Electric Bicycles Have Traveled Far
The first models of electric bicycles appeared in late 19th century. The US Patent office registered several e-bike patents from 1895 to 1899, but the first models with torque sensors and power controls weren’t available until the late 1990s. The famous billionaire, Howard Hughes, converted his bicycle to electric in 1917 by using a 6-volt electric starter motor from a car, and a lead-acid car battery. There is a interesting list of early patents at electricbike.com.
The pedal-assist feature was introduced in 1989, and was a big innovation in the e-bike industry. It eases the rider’s movement while the electric motor assists. By 1998, over 49 different e-bike models were available. Today, approximately over 120 million electric bicycles are in use in China. In Europe and North America, e-bike ownership has some catching up to do, with yearly sales of approximately one and a half million bicycles. The main design of an e-bike consists of a traditional bicycle frame and a small electric motor powered with rechargeable batteries of lead-acid, NiCd, NiMH or Li-ion. Power of those motors is limited to produce maximal speeds of 15 to 20 mph. There are several types of motors currently in use, most notably direct-drive and geared.
According to the World Health Organization report, about 37% of health conditions are from inhaling poor air quality. To eradicate these problems, use of e-bikes is encouraged, with Germany and The Netherlands reporting some of the largest adoption rates. Technological advancements keep pushing e-bikes increase in popularity, with motors and control units getting easier and more efficient. The range of e-bikes has significantly increased in recent years, and designs have been streamlined with fewer components. By choosing an efficient mode of transportation, you can contribute to the future impact of e-bikes on a healthier environment. Visit your local e-bike retailer today!