Category: FuroSystems

Top 5 beautiful ebike routes in the UK

The first thing you’ll want to do after buying an electric bike, especially an electric mountain bike, is finding some great routes on which to ride it. Here, we’ve compiled a list of five excellent ebike routes and trails for riders of all experience levels. They vary in scenery, incline, difficulty, and length, but we’re confident that we’ve included something for everyone. 

 

Bristol to Bath – 13 miles (21km)

We’ll start off with a more gentle ebike route, and one that takes you on an outing and allows you to travel beyond the confines of a single lap. It begins in Bristol and ends in Bath (or vice versa if you’d prefer), offering extremely pleasant scenery and cycling conditions. It’s a route for ebikers of all skill levels and ages thanks to it being largely flat, tarmacked, and free from traffic. You’ll pass through a number of villages and towns too, should you wish to stop off for refreshments during your 13-mile journey. This ebike trail is unique in that it allows you to be a cultured tourist and an adventurer at the same time. 

 

bristol to bath path

 

The Camel Trail: Cornwall – 18 miles (29km)

Here’s a longer but still relatively leisurely route. So-called because it follows the Camel Estuary and Camel Valley, the Camel Trail takes you through beautiful scenery that’s both inland and coastal. The route predominantly takes place on a disused and resurfaced railway track, meaning the road is very smooth and there are no sharp twists or turns. It’s an excellent route for getting used to riding your ebike for long periods of time. Plus, the route ends at the historic town of Bodmin, located by the enchanting Bodmin moor, home of the mythical Beast of Bodmin. Better yet, once you’ve finished, you can treat yourself to a world-famous Cornish pasty! 

 

 

The Gower Peninsula: South Wales – 28 miles (45km)

Here’s a largely coastal route that circumnavigates virtually the entire Gower Peninsula in South Wales. It’s certainly a challenging route, but well worth the effort. You’ll ride through a myriad of terrains including woodlands, coastal cliffs and dunes, rocky passes and steep hills. The centrepiece of this ebike trail is the Cefn Bryn, an ancient ridge dotted with sheep and wild ponies that stretches for five miles. This route also offers a lot of choices; there are many pathways that criss-cross through the peninsula, and whichever you choose to follow is sure to offer an unforgettable experience. One thing to note is, due to the popularity of this route, it can be rather crowded at times during the summer months. 

 

 

Epping Forest: London – 12 miles (19km)

London’s ancient woodland provides an idyllic escape for all bikers that’s worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby capital. While there’s no set route through the forest, there are many pathways to choose from, and you can improvise your course as you go along. The forest is 12 miles (19km) in length, so you can cycle from one end to the other for a more moderate ride, or make a loop of the entire forest if you’d like to make a whole day of it! Since the forest is only approximately 2.5 miles (4km) wide, you won’t have to worry about getting lost and ending up far from civilisation. We’d recommend tackling this route during the warmer months of the year as winter tends to make this dense forest incredibly slippery. 

epping forest

 

The Long Gap: Brecon Beacons National Park – 22 miles (35km) 

Arguably the most gruelling of the ebike routes on this list, The Long Gap in Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales, is iconic in the world of cycling. It’s home to Pen y Fan, the highest point in south Wales at 886m, as well as being set in some of the most stunning countrysides you can find in the UK. Once you reach the namesake Long Gap, you’ll likely want to stop for a moment and take it all in. It’s a valley that divides two mountains, almost perfectly symmetrical it looks like it was designed precisely for mountain bikers. With over 1000m of climbing, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to appreciate the wondrous scenery you find yourself in (and experience a tough workout!). It’s a difficult route but we think it’s worth the sore thighs. 

 

Brecon Beacons National Park

 

We hope that with our guide, you can find the perfect ebike route for you. If you’ve been inspired and would like to jump onto the trails, then our very own e-mountain bike, the Sierra, is the best bike for the job. With its powerful motor, 55km+ range and SR Suntour XCM suspension system, you can cycle comfortably on any of these routes without any problems. If you have any questions about our range of ebikes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

Electric scooters could soon be legal in the UK

Good news for the electric scooter community – a report from The Times revealed that the UK government will be discussing the legality of electric scooters in February. The general consensus is that electric scooters will be made legal, following the examples of other majors cities like Paris, Madrid, and San Francisco. 

