A Dutch start-up has teamed up with a group of engineering students to develop this prototype: a new electric bike that charges itself using solar cells on its front wheel, so you’ll never need to plug it in.
“We developed here the first bike, electric bike with solar cells in the wheel, so this is a product that is capable of recharging itself during daytime or when you are cycling,” said Marc Peters, CEO, Solar Applications.
The first solar bikes came onto the market in the late 1980s, but they had a bulky trailer for the solar panels.
We developed here the first bike, electric bike with solar cells in the wheel, so this is a product that is capable of recharging itself during daytime or when you are cycling.
Thanks to new technology, they’re becoming much sleeker. All the power this one needs comes from solar panels covering the front wheel and the rider’s pedaling. And it can make up for low-light conditions, for instance on a rainy day.
But for now it’s just a prototype, and it’s expected to cost around 2,500 euros when it’s released in 2018.
According to Marc Peters, is of course, with the people, we’ve worked together with the students who said — we think we have a solution for this challenge: how are you going to solve shading and low light conditions, they thought of a really interesting way to do it with electronics,” Peters emphasized.
Cycling has historically been very popular in the Netherlands where, a quarter of all travel is done by bike. And various initiatives are helping riders improve their experience by making cycling safer, easier and even greener.
Among them is this bike path that generates power through solar cells embedded in the concrete. It opened a year ago and so far has produced more energy than expected.