one. Boy, have bikes changed since I got mine back in 1985. Hers is a 21 speed, front suspension, very reasonable cost ...

Since my bike was a quality bike to begin with, I took it all apart, replaced the bearings, cleaned and adjusted everything and polished the few chromed bolts that were starting to rust. In the process I found out that my old bike is now quite sought after, since Bridgestone went out of business in the early 90's.

I decided that I wanted to convert it to an Electric Bike, but due to the fact that it's probably worth more now than it was when I bought it (approx. $520 back in 1985), I didn't want to compromise it doing a conversion.

I got on the web and found many resources available ...
... one of which was Eric Peltzer's Electric Bike site.
I liked the design and he has done a great job of documenting his build, so I wanted to do something similar. It's not surprising that Eric did such a fine job, he is also a sculptor, creating some pretty cool looking works of metal art.

As any of you, who have already converted a bike, will testify, every bike, every motor etc. is slightly different and requires quite a bit of customizing.
"One Size" does not necessarily fit all.

At any rate, when I read about and viewed Eric's bike, I was hooked. I envisioned how fun it would be to ride the back roads around here. There are lots of abandoned logging roads here that have been closed off due to lack of funding to maintain them. Some are still open and I do take the 4WD Toyota on many but there are tons more that have what we call "Tank Traps" or bulldozed trenches and berms to keep the 4WDs and cars out. It's either State or mostly Federal land, so it's open to the public, just not accessible by car or truck.

These roads are sometimes rather steep, dirt or gravel, usually overgrown and the requirements to traverse them would be somewhat different than your average electric conversion kit.

I don't like the noise, destruction and pollution of ATV's or Dirt Bikes, so an Electric Bike that I can charge using my 50W wind generator and 37W solar panels at home seems like the way to go.

Perceived Requirements for this conversion:
...Use existing Mountain Bike for the conversion
...Be Durable
...Ability to climb dirt/ gravel inclines
...Be light enough to lift into the truck and over obstacles
...Have a fairly good range
...Be easy to work on and maintain
...Keep the conversion cost down as much as possible. ($500-$700)

The Motor:

Eric's bike has a nice 1hp Scott. Scott motors this size seem to cost around $250+ no matter where you get them. I was lucky and found a new 3/4hp Scott for $50 on eBay ($68 w/ shipping).
It's a 24V 560W 3000 RPM DC motor rated at 30A
The motor has a 5/8" keyed shaft on both ends which makes it pretty versatile for various setups.

The Controller:

Eric Peltzer's latest version uses a 180A Controller.
Controllers are expensive! A 180A was over my budget by a considerable amount.
I'm not sure what Amperage the Scott 1hp pulls at 24V, but it's bound to be more than the 30A of my 3/4hp Scott. With this in mind, and the fact that I will adjust the gear ratio as necessary to keep the motor from exceeding the controller's maximum amp rating, I decided to go with a 100A Controller. (I hope I won't regret it, but the Navitas 100-36 does have thermal protection and is rated at 30A continuous at 24V or 20A continuous at 36V with 100A max. This was within my budget. I'll be keeping an eye on the temperature of the controller and may decide to incorporate a heat sink into my design.

The Throttle:

The Navitas 100-36 will accommodate either a 0-5k type throttle or Hall Effect type. I decided on a 0-5k twist grip for my build. I considered a thumb lever but decided that there wasn't much room with my Shimano gear levers already taking up the position that would work the best for good throttle control.

The Batteries:

This is another area where my budget was taxed. This, however, is my gas tank so I tried to put as much capacity as possible into the design without getting too bulky, too heavy or too far over budget.
I wanted the center of gravity to be as low as possible, while keeping good clearance under the bike for traversing the terrain.
I used AutoCAD to figure my clearances and went back and forth between my 3D drawings and battery retailer's websites to get the dimensions of batteries that would best fit the area I had to work with.
I wanted all of the batteries to be the same capacity and my mountain bike frame is an 18" model (rather small), so it took a while to come up with the best size.
I was able to fit eight - 9Ah 12V AGM SLA Batteries (UB1290) in and below my frame opening without pedal interference. (At least in CAD that is ...)

edit - (Note: Some changes were made to the following as noted later in the project)

I'll be making a battery enclosure using acrylic sheet .093" thick. The plan is to make the case fit within the frame opening (under the horizontal bar).
I'll use existing socket head cap screws (used for attaching a water bottle and pump etc) to attach the enclosure. Next I'll place 6 of the batteries into the enclosure at various angles to fit. Once in place, I'll use a spacer of some sort to make room for the terminals and connections and wrap each battery in plastic wrap. Next, I'll use expanding foam to take up the spaces between the batteries. I'll remove the batteries, plastic wrap etc then trim off the excess foam with a hand saw.
I'll make a cover for the enclosure out of the acrylic sheet and secure with some thumb screws. I'll make a smaller frame or enclosure for the two batteries below the frame.