 

After the consultation in February, and if talks are successful, electric scooters will be trialled in major cities across the UK before being legalised nationwide. It’s most likely that electric scooters will be treated much like electric bikes are currently, with similar regulations and standards to meet. 

 

There are many factors to consider when legalising a new type of powered vehicle. Some items that will certainly be discussed during the consultations include whether helmets will be mandatory, whether there will be age restrictions for riders, and speed limitations to be put in place. As it stands, riders of electric bikes must be at least 14 years of age, and all ebikes are limited to 15.5mph. It’s likely that these rules (or similar) will apply to electric scooters once they’re legal to use on UK roads. 

 

UK legislators have the benefit of being able to learn from mistakes in other major cities that have permitted electric scooters for a number of years already. For example, Paris has introduced speed limits of 20kph (approx 12.5mph), and in particular areas, the speed limit is 5kph (approx 3mph). Paris also had a significant problem with dockless ride-sharing scooters being left of pavements, causing both safety and aesthetic concerns. As a result, they’ve made it illegal to park such scooters on pavements. The UK can get ahead of any such issues by rolling out this legislation at the same time that electric scooters themselves are made legal. 

 

Making electric scooters legal in the UK will have significant ramifications. For one, many dockless electric scooter companies that have been operating in cities across Europe and the US, such as JUMP and Lime, will now be able to access the UK market. We’re likely to notice an influx of these ride-sharing services in the UK’s largest cities. 

 

 

future of personal transport

 

 

Additionally, in the long-run, we could see improvements to the air quality within cities. If more people opt for electric-powered forms of transport instead of cars for their commutes and other short-to-medium journeys, then city-wide emissions will fall. We’re also likely to see less congestion and a reduction in noise pollution in the busiest areas of cities like London, Manchester, and Bristol

 

As it stands in the UK, electric scooters are classed as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) or Powered Transporters and are illegal to use on public roads and pavements under the Road Traffic Act 1988. Since electric scooters don’t require any direct human input to activate the motor (such as pedalling on an ebike does), they are classed just like any other electric vehicle, such as an electric motorbike or car, and therefore must be registered, taxed, and insured for use on public roads. Electric scooters are, however, legal to ride on private land with permission. 

 

 

Our CEO, Eliott Wertheimer, is obviously strongly in favour of a change in the law and believes that electric scooters may be the solution to urban transport. “The main issues for personal transport in urban environments right now are the gasses emitted by cars, buses and motorcycles, the noise generated by internal combustion engines, and the volume inefficiency of these big vehicles – they take up so much space, sometimes for a single rider. Electric scooters literally solve every single one of these points. They are the logical evolution of personal transport in cities.”

 

We’re glad to see the UK’s attitudes towards electric scooters changing. In the near future, they could play an integral role in our society’s movement towards more eco-friendly methods of transport. We think that our very own Fuze can be a front-runner in the electric scooter revolution. Be sure to check our blog regularly for the latest updates on the government’s discussion surrounding electric scooters, as well as the wider world of electric vehicles. 

Are electric bikes environmentally friendly?

Yes – electric bikes offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to driving a car, motorbike, or scooter. Whether you ride a regular or folding electric bike, you’ll not only improve your physical and mental health, but you’ll also probably reduce your carbon footprint. When you arrive at the office in the morning on your electric bike, having avoided the stop and start of the morning rush hour traffic, you can be confident that you’re contributing to the protection of the environment. Here are the main reasons why electric bikes are good for the environment.

 

 

Zero emissions

Electric bikes help you to reach your destination faster than a traditional bike with the aid of a motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery. The main environmental benefit of this battery-powered propulsion is that it does not emit any harmful emissions.

Air pollution is a significant problem in many of the UK’s cities, but it’s most serious in London. Despite measures taken to help clean up the capital’s air, it’s estimated that about 2 million Londoners are living in areas with illegally high levels of toxic fumes. The most prominent is nitrous oxide, emitted mainly from diesel cars – this noxious gas is damaging to the respiratory system, and contributes to an estimated 9,400 premature deaths every year as a result of bad air quality in London.

