Tag Archive | "electricity"

New Book on Electric Bikes Published in December

New Book on Electric Bikes Published in December

London, England — David Henshaw and Richard Peace have written Electric Bicycles , which was published in December, just in time for the Christmas trade.

David Henshaw is the co-publisher of A to B Magazine, the subscription-only publication specialising in folding bikes from its foundation in 1997 but, for a number of years, also featuring electric bikes.

Richard Peace, a former lawyer, is the founder of Excellent Books, a publisher and wholesaler of bicycle books.

The Electric Bicycles book is a 256-page, full-colour A4 book on the history of electric bikes as well as how to choose the best bikes.

Read the complete article at:
Electric Bicycles: the book

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Three Myths About Electric Motorcycles

Three Myths About Electric Motorcycles

The three myths of the electric motorcycle are:

1. They can’t go fast enough
2. They aren’t convenient
3. They are expensive

The Daily Green blog attempts to dispell these myths in their article, Dispelling Four Myths About Electric Motorcycles. (Yes, the title says they are dispelling four myths, but that’s just a test.)

To put it briefly:
Many electric motorcycles on the market today have a top speed of 60 mph or more. The Electra Cruiser can top 80 mph.

You can get electricity anywhere you can get gas. (This answer avoids the real question. You can gas and go, but to date you have to wait a couple of hours or more before your battery is recharged. It’s not the availability of “fuel” but the time factor that concerns many riders.

Do-it-yourself conversions are not that expensive.

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Plans For Future Ebikes

Plans For Future Ebikes


London, England — Mårten Wållgren, Il Choi, David Seesing, and Miika Hekkinen are winners of the Seymour Powell award in a contest called Future City Mobility.

Their bike concept is “part exercise machine, part electric scooter, and will even help to pay your fare while providing a seat for the bus ride home.”

The bike has solar panels inside the hubless wheels. This way, the battle is recharged as the rider pedals along. The designers also floated the notion of electric buses with docks for the folded bikes. The bus will be able to tap into the charged battery to help run the bus, instead of charging bus fare.

Also part of their design are  tree-like bus shelters where the bikes can be stored up in the air.  Breeze moving the stored bikes around will also generate electricity.

It’s way in the future, according to the authors at TreeHugger.com, but it shows what entrepreneurs can dream…and dreams can become reality.

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Chinese Companies Research Green Energy

Chinese Companies Research Green Energy

China’s leading researcher in fuel-cell technology is Sunrise Power. Indeed, that company supplied the hydrogen fuel cell buses and cars for last year’s Olympics in Beijing.

Another company leading the field in green technology is Luming Science and Technology, that makes LED lights that use 90pc less electricity than conventional filament light bulbs. Luming was also represented at the Beijing Olympics providing the lighting in the bubbly-blue WaterCube swimming venue.

Peter Foster of the Telegraph writes about his experiences visiting these two companies at Bike to the Future.

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Electric Bikes Gaining Popularity In Ireland

Electric Bikes Gaining Popularity In Ireland

Ireland — Electric bikes have been bought for recreational use in the past, but Dublin-based distributor GreenAer has noticed a shift in buyer behavior.

People are now purchasing them with the intent of commuting to and from work.

With an electric bike, “virtually all journeys can be done with ease.” Bikers get the exercise they want, the travel is far less expensive, and people are doing their bit to help the environment.

Electric bikes fall under the Cycle to Work Scheme, so purchasers can save up to 40%.

The bikes are virtually maintenance free as they have few moving parts and fuel costs are minimal. The electricity for charging is the only fuel required and costs about 45 cents per 20-30 kilometers.

GreenAer is a Dublin-based company which distributes EasyBike power assisted electric bikes throughout Ireland. They also distribute the REVA electric car. They are currently looking for sub-distributors across the country. For information, images or comment please contact: Lisa Redden tel: 01 2108134;
mobile: 087 7726114; email: lisa@greenaer.ie

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Dirt Rider Test-Rides the Zero-X

Dirt Rider Test-Rides the Zero-X


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.

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


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Diamond Cycle of Montclair Rents Hybrid Bikes

Diamond Cycle of Montclair Rents Hybrid Bikes


San Diego, CA — An Eco-Fair took place in Montclair on June 13. Among many green displays there was a hybrid bike or two.

The  Giant hybrid is an electric bike, priced at $1,500-$2,000. It’s termed a hybrid because the battery power starts assisting the rider as soon as they start pedaling.  A computer calculates how much energy the cyclist is exerting, and the motor gives additional power.

No need to worry about hills anymore.

Of course, electric bikes aren’t just for the green crowd. Bicyclists who have lost their endurance due to an injury, or just plain cycling beginners will enjoy the hybrid as well.

Diamond Cycle in Montclair rents hybrid bikes seven days a week. A two-hour rental costs $35 including a helmet and bike lock. Owners Craig & Vicki Cornell commented that ”we’ll [soon] offer theme tours of Montclair with GPS-equipped bikes.”




