Month: October 2020

New to electric bikes?  20 Common ebike questions answered 

The world of ebikes can be very confusing at times. Here is a collection of our most commonly asked questions about electric bikes to help you get a better general understanding. Don’t see your question answered here? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

 

  • Can you ride an electric bike without the battery?

If you wish to ride your Furo X without electric assistance like a traditional bike, you can lower the assistance level to 0 and the motor will disengage itself providing you with a natural riding experience supported by its gears and hydraulic disk brakes.

 

 

  • Do I have to pedal to get assistance on my electric bike?

Pedal-assist electric bikes are easier to ride than normal bikes but still require pedalling. In order to activate the electric assistance, all you have to do is pedal for the motor to engage.

 

 

  • Can I ride on a trail?

If you are looking to include some off-road cycling the Furo X will perform well on mild off-road use, such as towpaths, gravel paths and other country paths. Features like its 9 speed Shimano shift system are great for confidence when riding uneven terrain.

 

 

  • Are electric bikes good on hills?

Electric bikes are great at hills and do make it easier! Hills are effortless and your electric bike will take some of the strain but it does not serve as a complete replacement, pedalling is still required when riding your e-bike.

 

 

  • Is 250w enough power for an e-bike?

In the UK That legislation allows for a motor with a maximum continuous rated power of 250W. ‘maximum continuous rated power’ means the maximum thirty minutes power at the output shaft of an electric engine as set out in UNECE Regulation No 85”. The Furo X setup has a peak power output that reaches 500w. But the electric motor won’t assist you if you’re travelling more than 25 km/h (15.5mph). If your e-bike exceeds those regulations it will need to be registered, insured and taxed as a motor vehicle.

 

 

  • Can I travel on a plane with my e-bike? 

You can’t take an electric bike on a plane, because of the battery. Considered as a fire hazard, any rechargeable lithium battery larger than 100Wh is prohibited from being taken onto a plane. An alternative is to remove the battery and fly with what is essentially just a normal bike and source a battery compatible with your bike to use for the duration of your trip.

 

 

  • Are electric bikes heavier than normal bikes?

Different types of e-bikes will come at very different weights based on their specifications but  E-bikes remain a bit heavier than conventional bicycles. The battery, motor, extra accessories and reinforced frame do inherently add extra weight to the bike compared to standard bikes. The biggest advantage of 250-watt motors is they add very little weight to your bike increasing its performance.

 

 

  • Why are electric bikes so expensive?

Several key parts of the bike will cause electric bikes to be on the pricey side. The motor and the battery are the heart of your electric bike and the key factor in its costs. Add up the need for higher quality and reliable components to support the extra power and the extra weight. Compromising on standards will result in lower quality components which in consequence decrease the bike’s longevity.

 

 

  •  How can I secure my electric bike?

The first thing to do for any new e-bike owner is to invest in a high-quality lock, register the bike with Bike Register at www.bikeregister.com and protect your bike with an ImmobiTag identification chip. This will increase the chances of the police being able to trace the stolen bike back to its rightful owner.

 

 

  • What is the lifespan of an electric bike battery?

The battery life is calculated in charge cycles. This means it depends on the number of full charges (from 0 to 100%) that the battery can undergo before its effectiveness gradually diminishes. With the Furo X, you can expect 500 full charge cycles before the battery reaches 70% of its original capacity. After this, the decrease in efficiency is linear rather than a sudden drop in performance.

 

 

  • Are electric bikes allowed in bike lanes? 

If your bike meets the ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPC) requirements it is classed as a normal pedal bike. This means you can ride it on cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are normally allowed.

 

 

  • How far can I go?

Your electric bike’s range means how far you can ride it on one single charge and will depend on your battery’s capacity (measured in Watt-hours (Wh)). But several external factors can affect how far your electric bike can go:

  • The level of assistance you are using
  • How much you weigh and if you carry extra luggage
  • The terrain style
  • The style of ride
  • The weather
  • The tyre pressure

Those factors will require more power from the motor and exhaust the battery quicker. To determine your Furo X approximate range, try our autonomy calculator to anticipate your journey.

 

 

  • How is the battery charged and when does it need to be recharged? 

When you first get a new electric bike, take time to fully charge using the charger that has been provided with your bike.

Charging and care are the two most important factors when looking at extending the life of your battery. A flat battery will take between 4 to 6 hours to fully charge. The Furo X has a removable battery which can be charged on or off the bike. The battery does not have to be completely discharged before you recharge it again, we would recommend charging it when you reach 30%.

Fully discharging the battery can decrease its efficiency quicker while partial discharges with regular top-ups are recommended to extend the battery life.

