Friday, February 13, 2015

Audi Electric Bike Revealed


May, 2012
Last week German automaker Audi made its first big splash into the E-bike world, releasing photos and videos of an exciting lightweight prototype electric stunt bike that may be among the most ambitious projects introduced in this space to date. No specific names or dates have been announced yet by the Germans, so for now it is still technically a concept bike–but from the looks of it a radically groundbreaking one.
This ebike made #1 of our top 10 ebikes of the future list.
And to see the fasted ebikes in the world ever built check out our  10 fastest electric bikes on the planet.
Audi is making some other fast moves in the 2-wheel motor sport category with the announcement last month of their purchase of Italian motorcycle-maker Ducati for $1.2 billion in a rare move for an auto manufacturer. Ducati’s dealership network may well provide Audi with an instant world-wide distribution channel for upscale high-performance E-bikes.
And separately, VW, also owned by Audi, has been working on something they call “last mile transportation,” which focuses on the use of short-distance urban transportation.
Audi’s concept E-bike is what you would expect when some of Europe’s most skilled auto engineers and modernist designers get together and decide they are going to create a flagship E-bike with no expenses spared.
The Audi E-bike is based on custom carbon fiber wheels and a full-suspension carbon fiber frame; even the front suspension forks are custom designed for this bike. The rims look very similar in design to those on the $80K Blacktrail, leading to speculation by some in the E-bike community that this bike was partially designed by PG Bikes, the company behind the Blacktrail.  Certainly at least the Audi ebike designers had the obscenely priced  Blacktrail in mind when they designed their bike. The Audi E-bike also uses the same “Harmonic Drive System” as the Blacktrail, a highly regarded German design developed by Clean Mobile. Clean Mobile builds custom bottom-bracket drive systems for exclusive high end bikes made by innovative European companies such as KTM (see Egnition article here). Ironically Clean Mobile also went through an ownership change recently, first filing insolvency, and then being acquired by TQ-Systems GmbH and switching most of its staff just last month.

PG BIkes $80k Blacktrail… similar to Audi?
The key element to the Audi drive system designed by Clean Mobile, that it keeps the motor weight in the center of the frame (unlike most hub powered bikes which have heavy weight awkwardly placed in rear wheel) and most importantly allows the power to be driven through the bicycles  gear system. This means that the motor is allowed to operate in its maximum efficiency zone, because as we know, electric motors like to spin quickly at a high rpm.  Most expensive ebikes like this choose an In the Gear hub transmission like the German made 14 speed Rohloff (see our article on the Rohloff here). We are very surprised that  Audi opted to go with a standard derailleur system given the other flashes of bicycle technology in this bike such as the $800 Brakeforce one carbon fiber hydraulic brakes. We suspect that going with a derailleur instead of a Rohloff was a compromise Audi had to make to accommodate the carbon rims which have attached carbon spokes, and may have been a design blunder that will be corrected if and when the bike goes into production. Carbon rims with built in spokes make no sense on an ebike other than aesthetics, and add considerably to the cost.  To give you an idea the Blacktrail bike which uses an identical carbon wheel set, sells a replacement set of wheels and rims for a staggering $5000.
The Audi E-bike is designed with light weight, high power and nimbleness in mind, no doubt for BMX-type stunts such as those seen in the video, so does not carry a heavy, cumbersome battery pack. Instead it features a small, featherweight, quick-change pack, enabling the rider to choose between riding “naked” for short distances or hauling extra battery packs in a backpack for longer rides. The bike appears well-balanced, with most of the serious weight (battery and motor) situated very low and centered in the frame.  Best of all, it tilts the scales at a scant 46 pounds–unheard of to date for a full suspension E-bike.

Elegant carbon fiber frame
Other interesting design details include a motorcycle-like seat which can retract during riding to transform the E-bike into a trials-type bike for jumping and stunt-riding. A built-in brake/tail light in the back of the seat is a brilliant futuristic touch. The Audi E-bike also has LED lights built into the front of the handlebar, which you can clearly see in the below video. Smart details like these make this E-bike a showcase of sleek, integrated, forward-looking design.

