Self-charging folding bike promises electric propulsion without plugs
A foldable bicycle that generates electric power by absorbing energy from braking and by pedalling downhill has hit Kickstarter.
Developed by Austrian company Vello, Bike+ is touted as “the world's first self-charging electric folding bike which allows users to ride forever without needing to plug it in to a socket for a recharge.”
The bike is powered by a motor attached to a lithium ion battery that can be recharged by braking and pedalling downhill.
Although the bicycle is still primarily designed to be ridden traditionally, Vello says the motor provides users with an extra boost when riding uphill.
Alternatively, the self-charging mode can be deactivated and the motor can be set to provide greater assistance for at least 35 km at a maximum speed of 25 km/hour.
When the battery is empty, it can be recharged easily by connecting it to the power socket. Through the free app, users can set the level of pedal assistance, track their route and even lock their bike remotely.
Bike+ has already raised more than 100,000 on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and Vello says it is the lightest e-bike on the market, weighing less than 12 kg and capable of folding down to suitcase size for easy transport and carry.
"I wanted to create the best-ever electric folding bike with a groundbreaking new technology,” said Vello co-founder Valentin Vodev.
“It’s the first self-charging electric folding bike on the market, plus lighter and more compact than any other folding bike on the market. Many of the innovations on the Vello Bike+ have been developed grounds up and can be considered revolutionary in the bike industry."
"A self-locking magnet allows hands-free folding, which makes it very different from a typical folding bike with complicated hinges to open.
“They don't tend to be very user-friendly as the folding process is lengthy and can be frustrating. Riding performance was also essential to us in the development of the Vello Bike+, it feels and rides better than most of the existing folding bikes on the market."
Bike+ is currently live and available to support on Kickstarter at this link.