The controller will be out in the open so it keeps cooler. It will be in a protected area (it's only 2"x3"x1") so fairly easy to place.

The Jackshaft:

The 3/4hp 560W Scott Motor turns 3000 RPM so obviously needs reduction. I'm going to start out with a 9:1 reduction but may go with as much as 11:1 if needed to reduce the load on the controller.
As Eric's site so helpfully pointed out, in order to keep a chain from being too noisy, they are best kept down to 1000 RPM or less. (That's not a direct quote, but, generally, what I understood about chain speed).
I will, therefor, be using a V-belt to reduce the motor rpm to 1000 RPM at the jackshaft.
I'm having the jackshaft made by "Tuff Industries", a very helpful outfit that I found on E-bay that specializes in jackshafts and go-kart assembly fabrication. The jackshaft assembly will consist of a flat vertical plate with a 5/8" dia keyed shaft that runs horizontal and parallel to the motor shaft.
It has a welded on hub that houses the bearings and will have a 6" dia aluminum sheave on one side of the plate and a freewheeling 22 tooth #35 chain sprocket on the other side of the plate. The plade bolts directly to the Scott motor and should be easily adjustable for belt tension and very stable.
I will fabricate an adjustable support shaft that is in line with the #35 chain and mounts to an existing boss on the back of the bike frame. This should provide easy adjustment for chain tension.

The Rear Sprocket:

I wanted this to be a "Pedal Assist" for several reasons. One is the law on motorized bicycles here in Washington requires it to have pedals to be considered a non-licensed vehicle. Two, I will be on back roads and if something breaks or my batteries run out, I want a way to get back home or to my truck.
The #35 driven sprocket will, therefor, need to be on the left hand side of the bike.
Since I don't want to make any permenant changes to the bike, I'll be making a sprocket mount that uses a split ring backing plate (sort of like the Currie attachment).
I ordered a cheap 60 Tooth go-kart steel sprocket that has a bore of 1-3/8" and a bolt circle of 3-1/4".
By my measurements this should slip right over the outside of the rear hub w/ slight modification.
I'll make the split backing ring with a 3" I.D. and 4-1/4" O.D. so it surrounds the hub (inside of spokes) and sandwiches the spokes between this and the 60T sprocket. I'll make some neoprene gaskets for each side of the spokes and use some spacers at the bolts to keep from damaging the spokes.

The Motor/ Jackshaft Assembly Mount:

From my best sources, I've learned that the closer I place the motor and jackshaft to the seatpost, the more stable and better off I'll be. (Thanks to both Chuck and to Robert, my brother).
The bike frame has two factory brazed, threaded bosses that are in-line with each other. I think that this will be the bast place to attach the motor mount.
I want the mount to hinge at this point so that I can loosen the attachment bolts, tighten the chain tensioning rod then re-tighten the motor mount bolts.
So the motor and jackshaft will be one unit and hinged at mount.

Wiring:

Initially I'll make this a 24V system.
I'll place the batteries in Series/ Parallel to provide 36Ah at 24V.
Charging will be a bit of a challange since I only have a good 15 Amp 12V charger right now. It's an Iota that has the QD4 three stage charging controller and should work well with AGM batteries.
I think there is a way to wire the batteries so that they are what I've heard called "Buddy" Series/ Parallel. From what I know this is a system used by Alternative Energy folks and is supposed to keep a better balanceed battery bank when using Series/ Parallel. I'll have to do more research to figure this one out.
The point I'm making here is that in using this system, if it's wired the way I think it is, I will at least be able to charge 4 batteries at a time (of the 8 total) without disconnecting any leads. (I'll post a diagram of this later, to see if any of you are familiar with doing it this way).
I'm not worried about lights yet, I think I'll just use separate NiMh cells for lights.
I will need a good battery disconnect and a 4 wire key to turn the controller and possibly later lights on and off.

As noted, I'll be updating my blog as I progress.
Any and all comments are welcome. There are a lot of good minds here that will likely know or see something I haven't taken into account. I'm open for suggestions at any stage of this project. I either have all parts or they have been ordered and will be here shortly.
Finding the time to put it together and further engineer it is another story.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Dave

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