An electric bike does not emit any fumes, so riding one will contribute to fresher air (especially in urban areas) whilst helping you to get in shape.

 

 

Batteries

All of FuroSystems’ electric bikes use lithium-ion batteries. While there are legitimate concerns around the increasing use of lithium-ion batteries, they are the best option currently available. David Deak, chief technical officer of Lithium Americas and former Tesla employee sums up the situation well – “In the short term, the CO2 footprint from (lithium) hard rocks will be less than ideal – but it is still extremely important in offsetting the CO2 emissions that otherwise would come from internal combustion engines.”

While hydrogen cells might propel the bikes of the future, for the time being, lithium batteries are the most environmentally-friendly alternative to fossil fuels. Our batteries are rechargeable, durable, and have a range of up to 75 km per charge, meaning you can reach your destination without breaking a sweat.

 

 

Charging an electric bike

Electric bikes need to be charged regularly to help you whizz around the city streets. Whilst you’re helping to protect the environment just by riding an electric bike, you can further improve your green credentials by making some important decisions on how to charge its battery.

Renewable energy now accounts for around 33% of the National Grid’s total output and is set to increase. Due to the growing demand for clean energy, switching suppliers to a provider of renewable energy is not as expensive as it once was. If you make the jump to a renewable energy provider, you could be powering your bike with solar, wind, hydroelectric, or tidal energy.

A useful tip is to charge your bike overnight – demand for energy generally decreases during the quiet of the night, meaning that the power supplied is usually excess power produced by the National Grid. Using this energy is more environmentally friendly and cheaper than at other times of the day.

 

 

A green ride

Riding an electric bike is an environmentally-friendly way of getting from A to B. With zero emissions and a battery that can be charged over and over again with energy from renewable sources, the electric bike will help you to reduce your carbon footprint whilst improving your fitness. FuroSystems offers a range of electric bikes to suit different needs – why not check the eTura, the world’s lightest and most compact folding e-bike, or the Sierra, our mighty electric mountain bike? We have something for everyone!

5 Benefits of electric scooters

Disclaimer: Currently, electric scooters are not legal for use on pavements and public roads in the UK (without licence and insurance). The below advice applies to cities such as Paris and Madrid where they are currently legal. We hope the UK follows suit in the near future.

Electric scooters have become a symbol of modern urban transport; they’re a common sight in big cities such as Paris, Madrid, and San Francisco. The trend looks set to move in only one direction – upwards! While we think this recent boom in popularity is excellent, we can’t deny that there are many who remain unconvinced. Do you consider yourself in this category? Perhaps we can change your mind!

 

1. Portability

Rivalled only by folding bikes, electric scooters are perhaps the most portable mode of powered personal transport. Many people would like assisted forms of transport but find them too cumbersome or too technical to be practical. Motorbikes are great, but you need a license and insurance to ride one. Push Bikes are excellent, but you’ll often need to leave it chained up outside and at risk of being stolen, and they’re too large to be considered truly portable. Electric scooters are light and fold up, allowing for easy storage and portability. You can simply pull it along much like you would a small suitcase, meaning you can take it virtually anywhere. Then, when the time comes, you simply unfold it and you’re on your way!

 

electric scooter portability

 

2. Eco-friendly

We can’t write an article about the pros of electric scooters without mentioning the environment. The era-defining geopolitical story of our time is climate change. Our collective search for more environmentally-friendly modes of transport and reduced emissions is seeing some progress, with electric scooters being one of the frontrunners so far. They only use a small amount of electricity and don’t emit any emissions, which is better for the air quality in our cities and for the lungs of their residents. As a reliable, affordable, and eco-friendly way of travelling, it doesn’t get any better than an electric scooter.

 

 

 

3. Noise pollution

Travelling around a city and silence never go hand-in-hand. Virtually any method of travelling around comes with a significant amount of noise pollution – cars, motorbikes, buses, trains – they’re all incredibly loud. Even walking can be noisy if you have hard-soled shoes on! Enter the electric scooter; a whisper-quiet mode of transport that’s the fastest and quietest way to get from A to B.

We’re sure you or someone you know has had a neighbour who works very early or very late hours, and when they arrive home late at night or early in the morning, the sound of their car or motorbike is a jarring disturbance. If they had an electric scooter, you wouldn’t hear a thing.