 

 

  • What’s the top speed of my e-bike

The main factor limiting the speed of your electric bike is your local regulations. Electric bikes will normally be restricted in the top speed they are allowed to assist you and will provide assistance up to 25mph in most of Europe. But, you can go faster than this by pedalling up to the fastest of your capacity but the assistance will disengage when you reach the 25mph limit.

 

 

  • Are electric bikes water-resistant?

The Furo X can be ridden in the rain as the battery and motor are protected by water-resistant cases, allowing you to ride in the rain without any danger.  The bike is rated IP55 certified as such no dirt can actually enter the bike and it is protected from low-pressure water jets.

 

 

  • How do you store an electric bike battery when not in use?

The optimal operational and storage temperature for modern Lithium-ion batteries is between 15°C and 23°C in a cool and dry place. Your Lithium-ion battery must be stored in a charged state, ideally at 60 percent of its capacity. Lithium batteries do not like to be left completely discharged, so if you do not use it, recharge your battery a minimum of once a month. A long discharge will result in deteriorating the internal components over time, the battery will fall into “deep discharge,” leaving it unable to charge

 

 

  • What maintenance is needed on an electric bike?

Regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to prolong the lifespan of your electric bike and keep it running smoothly. Check the tire pressure, rims, braking and lighting for proper operation before each ride. Under-inflated tyres put more strain on the motor and therefore decrease your range. To optimise your battery life, be sure to regularly maintain your tire pressure, which should be approximately between 40 and 60 PSI. We also recommend that you have your bike serviced once a year at your local bike shop.

 

 

  • Do I need insurance for an e-bike?

Purchasing an electric bike is a significant investment you want to protect. Whilst ensuring your electric bike is not compulsory in England, there are multiple reasons to consider getting insurance. It is highly recommended to find a suitable policy in the event that you have an accident, which leaves you and your bike with a public liability cover as well as protection against theft and damage.

 

 

  • How do I clean my electric bike? 

It is necessary to clean your electric bike regularly to ensure a longer service life and keep your bike working as it should. The frequency of cleaning will depend on usage. Most electric bikes these days are made with water-resistant sealed components that prevent the rain and dust from getting into the battery or the motor. Check the IP-rating of your bike before proceeding to clean. The Furo X is rated IP55 but you cannot completely submerge it, nor can you clean it with a jet wash as this can cause water to penetrate the seals. Instead, use a sponge and warm soapy water. Prior to cleaning your bike remove the battery and protect all electronic displays. We recommend equipping yourself with care products dedicated to bikes, such as a degreaser to clean the drivetrain, a disc brake specific cleaner and chain oil to keep it lubricated after cleaning (but never wait for it to be completely dry). Finish off with a dry cloth to remove any trace of water especially on the battery holder.

 

 

  • What happens if my E-Bike battery runs out while I’m on a ride?

Your e-bike will work just like a traditional bicycle if your battery runs out of charge while out riding. You will have to simply pedal home! Some bikes might require more effort than on a traditional bike because of the additional weight but if you own a Furo X you won’t experience any drag and will be able to make it back home.

 

 

TEAM BRIT a special project towards more equality in motorsports

Team Brit is a competitive motor racing team consisting of disabled drivers. Dave Player, a former Royal Engineer in the Army, set up the team in 2015 to offer his knowledge and guidance to others in similar circumstances to help overcome the challenges in accessing motorsport. Team Brit is a racing team like no other and is able to compete through the funding provided by corporate partnerships, giving their drivers the opportunity to step up to competitive racing against able-bodied drivers. The team intends to make racing history and take a team to the world-famous Le Mans 24hr endurance race and become the first-ever British all-disabled team to do so.

 

 

 

The racing team aims to encourage those with disabilities, PTSD and mental health issues by using technological innovation to enable disabled drivers to compete on equal terms. Dave’s long term goal is to be able to donate more of these electric ride-on cars to disabled kids so they can enjoy the freedom and fun this will offer by asking different companies to each contribute. Furosystems has been more than happy to get involved in what is going to be a really special project towards more equality in motorsports.

 

The stories of resilient youngsters provide immense inspiration for how children overcome adversity to succeed. Inspired by hero Captain Tom, Tony Hudgell raised more than £1.5 million for the NHS hospital that saved his life by walking 10km on his new prosthetic legs. Moved by this tremendous achievement, Team Brit decided to gift Tony “Bear” Hudgell with his own hand-controlled racing car and an honorary membership to the team. A very special moment for this five-year-old who has suffered from horrific abuse as a baby from his birth parents which required both legs to be amputated. 

 

Bear is now an honorary member of the Team BRIT squad!

 

 

Click here to follow Team Brit on their mission to take a team to the world-famous Le Mans 24hr endurance race.

You can donate to Tony’s fundraising at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tonyhudgell

 

Understanding Your Electric Scooter

The FUZE is a great way to move around and very easy to get used to. However, new regulations regarding personal mobility devices (PMDs) have been introduced and must be respected. If this is your first electric scooter, you will need to take the time to learn how everything works. Check our tips below and the mistakes you will want to avoid to get the most out of your scooter.

