Tag Archive | "designation"

Dirt Rider Test-Rides the Zero-X

Dirt Rider Test-Rides the Zero-X

zero-testing

Santa Cruz, California — The Santa Cruz, California-based company, Zero, has recently debuted its new Zero-X Electric Motorcycle, the result of years of work by Neal Saiki, founder, and inventor of the new e-cycle. Saiki is a former NASA engineer.

The overall design of the frame and plastic of the Zero-X is revolutionary, according to its reviewers from Dirt Rider, who also comment that the layout of the electric motor is innovative as well.

The bike is powered by a proprietary lithium-ion rechargeable power pack, and has an aircraft-grade aluminum frame and swingarm. There is also a massive power module cradled in the center of the frame – which weighs 45 pounds and taking up most of the room in the motor area.

To start the bike, you simpy turn the key, flip the on/off switch to “on” and then wait about 0.562 seconds for the green light to come on.

Because the bike is silent, it is easy to forget it’s on. Flick the throttle and the cycle moves forward immediately, with no hesitation.

The Zero-X’s has a 20 horsepower engine. A test rider was able to climb Glen Helen’s famed Mount St. Helens with little trouble. There are two switches behind the handlebar-that can  alter the Zero-X’s power. According to the reviewer, the “hit” switch doesn’t seem to make a massive difference, but the “low” setting makes the overall speed of the electric motorcycle much mellower. You have to toggle the key to go from low to high, which is a good safety feature.

The test rider pointed out that compared to a full-size 250, the Zero-X is fragile, but that’s because you’re contrasting it with a big bike. In relation to a mountain bike, though, this motorcycle is quite strong.

You truly have to ride it like a bicycle – that means no blatantly hard landings and no slamming into things; you have to use finesse to ride the bike. At 151 pounds, the Zero-X is about all that the mountain bike-style fork and shock combo can take, and the entire chassis takes on a nimble, flickable feel in the dirt. Although not as stable as some would like, the lightweight feel of the machine certainly is a benefit to the power-to-weight ratio, and though the Zero-X can’t take super-hard hits or big drops, it is still capable for mild trail scenarios.

It takes a while to get used to the layout of the bike. With two hand brakes and a throttle being the extent of the controls, there’s no need for your feet to do anything.

Some components-the chain guide, for instance-are low, obtrusive and simply not designed for serious off-road use (but then again, neither was the bike).  The brakes are yet another mountain bike-inspired part and do a good job of stopping the bike when new, though Dirt Rider reviewers have heard from customers who bought this bike in late ’08 that the pads wear out almost immediately.

It was the battery duration that would be extremely important.

The testers ran three batteries out at the Zero-X intro, and they all died in different fashions.

One battery slowly grew weaker and chugged to a stop, another felt as though it operated at one-third power forever and then fell out, and yet another battery dropped dead like someone had turned the key off. This variation is most likely because the speed with which the battery runs out, much like a tank of gas, is dependent on which mode you are in and how hard you are on the throttle.

Swapping out a battery with a replacement takes less than three minutes, but an extra batter costs $2950 (plus shipping) for the replacement.

Otherwise, it takes about two and a half hours to recharge the battery.

Right now, the major competitor to the Zero is the Quantya electric bike.

Specifications
MSRP: $7750
Claimed Weight (with battery): 151 lb
Fuel Capacity: None.

Source:
DirtRider.com

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Go Go Gocyle in England

Go Go Gocyle in England

gocycle-test

London, England — the gocycle is a brand new, sleek electric bike. It is a”a revolutionary, lightweight electric two-wheeler designed to shake up the urban cycling industry with its sleek design and pioneering technology.”

Helen Pidd tests the new Gocycle electric bicycle. Photograph: Martin Godwin

The gocycle is like any other bicycle, except it has a red button on the left handebar. That triggers the electricity, and the bike quietly continues on without benefit of pedaling.

The Gocycle manufacturers note that riders can obtain 20 miles out of a single battery charge.

When the battery does die, the bicycle still functions, of course.

It takes three hours to recharge the battery, by simply plugging it into the mains (or an outlet, as they say in the U.S..

Cost: £1198 – but it could be £599 if bought using a voucher from the government’s Cycle to Work Scheme

Pros: Powers ther rider up even steep hills. The bike can be taken to bits quite easily and transported in a carry case.

Cons: Too heavy for carrying up or down stairs very often. With its price tag, fear of theft is a big concern.

