With electric bike conversion kits getting more and more popular every day, it might be a good idea to have some idea about what goes into making a Li-Ion electric bike from a regular bicycle. |
The electric bike conversion kit comprises an electric motor and a Li-Ion battery. The kit is set up such that the motor can directly drive the wheel by drawing power from the battery pack. Li-Ion is used because it can store the most amount of energy per unit weight, making it the choice solution for mobile power sources.
The most interesting thing about the motor is what makes the Li-Ion electric bike a reality. While the motor can drive the wheel in a conventional fashion when it draws power, it also doubles up as a generator when the wheels are spun by going downhill. This enables charging on the fly. Another important feature is that the motor does not impede normal functioning of the bicycle in any way; the rider is free to ride the bike like a normal bike without any motor or battery. But if they do want a few minutes of comfort, they can switch on the motor and pretend they are on a motorcycle.
The best way to ride an electric bike is in assist mode. This is when the motor works in tandem with a pedalling rider and actually makes the ride easier without significantly altering the experience of riding a bike and powering oneself over terrain. This mode can be used to stretch the available range of the battery pack when low on power. Or it can be used simply because it makes for a very easy, uncanny, and unique experience.
Electric bike conversion kits were designed to bring electric powered personal transportation to the masses. Most budget electric vehicles are extremely shoddily made with poor quality components that might actually pose significant risks to users. On the other end, luxury brands dominate the electric vehicle market, charging enormous premiums for what they advertise as the “future of transport”. Conversion kits encourage the DIY attitude in people and give them exactly what they need to get an electric vehicle on their own, limited only by their ability to be patient. They can be cheap and yet not skimp on quality products that ultimately results in a better e-bike after the kit is applied than the manual bike it was before.
It is certainly good news that people are forgoing conventional automobiles for favour of the electric vehicles. While many major companies have already made in roads in this new industry, small companies like those selling small kits to individuals that have the most power and opportunity to affect sweeping changes in the industry as a whole. Conventional automobiles were expensive to run and maintenance. Electric ones are not. This is one of those industries where the platform is not mature enough for brands that are “enriched” to take up all available capital, or business.
RESOURCE BOX Electric bike conversion kits are selling like hot cakes. Elsewhere though, the Li Ion electric bike belongs exclusively in the domain of the rich and famous. This is what makes this technology more special: it is actually acting like an equaliser and removes hurdles to access technology, thereby helping the world get a little better, every day.
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