 

4. Balance + movement

Another struggle mankind is facing today is our increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Many of us work in offices or jobs that are largely seated, and most of us will drive or take a train to and from work. Throw in modern communication technology (FaceTime, Skype, Whatsapp, etc) allowing us to socialise without actually going anywhere, and movement becoming less and less necessary, and people struggling to find the time to exercise. With an electric scooter, for smaller journeys that you would usually drive or use public transport, you can get your body moving. Of course, we know riding an electric scooter isn’t a replacement for a workout, but it will activate your core and improve your balance. Using a scooter is a great way of substituting a chair for something a little more active.

 

 

5. Safety

Every mode of transport comes with an element of risk. When you travel any faster than walking pace, your risk of having an accident increases – even something as simple as tripping or bumping into someone whilst jogging. Compared with other personal modes of transport, such as cycling, roller skating, or using hoverboards, scooters are potentially the safer option. For one, you can simply step off if you see an imminent collision occurring. This is something you can’t do with bikes or roller skates, and you have immediate access to the brakes, which hoverboards lack. Electric scooters are fast enough to be useful and fun to ride, but give you enough control that you feel safe and secure while riding.

It’s probably not surprising, but we can’t speak highly enough of electric scooters! Our very own electric scooter – the Fuze – is a powerful example of how good they can be. With a range of up to 55km, extremely effective Electronic Regenerative Braking, and a top speed of 40km/h, the Fuze is one of the fastest and most exciting ways to get around town. Don’t believe us? Check out our reviews from satisfied customers!

5 Advantages of folding bikes

Folding bikes as we know them have been around since the early 1980s and have steadily grown in popularity ever since. They’re a common sight in most big cities and have become a popular option for commuters. Being able to fold your bike into the size of a large backpack makes for an extremely versatile mode of transport, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of riding a bike without the drawbacks surrounding its bulk. If we could summarise folding bikes in one word it would be ‘practical’. Here are just some of the advantages of folding bikes over traditional bikes.

 

1. Easy to transport

Aside from being excellent modes of transport themselves, folding bikes are very easy to transport themselves. A folding bike can be taken with you virtually wherever you go; they fit comfortably on buses and trains and can fit neatly into even the smallest of car boots. It makes cycling a viable option every day!

Their ability to be transported easily also makes them ideal for commuters. It’s common for commuters who live in the suburbs of a city to drive to their nearest train station and take the train into the city, leaving their car by the station all day for them to pick up on their journey home. This can be a costly endeavour. As well as a season ticket, you’ll have to pay for fuel, parking fees, and potentially leave your bike at risk all day (depending on the security of the car park you choose). With a folding bike, you can cycle to your closest station and taking your bike with you. You’ll avoid these costs and the risk to your car and reap the health benefits of cycling every morning and evening. What better way to start your day with than with a bike ride?

 

 

 

2. Easy storage

An obvious advantage of a folding bike is that it takes up far less space than a traditional bike. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a huge house and maybe a shed or garage, storing a traditional bike can be a problem. It’s too cumbersome for most people to carry upstairs in an apartment building and simply takes up too much space in modern inner-city flats. A folding bike can easily be carried and slotted away, even in the smallest of domiciles. Slide it under your bed or keep it at the bottom of your wardrobe and you’d never know you had a fully-functioning bike in your home!

Their small footprint also makes them ideal for being stored at your place of work. Unless your workplace has space to store bikes or a dedicated bike shed of some kind, cycling to work is pretty much ruled-out for you. A folding bike removes this problem altogether; it’s small enough to store under your desk or leave in the cloakroom.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Security

Being compact and easy to carry with you means folding bikes are rarely left in a place where they’re at risk of being stolen. There’s no need to leave it chained up outside the office all day or tied to a lamppost when you meet a friend at the cinema or for coffee. You won’t have to constantly worry if your bike will still be when you go to ride it home.

A folding bike removes this worry; when you head to a coffee shop or the cinema, simply fold the bike and place it under your seat just like you would with a large backpack. On top of this, folding bikes are generally less of a target for bike thieves since they’re so niche.

