Sunday, March 14, 2010

Glow Worm Bicycles

Maurice Wells, Managing Director, Glow Worm BicyclesLooking for the Addison Road Centre in Sydney on Friday, I noticed a group of people in a brightly lit shop with electric bicycles. This turned out to be the opening of Maurice Wells' Glow Worm Bicycles store. On display were a few different models of electric as well as pedal-only bicycles. Glow Worm claim to have the lightest electric bicycles in Australia, at 18kg. The lithium 36V 10Ah battery packs are in removable cartridges locked onto the bicycle frame with a key. You can remove the battery and carry it indoors by the built in handle, for charging.

On the bike I took for a brief test ride the battery is mounted vertically, low down behind the seat post (even more so on the "Lucky Legs" step through model). This helps with the balance, having the weight low down. However, it results in a more complex frame. Other models, such as the one in the photo with Maurice, have the battery horizontally under the carrier over the back wheel. This requires less engineering but results in more weight higher up.

The bikes have standard gears, brakes and other equipment. Apart from the battery at the back, there is an electric motor mounted in the oversize hub of the front wheel, and a throttle lever next to the left handgrip. It only takes a few seconds to get used to controlling the motor speed. The hard part is remembering to pedal, rather than just let the electric motor carry you along. Claims performance is 25km/h and a range of 20-50km.

Maurice said there was also a folding electric model available, but not on display. Other options include solar charging.

At the launch I met Jerry Desousa, CEO, Timor Air, (flag carrier airline of East Timor) who pased Maurice's skills as an alternatvie energy technology engineer, installing solar systems in East Timor (Timor-Leste).

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Folding Electric Bicycle

Electric bicycle foldabe 20 inch
At the Balmain Markets in Sydney on Saturday, Albert Iesho was displaying electric bicycles from Electric Velocity. One which caught my eye was a 20 inch folder. As well as sales they also arrange rentals.

All the bicycles on display used the same basic layout, with a rear hub mounted 200 Watt motor and a 36V, 8Ah Lithium battery in a slide out canister just in front of the rear wheel. The folding 20 inch bicycle used the same motor and batter as the larger units and is slightly cheaper. But lacks gears, a luggage carrier and full mudguards.

The idea with these bicycles is that you can pull the batter cartridge out and carry it inside to be recharged.

The battery and motor are most of the cost of such units. The bicycle accounts for about $500 of the cost.
Foldable Electric Bike
Cost: $1,300
Frame: Aluminium alloy
Motor: 200W brushless hub
Battery: 36V, 8Ah LiFePO4
Speed: 25 Km/hr on level road
Range: 30 Km depending on terrain
Brakes: Front U-brake & rear mini-expanding brake

L X W X H(mm): 1540 X 630 X 1070
Wheel: 20 inch spokes wheel, M-finish rim
Gear: Single Speed
Battery Life: 1000 cycles
Power Mode: Throttle or 1:1 Pedal Assist
Charging Time: 6-8 Hours for 0 to Max charging
Colour: Silver & Black or Orange & Black

From: Electric Velocity, 2009

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