For bicyclists seeking options in the way they travel, the eCortina V2 hybrid bicycle is worth a try as it features three ways to ride: standard pedaling, pedaling that assists by juicing up the electric motor, or a complete electric powered ride.
The bicycle is the creation of electric vehicle designer Roy Prince, who says the bike began as a standard off-the-rack Cortina Triton DS downhill mountain bike. It took three months to modify the unit.
Roy’s bike now features a motor and controllers originally designed for use in radio-controlled models. The motors are powered by two packs of lithium-polymer batteries, which are electronically monitored while the motor is in use, to extend their lifespan by avoiding over-charging and over-depletion. Running in parallel, the battery packs have a combined output of 48V-10Ah.
A motor usually powers an electric bicycle. If pedaling is part of the package, the motor is sometimes used to assist the pedaling action, sometimes known as pedelelecs. In this case, plain-old foot power is the third option for riding.
The dual drive system features standard bicycle parts, including two BMX-style freewheels — these are what allow the eCortina to be pedaled without motor assistance, or to be motor-driven without the pedals being engaged. Beefy BMX chains are used throughout, while a 3-speed Shimano Nexus rear hub is also incorporated.
Roy estimates that the bicycle should be able to travel about 15 miles on one charge, given mild riding demands and some pedaling. With the addition of two more battery packs, he hopes to boost that distance to 23 miles. Using the motor alone, it is geared for an invigorating top speed of 45 mph. On his website, Roy says he is currently modeling performance details for the bike.
Unfortunately, the bike weighs in at just less than 60 pounds. “Realistically the eCortina must be considered a motor bike with human assist,” he says.
Roy writes that the bike is for sale. Interested parties are asked to contact him through his website. The eCortina was featured in the May 2011 edition of the Electric Auto Association magazine CurrentEVents.