 

4. Environmental benefits

The above factors mean that folding bikes are likely to be used very often – more often than traditional bikes, at least. For this reason, they further reduce a rider’s use of fossil fuels. As we’ve mentioned, situations, where you’d usually like to cycle but having a full-sized bike, is impractical, such as when going to the train station on your commute, you’d usually take a car. However, when you own a folding bike, you can use it in this exact situation instead of taking a car. So while a folding bike is inherently no more environmentally friendly than a regular bike, the fact that it’s so versatile means you’re going to use it more often and rely less on fossil fuels. Not only is it good for your health, but it’s also good for the Earth’s.

 

 

5. Strong second-hand folding bikes resale market

For many, a big drawback of traditional bikes, and several other forms of personal transport for that matter, is the rate at which they depreciate. Traditional bikes can lose up to half of their value after just one year! However, folding bikes tend to depreciate far less, so you can buy a folding buy with the confidence that if you’d like to sell it in a few years, you won’t make much of a loss. Also, since folding bikes tend to come with a slightly higher price tag than other bikes, buying second-hand is a very popular option.

Here at Furo Systems, we believe that folding bikes will continue to grow in popularity. We also love electric bikes, which is why we developed the eTura and the Furo X. The eTura is the world’s lightest electric folding bike, weighing just 12kgs thanks to its carbon fibre body. Our Furo X is one of the world’s most powerful electric folding bikes and dubbed “bloody fantastic” to ride by T3 magazine. Make the city your playground and never have a bad commute again.

5 Benefits of electric bikes

Electric bikes are quickly becoming a modern phenomenon, and it’s easy to see why. They provide many advantages over other modes of transport, both for the rider and the environment; it’s why we decided to develop our own range. The most obvious benefit being that the electric motor allows you to ride further, faster, and for longer than a normal bike – regardless of your fitness level. Read on more electric bike benefits below:

 

 

1. Better commutes

However you usually get to work, there’s a good chance that your journey can be improved by using an electric bike. Using a regular bike will often leave you sweaty and out of breath by the time you arrive at the office, especially if you have steep hills to climb or it’s a particularly windy day. With an electric bike, you can take advantage of the electrical assistance to make hill climbing virtually effortless, to give yourself a boost if the wind is against you, and make you generally need to expend less energy than you otherwise would. Never show up flustered and out of breath for your morning meetings ever again. Likewise, a brisk bike ride home is the perfect antidote to a stressful day’s work.

If you usually drive or take public transport, then using an electric bike will give you some fresh air and exercise to start or finish your day. You’ll also avoid traffic jams, train delays, and being squashed into carriages like a sardine!

 

 

2. A cheaper way to travel

Aside from walking, every mode of transport comes with a cost, and over time these costs can add up. Using a car or motorbike is very expensive; you need to pay for the vehicle itself, tax, insurance, regular trips to a petrol station, and maintenance fees if your vehicle gets damaged. If you live or work in a big city, you may also incur costs relating to emissions or congestion (like London’s Congestion Charge). Public transport is also very expensive, with season tickets and travel cards costing up to several thousand pounds every year.

With an electric bike, you make a one-off payment and don’t need to worry about tax, insurance, fuel or season ticket expiry dates. Electric bikes are good for your health and your wallet. In fact, it costs just 20p to travel 150km with a Furo ebike!

 

 

3. Kinder to the environment

Now, more than ever, people are realising the environmental impact of our travel habits and want to find greener alternatives. Transportation is one of the largest contributors to global warming, so the need for alternatives cannot be overstated. Electric vehicles are one way to limit our reliance on fossil fuels, and electric bikes, in particular, require far less electricity than electric cars or electric motorbikes due to their compact size and weight. Electric bikes are a sustainable transport method for the future.

 

 

 

4. Fitness benefits

The health benefits of cycling are well-known. It’s a form of aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping and helps to lower blood pressure, improve sleep quality, can reduce symptoms of depression, and improve your overall fitness. The problem is, cycling is not suitable for many people. Many people find it physically challenging, especially in hilly areas or places with lots of traffic. Electric bikes assist the rider and take some of the strain, meaning more people can enjoy the benefits of cycling without the drawbacks. Cycling purists may say that it’s cheating, but we think that getting more people to cycle is a good thing.