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Go Go Gocyle in England

Go Go Gocyle in England


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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Colorado Commuters Save Money with Electric Bikes

Colorado Commuters Save Money with Electric Bikes


Denver, Colorado — If you fit a couple of simple criteria, an electric bicycle mighthelp you make ends meet in these tough economic times.

Bruce Campbell of Green Machines, Inc. proudly shows off the IZIP electric bike.

Work downtown? Pay to park and live within 10 miles of your office? Exchange the car for en electric bike and you can save the $200 to $300 a month you spend on parking and gas. Over the course of three or four months – your ebike will have paid for itself.

There are a few ebike retailers in the metro area including Bird RV in Aurora, the Electric Bike Shop in Castle Rock, Green Machines in Edgewater, as well as Boulder and Longmont.

“You have two different modes of propulsion,” explained Bruce Campbel, owner of Green Machines (5217 W. 25th Ave). “On some models you can go on power alone, without having to pedal, or you have the choice of pedaling and using less power. Other models you have to pedal but as soon as you start a sensor notices the motion and assists you.”

“It’ll go 13 to 15 mph under it’s own power, which is a fairly typical bicycle speed,” he said. “Right now I am only selling new bikes that are all electric. I do have some used bikes for resale.” Campbell accepts bike donations as well and fixes them up, donating any proceeds to charity. “It’s more of a charitable contribution to the recycling effort – just to try and stay green.”

The new bikes come in a range of models and power levels starting with the IZIP, which retails for $499 plus shipping and taxes. “The mid-range is roughly $799 to $875 and the high end is from about $1,799 up to $3,000 for the real top of the line. It’s a monster – a really great bike.”

For people with medical conditions that limit their abilities, the hybrids are a dream come true.

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Ebikes Help Everyone Enjoy the Open Air

Ebikes Help Everyone Enjoy the Open Air


Peterborough, Ontario — People in their 70s may have a hard time biking up hill and down dale… but no longer. Not with the assistance of an electric bicycle.

The bike makes no more noise than a 21-speed conventional bike. It has a lower top speed than that conventional bike, however, because the motor cuts out at 32 km/h, and the rider must then try to accelerate the bike with an additional nine kilograms of weight (the weight of the battery and motor).

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Proposed Peterborough E-bicycle Ban Being Batted About

Proposed Peterborough E-bicycle Ban Being Batted About


Peterborough, Ontario —  The proposed prohibition of electricity-assisted bicycles on city trails returns to the city council on Monday.

Council endorsed the proposed bylaw at the committee of the whole meeting on June 8. The bylaw would add electric bicycles and Segways to the existing ban of motorized vehicles on city trails and parks.

The city would review the issue when the province releases its report following a three-year pilot program on e-bikes that ends in October.

Numerous complaints from residents north of Parkhill Rd.,who live next to the Rotary Trail system, have been received.

Some of those complaints are about noise, but the e-bikes are silent, the Otonabee Ward councillor pointed out. Others have complained about their perceived speed.

An electricity-assisted bicycle, as defined by the province, has a top speed of 32 km/h. Users don’t need a driver’s licence or insurance to ride an electric bicycle.

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Jay Leno Plugs in Zero S Bike

Jay Leno Plugs in Zero S Bike


Zero founder Neal Saiki dropped by “Jay Leno’s Garage” in mid-June and talked about his recently released Zero motorcycle.

Leno is supporting the Zero S Electric Motorcycle, which according to Saiki can travel from New York City to LA on only $30 worth of electricity. The bike weighs just 225 pounds. The frame is made from aluminum that is three times the thickness of a soda can. The Zero S gets a full charge in a standard 110- or 120-volt outlet in less than four hours.

Saiki also points out that the bike’s 32 hp. is roughly equivalent to 50 hp. in an internal combustion engine since the Zero S’s power is available throughout the rev range.

Coupled with a weight of just 225 pounds, that’s an impressive power-to-weight number.

Saiki also says that the Zero’s frame is made from aluminum that’s just three times the thickness of a soda can.

On the show, Leno’s only complain was the bike’s “wimpy” horn.

Zero Motorcycles is now accepting orders with home delivery for $10,450.

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Electric Bike Sales Picking Up in Brisbane

Electric Bike Sales Picking Up in Brisbane


Brisbane, Australia — The sales for electric-powered bicycles and scooters in Brisbane have been slow, but Nope electric scooter and bicycle importer Harry Samson of Brisbane expects those sales to start growing by leaps and bounds.

“In 1997 they sold 98,000 electric bikes and scooters in China. Last year it was 25 million and they’re sending bike shops broke,” he said.

In Australia, those individuals who want electric-powered bikes do not want for choice, but there are only a few scooters and, as yet, no motorcycles.

Bike conversion kits are also available, such as the eLation system from Queensland.

The only electric scooters on the market are three Nope scooters. EVT offers two scooters, which are limited to 50km/h. There is also the Vectrix maxi-scooter.

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China in the Forefront of Electric Movement

China in the Forefront of Electric Movement


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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China’s EPA Subsidizes Electric Bikes

China’s EPA Subsidizes Electric Bikes


China’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is subsidizing a wide selection of electric bikes, including one they call a bike which is obviously a scooter – since it has no pedals. These pedal-less models go as fast as 40kph

Until Nov. 30 2010, residents of China who purchase an electric bike — with or without pedals — can apply for a one-time NT$3,000 subsidy from the EPA, officials said.

