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Electric Bikes

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Not4Resale, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. Why are these things not being pushed by mass???? Considering how light bikes are, they should be able to run off an electric battery and still have some go. I've looked at site after site and all I've found are home jobs that work mediocorely, DIY kits and one actual project that hasn't quite been completed yet. Wouldn't bikes be better off going in this direction? I mean, you wouldn't get the cool sound when revving you GSX-R's engine, but the environment people!!!! Lead the charge!

  2. Electric and hybrid vehicle advocates conveniently ignore the environmental waste and byproducts involved with producing the batteries for these kinds of vehicles.

    + electric motors usually weight a bit more than petrol ones.

    In anything except a very light, low-powered class of electric bike: they'll be too heavy in decent sized/touring versions. [and too heavy to pick up if they fall over!].

    ... plus, we're already invisible. You want to be silent too?!?!?
  3. The problem is that at the moment most electric vehicles are using way too much power hauling the weight of the batteries around. Quite simply the amount of energy you can store per kg of battery doesn't match what's contained in a kg of petrol. And the only batteries that even come remotely close are still very expensive and have a limited life. Of course given time this will most likely change.
    And the environmental aspect is very much debatable, especially when you start taking into consideration the manufacture and disposal/recycling of batteries (not to mention the fact you're charging them by burning coal).
  4. go have a look in the Bike thoughs and Sugestions forum. there is a nice rightup on an electric Maxi Scooter by Loz.
    It's not a dead idea, but it taking time to get momentum.
  5. + they're for homos and communists
  6. Is that an 'and' or an 'or'? must you be both to own one, or will either do? and what about hairdressers?
  7. It seems that you forgot yuppies
  8. Like FL said, I rode a Vectrix electric maxi-scooter not too long ago - and it was using oooooold battery technology. Apart from being a bit gutless from takeoff, it had plenty of get up and go from about 20kph+ and was great fun to use in traffic.

    I'd consider it absolutely viable for the average person's daily commute already, apart from the fact that these early models are very expensive.

    As lithium polymer tech improves, these things will get better and better. And there's talk of a capacitor-style jigger that's quicker to charge and holds more juice than current batteries can. Some wag's already built a custom electric Daytona 600 capable of 150kmh plus, I personally can't wait to ride my first proper electric sportsbike.

    Electric bikes are a-comin' and they'll be fantastic when they get up to speed.
  9. Perhaps when fuel cell technology becomes comparatively cheaper and smaller we will see some really interesting stuff.
    I personally think hydrogen fuel cell technology holds more promise than battery technology.
    The efficiencies of converting a chemical fuel into electricity via a catalyst and driving the rear wheel directly with an electic motor means 2 or 3 times the efficiency of a conventional engine burning the same fuel.
    Time will tell I suppose......
  10. Batteries! Pffft...who'd bother! I'm going to power my bike with one of these:


    Once that is up and working, I'll fit it with one of these for those longer tours:

  11. I'm waiting for the 'Total Annihilation Drive', where one gram of material releases enough energy to put the Shuttle into orbit.....(I might need better brakes and tyres though).
  12. I would think that there would be problems with the size of the motor required to turn that relatively long chain versus the size of the chassis that you have to fit it in (?????)
  13. You goose, they require hardly any servicing at all! Far less moving parts than a petrol engine, it's all done by clean, easy electromagnetism.

    As for hydrogen fuel cells, they're shite. In the process of converting the energy to hydrogen, you lose about 30% of what you put in. In the process of trying to store these tiny molecules in a fuel tank (and refrigerating them to stop them flying out between the atoms of a metal tank) you lose another 40%, making them a horribly inefficient energy storage medium.

    Then you have to think about how hydrogen can be moved from place to place to form a petrol station-like access grid, or the "hydrogen economy" as they call it. Creating a hydrogen grid would be ridiculously expensive.

    The only advantage hydrogen has over batteries is that you can quickly top up your fuel cell with a liquid you might be able to get from a servo, whereas batteries take longer to charge.

    If the new capacitor-like battery technology takes off, letting you load heaps of energy into it very quickly simply through a plug-in power point and charge your car up in 5-10 minutes or less, there'll be no need to go bollocksing around with fuel cells.
  14. I like the idea Toyota has been playing with of using an electric motor/capacitor coupled with a conventional petrol engine. Capacitors aren't great at holding power for long periods but where it does work well is to use the electric motor as a brake and feed that into a capacitor - then use that stored power as an extra "boost" under acceleration. I reckon it'd work great on something like a 50/100cc scooter since you'd get a lot more acceleration away from a set of lights but not have the increased fuel consumption of a larger engine.
  15. The Vectrix electric maxi I rode already had that feature - it's called regenerative braking.

    It was a fantastic system - you roll the throttle back like normal to go, and then roll it forward past the stop to engage the regen brake, which is quite effective. I found myself using it a lot more than the brake levers, which you only really need if you want to stop real quick.

    Downside to this sort of control system I found was that when your wrist is fully rolled forward to engage regen braking, if something pops out and you need to get on the real brakes fast, it can be hard to get your fingers up and back and over the lever - but then, after making that mistake once you work out how to position your hands and you're off again.


    I'm very optimistic about what electric bikes will offer in the next 10 years.
  16. Yeah most electrics do. What I'm talking about though is using a much smaller capacitor that only has enough capacity to store say the energy of going from 100 down to 0 and nothing more (keeping down costs and weight). After all the main reason people brake is to stop for an intersection - then you have to burn a heap of fuel just to get back up to speed again. A cheap, simple system that eliminates this might be more readily accepted than a full electric bike.
  17. At the moment, it costs too much oil to make the batteries in the first place, let alone the fact that you have to burn oil to make the electricity to charge the damn thing.

    But as long as people invest time and effort in the technology, one day it might be more efficient than petrol.
  18. Im all for it. Electric motors have a heap of torque which is great fun.

    Thats sounds a bit unsafe for the regenerative braking setup loz, they need to sort something out.