 

 

 

5. It’s fun!

Last but by no means least, riding an electric bike is tonnes of fun. It’s almost impossible to ride a bike and not enjoy it, especially when you have an electric motor to give you a boost! Our bikes use the same power cells that Tesla uses in their Model S, so you’ll effortlessly glide around the city. Enjoy cycling alone or with friends and enjoy the great outdoors.

If you’re interested in joining the trend, then we recommend you take a look at our Furo X. It’s our most popular electric bike; it’s lightweight at just 15kg and folds to just 75x70cm, making it the perfect commuter vehicle. Its lightweight carbon fibre body and efficient battery system gives it an excellent range and gives you full control over your riding experience. Get in touch with us and ask any questions you have about our electric vehicles.

 

 

Electric bike motors explained

To continue our educational series on the physical principles behind electric bicycles, we would now like to talk about how electric bike motors work, more specifically the brushless DC motors that equip your e-bikes. Without those, there would be no sleek and smooth e-bikes like the FX and the SIERRA.

First of all, an electric motor is an electrical to mechanical or electro-mechanical energy convertor. It converts electrical energy to the mechanical movement (rotational or translational). They were first invented by William Sturgeon in 1832, 44 years before Nikolas August Otto created the first practical petrol engine. Our society went to the petrol direction because of the wide availability and the greater energy density of fossil fuels as described in our previous article.

How do e-bike motors really work

First practical electric DC motor

Today, there exist multiple types of electric motors: brushed, brushless, uncommutated, permanent magnet stators and wound stators. Most of these exploit the forces created by magnetic fields and possess some kind of internal mechanism.

Let’s look into the simplest DC motor possible as shown in the picture above. It is made of a stator and a rotor. The stator does not move and is equipped with magnets. The rotor is a coil or armature placed within the stator through which a current passes. This current generates an electromagnetic field aligned with the centre of the coil. The direction and intensity (or magnitude) of this current determines the direction and intensity of the magnetic field produced by the coil. The following picture represents this phenomenon, with I the current. This is also called an electromagnet as it creates a magnetic field when electricity passes through it.

magnetic current through a coil

The magnetic field created in the rotor attracts and repels the magnets placed in the stator (positive pole attracts negative pole and negative pole attracts positive pole). If everything is kept equal the rotor will consequently turn a maximum of 180 degrees before stopping. To keep this rotational motion the poles of the electromagnet that is the rotor have to be switched, guess how? … By switching the direction of the current passing through it as shown in the following animation:

DC motor rotating

DC motor rotating

The question is, how do you switch the current’s direction when your battery is always connected in the same way? Well, in brushed motors, actual conducting brushes make contact with the rotor as it spins and sequentially reverses the current going through it, in turn switching its polarity. However, the obvious problems with using brushing contacts to switch the current are that the whole thing heats up faster and therefore needs a bigger cooling system, it creates sparks, it wears out and consequently limits the speed of the motor.

This is where modern computers and electronics come in. They allowed us to get rid of those brushes to create Brushless DC (BLDC) Motors, the wonderful components that make your favourite electric bicycles possible! Essentially, a BLDC motor is a brushed DC motor turned inside out. The rotor is made with permanent magnets placed in the centre of the motor while electromagnets are placed around it in the stator. A computer, using powerful transistors, then switches the polarity of these electromagnets which leads the rotor to turn. This enhances how well the energy stored in your battery is converted to movement, reduces the need for maintenance and removes the cap on speed as the only limit is now the power available in your system and the speed at which your computer can switch the electromagnets.

Brushless DC motor in electric bicycles

Brushless DC motor in electric bicycles

More specifically, the computer in your e-bike is called a controller and extracts current from your battery in order to switch the electromagnets in the stator of your motor.

Hopefully, this is all kind of clear, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask in the comments!

A Guide to Lithium-ion electric bicycle batteries

As we just made the preorders for the bigger battery version of the SIERRA, the SIERRA MAX available, today appeared as a great opportunity to thoroughly explain the fundamental principles and physics behind Lithium-ion batteries and why they currently are the state-of-the-art in electric bikes. When looking at batteries, you basically want to maximise stored energy while minimising volume, weight, and price. As a society, we have been primarily using fossil fuels for personal transportation. This is because this type of power source is really good at storing a lot of energy in a small volume and with low weight while remaining affordable. Now that these chemicals are slowly but surely running out, and we witness how impairing they are to our sustainable development, cleaner options such as rechargeable electric batteries are progressively becoming the norm.