 

 

Fuze Electric Scooter

 

 

Familiarise yourself with your electric scooter in a secure area

Riding the scooter is very easy, it will only take you a few minutes to adjust to your scooter’s riding position and find your balance. Adjust the handlebars to your desired height to ensure maximum comfort. Be sure to make the most of the fair-weather conditions to start riding and choose a quiet place with little traffic, on flat and smooth ground.

 

 

 

 

Remember to wear protective gear

Although some protective equipment is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that you wear a protective helmet and high visibility clothing if you are travelling at night or when visibility is poor. This will increase your conspicuity for other road users.

 

 

Find out about your local regulations

Make sure that you are aware of and comply with any new regulations and road traffic restrictions established by your local government and regulatory bodies. 

 

 

The rule for private e-scooters

In the UK it is legal to use electric scooters on private land only with the permission of the landowner.

 

 

Beware of braking

The faster you ride, the longer your braking distance. On smooth surfaces, the electric scooter can slip under heavy braking, lose its balance and cause a fall. Braking requires anticipation so make sure to always maintain a safe distance from others and obstacles. Pay close attention to your surroundings so that you can brake in time.

 

 

 

 

Pay attention to your surroundings

Some electric scooter may seem slow unlike our fuze which goes up to 45kph, it’s important to stay alert and adapt your speed to your surroundings. Other people may present a risk for your safety if you drive carelessly or inappropriately. You are exposed to road accidents just as you are when you walk or cycle. Adapting your speed will help you to anticipate braking and prevent accidents.

 

 

How to take good care of your electric scooter

Check your FUZE before each use. When you notice loose parts, low battery warning, flat tyres, excessive wear, strange noises, malfunctions, and other abnormal conditions, stop riding immediately. When the electric scooter is not in use, keep it indoors in a cool, dry place.

Keep an eye on the charge level of your battery, we advise you to keep a charge of about 40%/60% when not using the vehicle for a longer time than a few hours. Make sure it is not left in an environment above or below -20°C/50°C (for example in a car exposed to direct sunlight).

Use a damp cloth to clean and remove stains from your electric scooter. Do not use alcohol, paraffin or any other corrosive product to clean your Fuze.

 

Understanding Your Electric Scooter

 

 

Folding and transporting

Slightly push the handlebar stem forward and pull the locking pin around the folding joint, allowing you to fold the handlebars onto the deck. Please also ensure your bars are set to their lowest height to avoid them hitting the rear mudguard. To carry your FUZE, simply grab it by the stem.

 

Download your Owner’s Manual

 

Test our autonomy calculator to anticipate your journey!

 

If you have any further questions after receiving your Fuze, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

 

Renewable Energy Explained

There is a variety of sources in the UK producing the energy that comes into our homes. Most of it is produced by burning fossil fuels which are major contributing factors to the current climate crisis. Cleaner alternatives to traditional power sources are being increasingly sought after in order to reduce our dependence on traditional fossil fuels. Renewable energy refers to different forms of energy naturally obtained from existing flows of energy in the environment. These sources are continually replenished contrary to fossil fuel or nuclear energies which are finite and will eventually run out. As the energy sector is transforming, see how you can help make an impact at home towards a cleaner energy future.

 

Renewable Energy solar panels

 

Non-renewable energies are limited resources

Renewable energy sources are sustainable, infinite, and are a clean alternative to the non-renewable energies which are limited. The main reason to anticipate the transition to renewable energies as soon as possible is that non-renewable or “dirty” energy sources such as oil, gas, and coal are finite. The amount we use now is simply not sustainable. As the global population expands, the rising demand across the world for these non-renewable energies increases and they are consumed faster than they can be replaced whilst seriously impacting climate change. Diversifying our energy supply will allow us to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and decrease our carbon footprint.

 

greenhouse gas emissions

 

What is a renewable energy source?

Renewable energy is sustainable energy from sources that are naturally replenishing and cannot run out. The most popular renewable energy sources are solar, wind, and water power. These are simply naturally present in the environment and can be converted to useful power thanks to modern technologies.

 

 

Types of renewable energy

The most popular renewable energy sources currently are:

Solar energy – Solar energy technologies transform energy from sunlight directly to electricity.

Wind energy – The wind energy is converted into electricity by using wind turbines which feed an electric generator and produce electricity.

Hydroelectric power – Hydro-power relies on water flows. The force they induce powers a turbine which converts it into electricity.

Biomass energy – Biomass is derived from organic material that comes from plant matter,  agricultural and urban waste and trees. It is utilised to generate energy by combustion.

