What could solar panels do to improve the functionality of electric bikes? This innovative concept deserves a second thought. Solar panels could help to increase the autonomy of electric bicycles and promote renewable energies.
The market for electric bicycles is booming and growing every year. Electric motors increase the speed of the bike, ensuring that the rider has to exert minimal effort. The main problem concerns the autonomy of the bike, as you must charge the solar battery regularly.
Iranian-born designer Raeisi Mojtaba invented a way of installing solar panels instead of shelves in the wheels. Thus he devised a bicycle with the futuristic name of Ele.
The concept is simple: the sun powers the battery and the battery is being charged simultaneously whilst it is being ridden.
The solar panels installed in the wheels can rotate 30° on both sides, in order to maximize their exposure to the sun, thus absorbing as much sun-power as possible. Of course, the bike may also be charged with a conventional electric plug, in case you are wondering what problems a lack of sunshine may pose.
But when there is sun, this brilliant machine allows us to use the natural heat of the sun as an alternative to electricity to recharge the battery.
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Ele, however, is just a prototype, not commercialized yet: there is a certain buzz and we are confident we will see a product like this marketed soon.
But if the question is whether this kind of bike may work, the answer is a solid yes. Back in 2010, an experienced Frencman had traveled 13,000 kilometers in Japan with a similar bike powered by solar energy. Probably, some more impressive feats will provide the much needed publicity for this extraordinary solar powered bike.