There are many types of those: Nickel-Cadmium, Lead-acid, Silver-Zinc, Lithium-Ion, etc. The following graph produced by NASA shows that Lithium-Ion chemistry has the highest energy density and is consequently the best choice to store electrical energy in small volumes and low weights.

Electric bike Lithium-Ion battery energy density comparison

While still 60 times less energy-dense than gasoline, Lithium-ion cells are the best available alternative to store electric power safely and economically in personal vehicles.

The following diagram simplifies the discharge mechanism in a Lithium-ion battery, which is tantamount to the motor pulling power from it. Positive Lithium-ions travel across an electrolyte and a separator from an anode towards a cathode, which is two dissimilar conducting materials. The cathode then becomes more positively electrically charged than the anode. This creates a voltage between the anode and the cathode, which is essentially a driving force that pushes electrons between two points. The higher the voltage, the higher the force. This can be visualised as a waterfall. The taller the waterfall, the greater the force driving the water from its top to its bottom.

Electric bicycle Lithium-ion battery discharge mechanism

This voltage drives electrons across the electromechanical systems of your ebike. They leave the anode to go through the controller, followed by the motor and back to the cathode. As electrons move across the system, the voltage of the battery goes down. The charging process is the exact opposite. A voltage is applied across the cathode and the anode which forces electrons to move in the opposite direction and the Lithium-ions to go back towards the anode. This restores the driving voltage between the anode and the cathode for later discharge.

Electric bicycle Lithium-ion battery charge mechanism 2

These chemical processes are contained within cells. Today most cells, whether in laptops, cars or ebikes, are cylindrical pieces of metal. This allows to contain pressure better and increase batteries’ safety and resilience to their environment. These cells usually provide a nominal voltage of 3.6V. This means that they reach 4.2V when fully charged and progressively go down to a safe minimum of 2.5V during discharge after which a battery management system shuts your battery down to preserve its capacity and health.

Lithium-ion cells have to be connected and assembled to build a battery with a total voltage that is enough to drive its target electro-mechanical systems; the controller, motor and screen in our case. Individual cells are packed and connected in Series to increase the total battery voltage to the required value (for example, 36V). Once this value is reached, these series of cells are packed in parallel to reach the total battery capacity, the value usually quoted in Ah. An average cell packs 3.6V and 2.5Ah, hence a battery producing 10Ah at 36V most likely consists of 4 groups of ten cells connected in series, which are then connected in parallel. I know that this is tough to get your head around but the following diagrams, courtesy of Cadex, should help you understand:

Electric bicycle battery series assembly

Group of cells assembled in Series to increase total voltage.
Electric bicycle battery parallel assembly

Group of cells assembled in Parallel to increase total capacity once the desired voltage is reached.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the internal workings of your ebike or more generally your laptop, phone or car.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask in the comments!

Exclusive Pre-orders on our First Production Batch Now Available

We are proud to announce that after years of development, hours of testing and tens of iterations, our innovative full carbon high performance folding and mountain electric bikes are finally in production!

Our inspection team will make sure that throughout each step of the fabrication process, from frame moulding to assembly, the highest standards of manufacturing are exerted. This is particularly important to us as our bikes are not only truly revolutionary in design and practicality but also carry our vow to provide you with only the best quality at the most competitive prices achievable by technology today! There will always be cheaper bikes, but those offering similar performance, aesthetics and build quality will also always be significantly more expansive.

We have made the FX and SIERRA available for pre-order at a significant 25% discount until they arrive in our European warehouse. This is to thank you for your trust and being one of the pioneers of our community. Once our ebikes are in stock, first backers will be delivered and pre-orders will be discontinued to allow for direct orders with shipment within 2 weeks at retail price.

We are always available to answer your questions and talk with with you. You can contact us here.

Let’s change cycling and modern transportation together!

Thank you for your trust!

You can obtain more info and access FX  pre-orders for here, and here for the SIERRA.

Eliott Wertheimer

 

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