About a decade ago, not many would have expected bicycles to be a rage in time, but with the rate at which fossil fuel sources are depleting today, we’re left with no option but to head back to the bicycles. They’re clean, don’t require any visits to the gas station, are easy to maneuver in traffic congested streets and are far safer than their speedy counterparts. The only thing they lack is some speed that makes them a viable option for a daily commute to the office. Bike manufacturers are trying to make them fast and relaxing with the addition of electric motors, which gives bikes a respectable speed and adds a touch of comfort as well. Here is a list of 20 such electric bikes that can make the streets of the future green, silent and pedestrian friendly:• Volkswagen Bik.e:
Volkswagen has just recently unveiled its production-ready electric bike dubbed the Bik.e. The Bik.e features an ingenious folding mechanism that folds it to a footprint identical to that of a car spare tire. The company believes that the Bik.e will see production possible before the end of the year. Weighing about 20kg, the electric bike has a range of 20km and a top speed of 20kph. The company states that the bike could easily be much faster, but the top speed has been limited to 20kph, as it enables the machine to be ridden in Germany without a helmet.
• WINORA town:exp:
The WINORA town:exp is a 20-inch E-Bike, which is made for the urban environment and according to the requirements of young and trend affine users. The bike combines the agility and compactness of a 20-inch compact bike with the comfortable upright riding position of a 28-inch one. The stiffness of the mono tube frame gives you a safe and controlled ride. The town:exp will be made available in four colors - white/cyan, black/orange, sand/lime and orange/white. The introduction retail price is €1999 and the regular price will be €2199.
• LongRanger Electric Bike:
The LongRanger motor-assisted bike runs for as long as 62 miles on a single charge. Adding a solar charger to the system frees you from the hassles of maintenance. And as an added bonus, the bike is stylish and cool.
• Innovatronix Tronix Ebike Exceed:
The Tronix Ebike Exceed from Innovatronix is an electric-assist bicycle that comes with 16-inch wheels and can run up to 30kph with a range of about 20km on a single charge. The batteries can be fully charged in about 5 hours, and fuel a 300W 24V motor. The bike also features some safety additions that include a headlight and a taillight.
• Lexus HB Concept:
Designed by Lexus, this 2WD bicycle features a carbon fiber body and a carbon fiber battery cover. The 2WD system uses a smaller electric motor on the front wheel and carries a pedal assist motor at the crank.
• M55 EVO-001:
Billed as the “Ferrari of Electric Bikes”, the EVO-001 is scheduled to be launched sometime in May this year. The bike will be unveiled in two variants, the street legal one that will get a 250W motor and an off-road version that will include a powerful 1300W motor. Neither of them features a manual accelerator and the motor speed is controlled by the speed at which the user is pedaling. Both the bikes will be powered by 20.7Ah 39.6V battery packs, which propel the sport variant to a top speed of 43mph.
• Optibike OB1:
Costing a whopping $13,000, the OB1 features a patented Motorized Bottom Bracket (MBB) which drives through the derailleur gear system to optimize acceleration and range at all pedaling speeds. Add to this carbon fiber handlebars, brakes, derailleur, chain ring and cable ferrules, a customized paint job, GPS satellite navigation, plus a wireless PDA interface that provides real-time feedback on remaining range, battery charge and motor temperatures, and you have yourself one high-performance urban commuter.
• Yamaha PAS Brace-L:
The PAS Brace-L is both sporty in appearance and offers long distance driving. Powered by an 8.1Ah lithium-ion battery, the bike has a range of 118km on a single charge, which is twice as long as the previous model developed by the company. The new bike carries a price tag of $1,500.
• Gyro Bicycle:
Developed by a team of researchers at Keio University in Yokohama, this smart bicycle is equipped with a gyroscope mechanism that keeps you from falling head-down on the pavement. This self-balancing bike comes with electric motor to save you from the pain of pedaling.
• A2B Electric Bicycle:
Developed by Ultra Motors, the A2B Electric Bike is priced at $2500 and is powered by a lithium-ion battery. The price is high because it’s competing against the high-end bicycles and also motorcycles and cars. This electric baby offers a range of 40 miles on a single charge.