The EPA has given the subsidy to more than 36,000 owners of electric bicycles since 2001, said Yang Ching-shi, ­director-general of the EPA’s department of air quality protection and noise control.

With the new pedal-less models, the EPA expects to subsidize an additional 5,000 bicyclists each year, he said.

Although the pedal-bicycles are in actuality “light weight motorcycles”, operators will not need a license.

Consumers should consider buying an electric bike now, because the pedal-less models cost around NT$25,000 or NT$26,000, so the subsidy would mean a 10 percent discount, Yang said.

“The discount will be given at retailers, so consumers will be able to enjoy the benefits immediately. The retailers will then apply for the subsidy with us,” he said.

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Electric Bikes Go Mainstream

Electric Bikes Go Mainstream


BRUSSELS, Belgium - The electric bike is expected to become a  ”mainstream product” in 2009.

2008′s faltering economic outlook and sky-high fuel prices provided a boost for the segment because of increased consumer awareness and interest.

The LEV (light electric vehicles), including electric bicycles, will also be one of the focal points at Taipei Cycle 2009, a trade show in China.

The e-Bike industry is looking forward to the introduction of the new EN 15194 standard for ‘Electronically Power Assisted Cycles’ (EPAC). This will take place on April 30 , 2009.

Here is the complete EPAC implementation time table.

  • January 14th, 2009 was the date when the definitive text for EN 15194 was sent to all European National Standards Bodies and was accepted by them.
  • Sixth month after the acceptance of the definitive text all European National Standards Bodies will have implemented the standard as national standard and any previous national standards shall be withdrawn before this date. This date is July 31st 2009.
  • The date of announcement by which the standard shall go into force is April 30th, 2009. The standard will be announced by the European National Standards Bodies and the text of the complete EN 15194 standard for ‘Electronically Power Assisted Cycles’ (EPAC) will be available at the National Standards Bodies in the various European countries.

The implementation of the CE standard varies by country. In some European countries the CE standard is compulsory by law, while in other countries it is just a part of the European product safety ruling.

At Taipei Cycle an E-Bike Forum was held in Conference Room 402 at the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall 4F on March 18, the show’s second day. At all days of the Taipei Cycle show, the ExtraEnergy Test track was open for test rides on electric bikes and scooters of various manufacturers. Just like last year, the test course included a spectacular 100m long incline to feel the real benefit of an electric bike.

EnergyBus and BATSO were both present at a joint booth with ITRI. Interested industry representatives could make appointments here for private meetings on both items.

A 2-hour information session on each, EnergyBus and BATSO, were planned for March 19, 2009.

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New Engine Powers Two Wheelers

New Engine Powers Two Wheelers


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!



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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.


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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Citybyke Share Program Unveiled

Citybyke Share Program Unveiled


UK — Bicycle and electric bicycle (e-bike) share programs are increasing in popularity. It’s widely done in Europe, and the US is following the lead in big cities such as New York, San Francisco, and LA.

Citybyke is an automated system for renting and returning e-bikes that utilizes an ATM-like kiosk/charging station that controls a bank of bicycles.

You go to a kiosk to rent a bike (with a credit card or member card). You’re given a PIN number that you use at the docking station to release the bike. You then return the bike to any kiosk station in the area and plug the bike back into an empty docking station, which ends your rental.

Currently, Citybyke is only available in the UK . Memberships start at two pounds per day. The local partner company, Share Limited, manages the kiosks.

The Bike

The Citybyke system uses a proprietary bicycle — only it can be placed on its docking station. They make extensive use of fairings and enclosed components to keep any moving parts from being exposed as well as to prevent theft of bicycle parts. The bikes are built in module fashion, so that portions can be removed and replaced quickly, which will allow for localized requirements like lights or reflectors to be added.

Source: Citybye

Resource: Zoomilife

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Motocross Charity Tests Quantya Electric Bike

Motocross Charity Tests Quantya Electric Bike


Staff at the Dover-based Motocross Challenge Project (MXCP) took delivery of a Swiss-made green machine, Quantya, on Wednesday and said they would eventually like all the bikes they use to be free of pollutants.

Project manager Ric Newton said: “I think it’s an amazing piece of equipment that I’ve seen in operation and I believe it’s the way forward and something we should be promoting to young people. They need to know how important it is to look after the environment. “We want to be able to keep a couple of the bikes and promote them further because we aim to be a green training school and that’s what the world has got to be about.”

The charity works with Kent County Council, the prison service and other organisations to help young people learn outside the classroom. Members of the public can also use its facilities at the weekend.

The bikes tested this week were developed by Quantya, which released its first electric off-road bike the FMX in 2007.

Quantya has been advertising its green initiative at motoring exhibitions throughout the world.

The Quantya bikes cost about £7,000 to buy and take about two hours to fully charge. The power would then last for an hour’s worth of racing or about two-and-a-half hours of regular use.

Visit Quantya Bikes or more information.

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