$150 Retrofit To Make Any Bike Electric — In Development

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A new prototype electric motors has been developed and revealed by Semcon that can, reportedly, be easily attached to any bicycle — thereby easily turning a non-electric bike into an electric one. Of particular note, though, is that the prototype was designed with economy in mind — it can reportedly be produced for under $150, according to those involved.

The design also allows for easy transfer between different bikes — meaning that a household with a number of different bike riders could potentially share the one motor, if so desired.

“The needs and wishes of the typical cyclist are what got us started. The benefits of the electrified bike are obvious, but existing solutions are expensive and complex. That’s why we developed an engine which is compatible with any bike and easily shared among friends and family,” commented Anders Sundin, technical director at Semcon.

Gas 2 continued: “Making the engine small and easy to carry around was important for the developers. The team decided the best solution was a small electric motor with a 150 watt output. It weighs just over 2 and a half pounds. To maximize battery life, the engine detects when the cyclist is pedaling. It is only active at speeds between 4 and 15 miles per hour. That ensures a comfortable, smooth and safe ride, as the smart motor reacts to the amount of effort the rider is putting into the ride.”

Steve Hanley continues: “The motor is connected to a small computer which controls how often it runs. That will make it possible for Semcon engineers to develop different apps in future. They could include such things as different modes that prioritize speed or range. Other apps such as anti-theft features or smart tracking could be incorporated as well.”

Remember, though (for those salivating), that there is only a prototype for the time being. So, it remains to be seen how low a consumer price could actually be. The company is currently working to attract investors.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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