In E-bike: Applying modern technology to urban mobility with low impact to the environment, Part 1 of this blog series I introduced the utilization of electronics technology to the cycling sport activity in order to realize that e-bikes can help the biker during his sporting activity. The advantages of this solution for sustainable mobility have been underlined during the Bikeup Festival that has come to its third edition in Lecco from the 20th to the 22nd of May 2016. During the days of the Festival many e-bikes tests (up to 3750) have been performed, including some competitions of e-bikers who took part in an e-ride contest among the streets of the beautiful city of Lecco:
“UPHILL: A street competition for e-riders who compete with high performance e-bikes up the hill of Lecco's historic center, overturning the concept of downhill racing, without losing dynamism and strong appeal ” (Source: Bikeup)
Visitors had the chance to witness the building details of the e-bikes in the exhibition, and the advantages of this solution in terms of enhanced performance (see Figure 1):
Details of some e-bikes at the Bikeup Festival held in Lecco, Italy in May 2016 (Source: YouTube)
The e-bike solution can easily be integrated with an app that monitors, records and tracks the cycling activity of the e-biker, like it is shown in the Figure 2:
The MapMyRIDE app is a very interesting feature, especially if it is integrated in an e-bike because it is a practical demonstration of how the electronics could effectively make the biking activity easier and more comfortable. This interesting app allows, indeed, the biker to take into consideration the time and the distance travelled, the calories burned and a map of the itinerary, by utilizing a GPS module.
This consideration suggests that many electronics ICs could be utilized to realize the e-bike application, as shown in the Figure 3:
The E-BIKE solutions block diagram of the Texas Instruments Company (Source: ti.com/e-bike)
Furthermore the autonomy of the e-bike is one of the top priorities to enhance this type of application, a significant help to this development is represented by the improvement of the battery life for this type of application:
“Increasing urbanization and a desire to move away from cars for motorized transportation are creating more opportunities for alternative mobility devices such as e-bikes which will be the highest selling electric vehicle globally with nearly 35 million units sold this year. Navigant predicts the market will grow from $15.7 bn this year to $24.3 billion by 2025. … Improving lithium ion (Li-ion) battery technology is also helping to drive e-bike sales, allowing for e-bikes that are lighter, lower in cost, and remarkably similar to traditional bicycles, says the report. While sealed lead-acid still constitutes a majority of e-bike batteries, the market is steadily shifting toward the Li-ion chemistry.” (Source EETimes Europe)
The Market forecasts for pedelecs (Source: Allianz)
In the next part of this blog series I will further describe the strengths and the potential of applying electronics technology to the e-bike solution. One huge example of this kind of potential is the opportunity of integrating this solution with the new high potential IoT technology that is quickly gaining importance in the new smart cities, that have central communication infrastructure setups, whose function is to connect many smart electronics systems like the e-bike.