Links: gocycle.com

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China in the Forefront of Electric Movement

China in the Forefront of Electric Movement

peter-stevens-car-designer

Beijing, China — Peter Stevens, the UK’s top car designer, believes China’s future will be in driving electric cars.

Stevens knows whereof he speaks – he created race cars for companies such as Lamborghini and Lotus. He came to Beijing as part of the British Embassy’s campaign to introduce UK skills to China.

By the end of 2009, the Chinese company BYD, which produces 65% of the world’s nickel-cadmium batteries, is planning to develop an environmentally-sound electric car. Indeed, China intends to become the world’s largest producer of electric cars by 2011, manufacturing up to 500,000 units a year.

The Chinese government will contribute up to 80 percent towards the cost, which normally costs around 70,000 yuan, available for buyers at just 10,000 yuan.

With this new government scheme the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers expects car sales in the country to reach up to 10 million this year and overtake the United States.

Warren Buffet, according to the Caijing magazine, recently bought 9.89 percent share of BYD for HK$1.8 billion. Because of that and other developments, experts believe China has the potential to become the world’s largest producer of electric cars in the near future.

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New Engine Powers Two Wheelers

New Engine Powers Two Wheelers

kld-electric-motor

There’s a company called KLD, in Austin Texas, that is producing motors for scooters, that are now being produced and used on the roads of Vietnam.

KLD says that their new motor features a substantial shift in electric motor design, one that overcomes motor inefficiencies and EV drawbacks (which other manufacturers try to overcome via battery technologies).

The motor system used by KLD is made from a composite material that generates significantly less heat. And less heat means greater efficiency. They use an innovative nano-crystalline composite material, so that the motor conducts energy ten times more efficiently than traditional iron-core motors, eliminating the need for additional cooling mechanisms. In addition, of course,   it gives greater responsiveness. With its high frequency to low RPM ratio, the KLD motor does not need a transmission. And  it uses standard batteries.

The cost of a scooter with a KLD motor system in the Vietnamese market is $1500 to $2000, or about what a run of the mill EV scooter costs here in the U.S. KLD says that by increasing the production run, the economies of scale should bring the costs even lower for large markets.

KLD is working with Sufat, the leading Vietnamese-based scooter manufacturer, to develop a new line of scooters designed to integrate electric motor system.

Vietnam has over 22 million scooters on the road, which is a huge number of a place the size of New Mexico, so they know scooters!

Source:

http://blog.wired.com/cars/2009/03/new-scooter-eng.html#more

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Electric Speed On Display

Electric Speed On Display

Companuies prepare for the TTXGP zero-emissions grand prix to be held in June during the famous Isle of Man TT race.

On display at the Grand Prix will be an electric sport bike capable of zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds. A San Francisco firm led by former Tesla Motors engineer Forrest North will compete with an electric motorcycle capable of going 150 mph.

Also on display will be the EV-O RR, seen above. Evo Design stands out for the depth of its experience. The iconic British motorcycle company Triumph is among its biggest customers, and its five employees have worked on “everything from submarines to glass bottles,” Simpson said.

The  EV-0 RR has a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, as is propelled by a forkless single-sided front suspension and twin electric motors.

evorr-electric-bike

Although the first monocoque bike hit the track in 1967, single-sided front suspension appeared in 1949 and the earliest patents for electric motorcycles were filed in the late 1860s, everything is just coming together now – just in time!

This motorcycle will be running in the  TTXGP zero-emissions grand prix in June, and Evo hopes that if it runs well, their company will stand out in the growing field of high-performance electric motorcycles.

The EV-0 RR (Electric Vehicle, zero emissions, Road Race) is the first project the six-year-old firm has done on its own. The aesthetics came from motorcycle design house Xenophya, but almost everything else about it — beyond the motors and battery — are being designed and built in-house. “We’ve really gotten a chance to get our hands dirty,” said one of the bike’s designers.

One of the biggest challenges is getting all the electric bits to fit and packaging them so the weight doesn’t throw the handling off. A traditional frame limits the placement of the battery pack and motors, so Evo opted for a monocoque that encloses the drivetrain like a shell.

“A monocoque doesn’t use a frame, so you’ve got a lot more room,” designer Simpson said. “It’s almost mandatory for an electric motorcycle because it gives you much greater latitude in placing the batteries. It’s also incredibly stiff.”

