Pedaling Electric

Wednesday 26th September 2012

Bicycle’s come to the fore again on our posts, but this one has an electric motor - so is it energy saving and environmentally friendly? Or is it a lazy man's bike?

Polaris, who are better known for ATVs, snowmobiles and motorcycles, are now offering 5 new e-bike bicycle models Vector, Strive and Meridian, with ST versions in the latter two models.

Polaris have partnered with EVantage, a specialist electric bike drive system manufacturer, using their DuoDrive system. The electric motors will automatically switch between SpeedDrive, for cruising over smooth level ground, and the TorqueDrive, which starts when you hit the hills or rougher terrain. The switch between the two systems is automatic and is made by the systems Smart Control hardware providing a smoother ride.

Riders can choose to stop pedaling and control the motor by use of a throttle or in pedal-assist mode BioSync sensors will measure the cyclists pedaling output and with the Smart Controller will work out how much motor power will be needed, varying the power output matching the highs and lows of the riders natural pedal rotation.

The motor delivers speeds of up to 18 mph, and a battery charge lasts between 15 and 30 miles of range.

The energy saving and environmental bit comes with the e-bikes Arc Regen system which captures energy lost when braking and also generates energy when the e-bike exceeds 19 mph, feeding it to the battery with the motor reversing and hence becoming a generator.

The Polaris e-bikes also come with an IC Dashboard on the handlebars, under which lies the throttle. The "Carbon Footprint Savings" function displays on this dash as it calculates how many pounds of CO2 is being saved by riding the e-bike compared to a fossil-fuel powered car. The dash displays regeneration information as well, from the braking and that extra fast pedaling taking it to 19mph.

The IC Dashboard provides riders a control unit and a display showing speed, distance and battery range, also allowing the selection of the desired mode.

So you decide whether getting a Polaris e-bike is a good move, or just a lazy man's mode of transport.

We know here at the ESA that we are not all Bradley Wiggins and at times having an electric motor on a bicycle is likely to make getting on the saddle a more attractive transport solution, the environmental aspects of this machine could be the ideal balance!

Categories: General, Renewable, Reviews, Technology

Wednesday 26th September 2012

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