Other goodies include a built-in Android smartphone app that serves as an electronic control system for the bike, not just monitoring battery and speed but a host of other useful functions, including the ability to toggle through five cycling modes: Pure, Pedelec, eGrip, Power Wheelie, and Balanced Wheelie. The bike also utilizes a torque sensor, which measures how much the rider is pedaling and can add power accordingly.  Another sweet feature of this control system is a lock feature, which locks the rear wheel and sets off an alarm if someone tries to grab and dash your $2ok bike.  All in all this is one of the most impressive efforts we have seen software-wise in an E-bike. In this picture you can see where an Android phone is attached to frame:
Please read the whole article on Electric here.

The 10 Most Expensive Electric Bikes

The 10 Most Expensive Electric Bikes

an article via:

Revised May 10, 2013 Having big money is a nice thing, especially if your an electric bike fanatic. There is nothing cheap that matches the fine finish and performance of these 10 electric bikes. Unfortunately the demand for these ultra expensive beasts is not that great, because most of the electric bikes on this list have not made it to market yet and exist in a state of vapor wear with a few prototypes. However all the bikes on this list, the manufacturer claims to be taking pre-orders and have working prototypes.Part of the reason these bikes are so expensive is most are hand made one at a time items. As a Ferrari is hand built as opposed to a mass produced Fiat.

#10  Prodego Titanio $5000

The most affordable bike on this list is also the lightest weight (32 pounds)  and has the smallest battery pack (205 watt hours) and the smallest motor (250 watts). Building a lightweight ebike is full of performance compromises and to build one light is not cheap. The Prodego Titanio is a titanium beauty, made in China and assembled in the Prodeco factory in Florida.

#9 Specialized Turbo $6000

Semi-affordable  the Specialized Turbo is a quality mass produced bike which can reach a respectable 28mph with pedaling. Specialized hired a team of engineers in Switzerland who spent 3 years designing this bike. It has proprietary hub motor, battery, frame, dashboard, etc. so it costs big bucks.  One of the more solid and practical bikes on this list.  Specialized designed it with the commuter in mind, but good luck locking this expensive baby to a post.

#8  Hanebrink All-Terrain  $9000

Hanebrink is the original fat bike builder, and in the last 5 years brought to market a fat bike mid drive. (read our article about mid drives) A fat bike mid drive is a brutal combination because it can climb steep terrain even when off road.  Because this ebike is hand made in the USA with many expensive and custom made components it is expensive….

#7  Heavy Duty Trike Truck $10,000

This is one of the more unique bikes on this list, which is the SUV of the Ebike world. Hand built in Portland Oregon the Trike Truck has 2 hub motor in the rear and a unique front wheel pedal drive.  It is designed for carrying heavy cargo and rider up steep hills.

#6  Outrider 422 Alpha  $12,000

The Outrider USA  trike is one of the faster ebikes on this list…or would you call it an E-trike?  This is a non suspension trike with a powerful Astro rc motor running to the back wheel, giving you 6 horse power in a light package. Where most of the bikes on this list are lucky to burn 1500 watts, this baby will burn up to 9,000 watts, and jet this trike to 50mph in less than 6 seconds.

Outrider 422 Alpha

#5  Stealth Bomber   $12,000

The Stealth Bomber has proven to be a reliable and robust speedster capable of speeds up to 50mph and is equipped with a heavy duty full suspension. It weighs in at a hefty 125 pounds but has over a 50 mile range.

#4  Optibike  1100r  $14,000

The Optibike 1100r uses some of the latest ebike technologies  including a mid drive. a Rohloff as the motors transmission,  and a Fox full suspension. It is capable of speeds of 35mph and has a very descent range of 40 miles and only weighs 65 pounds. It has proven to be a reliable and durable machine by scaling Pikes Peak a number of times. Optibikes range in price from $6000 to $16,000.

#3 Hanebrink Hustler $20,000

The Hanebrink Hustler was built for speed with no expense spared.  Depending on the configuration, it is capable of speeds up to 80 mph. It is a mid drive using bicycle derailleurs as its transmission.   It has enough lithium battery to get 50-100 miles on a charge depending on how fast you are riding. It has operational pedals hidden behind the fairing so that you can argue it is an electric bike after you get pulled over.  The Hanebrink Hustler can cost from $17,000 to $30,000 depending on configuration (how fast and how far).