Ensuring the bike has enough juice to finish the race will be the biggest challenge. The TTXGP will use the same winding 37.73-mile course as the famed Isle of Man TT race, where riders maintain an average speed of more than 120 mph and navigate more than 200 curves.

“Range is always an issue with anything electric,” the bike’s designer said. “We won’t have the option of recharging or replacing the battery, so we’ll have to do one complete circuit. That’s going to be one of the challenges, but then, everyone’s facing the same challenge.”

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eBike Bike Lights

eBike Bike Lights

ebike-lights1

These waterproof lights can be used with virtually any ebike setup. Unlike other systems, which require either an auxilliary 6V or 12V battery or a separate DC-DC converter, these units connect directly to the main ebike pack. Highlights include:

  • Efficient and Bright The lights provide significant illumination and visibility with minimal power draw.
  • Variable input voltage All of these lights are designed with an integrated DC-DC converter so that they can be plugged into any ebike battery pack, from 24V setups up to 72V or higher.
  • Robust Construction The light housing is a single block of epoxy, rather than thin shells of die-cast plastic.
  • Waterproof These lights are fully submersible. Prolonged water exposure means…nothig to fear.
  • Made in Canada These lights are both designed and manufactured by us here in Vancouver, Canada.

Mounting

The moulded LED lights are designed so that they can be readily secured to the bike tubing with a pair of zip ties. The front light sits on top of the handlebar. The rear light is secured either to the seat post or rear rack.

Wiring the Power

These bike lights need to tap into your electric bicycle battery pack for power. A small amount of custom wiring is required to hook the light into the system. Instructions for a variety of methods will come with the lights.

Wiring Switches

The regular front and rear lights do not have a built in on/off control button, so you will want to wire up a switch in series with the power going to these lights, or terminate the leads with a connector that is easy to plug in and unplug. Again, this would be customized wiring.

Power from the Wheel

If you have a direct drive hub motor (Crystalyte, Nine Continent, Wilderness Energy etc.) the hub motor itself can act as a generator and power the lights up so that you aren’t riding in the dark.

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Ohm’s Range of Electric Bikes

Ohm’s Range of Electric Bikes

ohm-electric-cycles

OHM Cycles, a bike company based in Vancouver, Canada, announced on February 28, 2009 its next generation of hybrid electric-assist bicycles for 2009.

Four power packs are now available, each one designed to offer optimum power and range for every rider. According to OHM Cycles President Michael DeVisser, “The OHM Urban and Sport hybrid bicycles are a comprehensive solution for eco-friendly mobility.”.

The OHM hybrid e-bikes, which combine BionX drive technology with a Molicel Rechargeable Li-ion cell battery pack, are the first electric bicycles purpose-built for the North American market.

OHM Cycles can be ridden as a conventional bicycle ,or with pedal assist from the intelligent drive system. They have a center-mounted power pack which provides better balance and weight distribution and maintains a standard wheelbase. Because of its ightweight components and a customized power system, OHM “will send you racing up hills and around the city, with ease.”

For 2009, new features have been added:

  • 4 Power packs available – 25 to 70 miles per charge with custom OHM Quick Connect system to easily remove and recharge
  • Fast Recharge – 90% capacity in 20 minutes, fully charge in 3 hours, charge over 500 times without loss of capacity
  • Intelligent Sensor – Patented BionX torque sensor automatically responds to the way the rider pedals and provides a smooth natural sensation
  • Suntour Suspension seat post for a more comfortable ride
  • Adjustable stem and handlebars to customize riding position
  • Topeak rear carry rack with QuickTrack™ MTX

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Millions of Electric Bikes Need Batteries

Millions of Electric Bikes Need Batteries

chisen-battery-technology

Millions of Chinese commuters are acquiring electric bikes, which is benefiting the Chisen Electric Corporation immensely.

Chisen (formerly World Trophy Outfitters, Inc.) is one of China’s leading lead-acid motive battery makers, which they make for the most part for for the electric bicycle market.

The company recently released its third fiscal quarter report which showed booming sales, over 35% from the same quarter last year.

Chisen has the overall goal of becoming the largest battery producer in China. The company, founded in 2002, has over 1500 employees, among them some of the leading scientists in the field.

Chisen’s “green” batteries — a designation they were given at this past summer’s Olympic Games — currently permit driving ranges of from 45 to 70 kilometers, with a wide range of power, and can run for up to 145 minutes after charging for about 10 hours.

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