Tidal energy – Tidal energy is a form of hydroelectric power relying on tidal currents to produce electricity. It is a form of hydroelectric power where the water movement generates energy.

Geothermal energy – This refers to heat energy stored below the earth surface.

 

 

Renewable Energy wind power

 

Advantages of renewable energy

The increasing competitiveness of renewables makes them highly attractive. Here are good reasons to make the shift to renewable energy in the future:

  • Climate impact – Renewable energy sources do not cause harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Job creation – The sector provides many different types of jobs which are expected to continue to grow well into the future
  • Economical –  It allows you to generate your own electricity
  • Additional source of income – The extra electricity produced can be sold to your energy provider
  • Stable energy prices – Once installed they are inexpensive to operate and low maintenance, often making up for their investment over time.
  • Energy independence – Less reliance on imported non-renewable energy for a stronger economy
  • Environmental benefits – Renewables do not produce dangerous waste that requires complex and costly management

 

Renewable energy costs have fallen over the past decade and a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published in June 2020 found that renewable power has become cheaper than any new power generation developments based on fossil fuels.

 

 

Renewable Energy tidal

 

Renewable energy at home

There are several ways you can do your part for the planet and switching to green energy is amongst one of the easiest and most impactful shifts you can do to reduce your and/or your business carbon footprint.

 

Switch to renewable energy

If you are ready to switch to a green energy plan, you will have a range of suppliers to choose from as it is becoming a popular option amongst households in the UK. The choice is growing and green energy tariffs on the market can vary so it is always a good idea to shop around to compare what is available and ensure the company is reputable. Your supplier should also let you know what proportion of your supply is renewable. Some tariffs will be ‘100% renewable’ while others will only offer a percentage of the total fuel mix.

 

Energy generators are granted “green” certificates called Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) by the industry regulator OFGEM (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets). A certificate is delivered for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable electricity generated. When a supplier buys power from a renewable generator to sell to its customers, it also buys its REGO certificates. This allows OFGEM to assess how much of the power suppliers buy comes from renewables. The purpose of the certificate is to guarantee customers that a proportion of the electricity they purchased was produced from renewable sources.

 

In the UK all the energy sourced is pooled into the National Grid (whether it is renewable or not). If you have a green energy supplier, they will replenish the energy you use from the national grid from clean renewable sources. This means that swapping to a 100% renewable energy supplier alone will not make your house zero emissions as it isn’t possible to directly re-route the green energy to your door. However, signing up for renewable energy means you are putting clean, renewable-generated power into the National Grid to match the amount of energy you use at home. The energy will then be distributed to homes and businesses.

 

Your devices might not be directly powered by green energy, but you are making an impact in switching to renewables by encouraging suppliers to source renewable power in order to meet the demand. The growing demand will lead to an increase in the supply of clean energy and guarantee that renewable-sourced energy is put back in the grid.

 

 

Generating your own renewable energy

If you are interested in generating your own power it is important to take a long-term view. Installing a renewable system can be more expensive upfront, but you will be able to significantly cut your monthly energy bills and recoup on your investment. To get the most out of your renewable energy system it is a good idea to ensure beforehand that your property is energy efficient. To determine the efficiency of your house, an energy audit can be done to check areas for improvement. Then you will need to consider what’s possible for your home as some systems won’t be technically compatible with your property.  Depending on the kind of property and installation, you may need to get planning permission from your local authority.

 

 

 

10 Tips to be saving energy at home

The advantages of using renewable energy in a domestic setting are enticing alone, but you will only make the most of it provided that you are mindful of how you use your household energy.

 

  1. Turn off the lights when leaving a room
  2. Replace your light bulbs with LED lights
  3. Unplug your devices when you are not using them
  4. Install a programmable or smart thermostat
  5. Set your thermostat at a lower temperature
  6. Reduce your water heating expenses
  7. Install double glazing windows
  8. Insulate your property
  9. Use a smart meter to track your energy usage
  10. Equip your house with energy-efficient appliances

 

Facts

 

  • Renewable energy made up 47% of the UK’s electricity generation in the first quarter of the year – improving the previous record of 37% set in 2019.
  • Just 1 wind turbine can generate enough electricity to power 1,400 homes or make 230 million cups of tea
  • In 2016, the renewable energy sector employed about 9.8 million people and the solar power industry alone generated twice more workplaces than the coal or oil industry combined.
  • The world energy consumption is predicted to grow by 50% by 2050.
  • By 2050, the sun could be the world’s main energy source of energy.
  • On Wednesday 26th August 2020 wind power was generating 60% of Britain’s electricity. The record was set at in the early hours of the day as the UK was experiencing high winds from storm Francis.
  • In 2018, Costa Rica operated on renewables for 311 consecutive days. So far, it is the only country in the world that has been able to achieve this.
  • According to the WWF, the whole world has the capacity to go climate neutral by 2050
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