#2 M55 $40,000

The M55 seems like it was designed for Arab sheikhs  or internet billionaires.  This bike features no expense spared detailed cnc work and carbon fiber panels. The bike utilizes a rc motor, with a gear reduction system and an RC motor. Power is transferred to the ground via a German Rohloff speed hub in the back wheel. This bike is designed and made by hand in Budapest Hungary.

#1  Blacktrail Bt-01 $80,000

The Suspensionless blacktrail  was designed for street riding. It’s all carbon fiber construction makes it extremely light weight for an electric bike. 50lbs, half of which is battery. The Blacktrail uses an expensive  Clean Mobile gear reduction system.  This bike is one of 3 German bikes on this list. The bike comes in different configurations.  It is claimed it can hit speeds of 60mph in its fastest configuration. Beware if you are thinking about throwing down the big cash for this one…. this bike might be vaporware.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Electric Cars 2015 — Prices, Efficiency, Range, Pics, More

Update [December 31, 2014]: Since this article still gets a lot of traffic, rather than create an entirely new article for 2015, I’m simply changing this 2014 list to a 2015 list. Also, as I have done in the past year, I will update the info here when new cars or data arrive. In case it is helpful to anyone, I will also start putting updates on the bottom of this page to note when and where I made changes. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make this page as useful as it is, and thanks to everyone who does so in the future!
Wondering what electric cars are on the market or soon will be? Wonder no more. I’m going to run down all of them in the article below. I will also add a few key details and commentary for each one (including prices, efficiency, range, and # of seats when such information is available).
Renault ZOE: 169 MPGe, 5 seats, 210 km (130 miles) European (warped) testing.
Price: € 20,900 (British Pounds 13.995), 100% electric, Europe.

If I were on the market for a car, the Renault Zoe would certainly be in the running. It’s a good-looking, 100%-electric, super-affordable car with great reviews. It’s about the same price in France, its home country, as the Nissan Leaf is in the US, and just a little more than the base Leaf costs in France (€18,090). Basically, the choice comes down to personal preferences.
Only behind the Leaf, the Zoe was the 2nd-best-selling electric car in Europe in 2013. Despite only being available in Europe, it was the 6th-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013 — the highest-ranking car to be available on only one continent.

Please read the whole article on Evobsession here.

About the Author

 is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar LoveEV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

Monday, February 09, 2015

STORM - affordable electric bike

The Storm eBike Is A $499 Entry-Level Electric Bike

It’s been a while since I got to do a fun demo on some kind of electric vehicle, so last week we took a trip to Golden Gate Park with the Storm eBike.
It’s a electric bicycle designed to be cheap and practical. It’s the 1987 Honda Civic of electric bikes, stripped down to the basics. There’s no regenerative braking, or a fancy housing to disguise the massive batteries needed to give bikes any kind of range for commuting.
While the frame isn’t anything special, the tires that come with the bike certainly draw the eye. They’re big round tubes that probably aren’t doing the motor any favors but provide a stable, smooth ride on different surfaces. Going over pavement with cracks, paths with crunchy branch bits, and dirt the bike maintained a solid grip and could instantly get going with a push of the accelerator.
Storm eBike
I didn’t get a chance to test the Storm eBike for the entirety of its battery life, but I did get to drive on a few different grades of hill to see how it performed. If your commute is mostly flat (or if you just want to take it to the beach sometimes), it offers a fun ride with assistance that’s also not too hard to pedal.
If you live in an area with particularly steep slopes, the Storm won’t completely eliminate the struggle. I had to max out the accelerator and pedal a bit to get up a hill that I probably wouldn’t have struggled with too much on a lighter bike without a battery.
Storm says that the bike can go 30 miles on a 90 minute charge. While the total distance available will likely drop off a bit over a few years of use, the quick charge time means it’ll still be practical if your trips regularly take you somewhere with an outlet for topping off.
At its $499 launch price on Indiegogo, the Storm eBike seems like a solid entry-level option. Comparable bikes I’ve tried cost a few hundred dollars more, and if you really do want things like fancy industrial design and regenerative braking, you generally have to pony up well over $1,000. It seems ideal for those suburban commuters who could either bike or drive to work — this would certainly make cycling the preferable option.
via Techcrunch
Read the original article with test ride video here.

Follow the STORM Indiegogo campaign here.

The top of the pops EV charger

When it come s to owning an electric car the most important thing is to have it charged and ready for your next busy day or a weekend escape...