green-wheel-540x380MIT engineers have been developing and are now testing an upgrade to the old bicycle that can be easily installed and that can transform your foot-powered 2-wheeler into a full-electric vehicle (or hybrid, if you use your own force).

The add-on is called “GreenWheel”, and it gives you 25 miles of riding without touching a pedal. If you also want to have some fun, and want to contribute by using the pedals, you’re likely to get 50 miles on one charge.

“Just take the wheel off, put a GreenWheel equipped wheel on in its place, plug it in and it should work just fine,” said Ryan Chin, one of the GreenWheel designers. “The whole thing has been designed so all the parts except the throttle are enclosed in the wheel.”

The thing is also durable: its manufacturers give it a lifespan of 40,000 miles. That would be eight years of usage with 100 miles per week. The price will be a little bit prohibitive in the beginning, but it seems it won’t be that harsh, only a few hundred dollars. Compared to current solutions, it’s much more simple to install, because both the motor and the battery are encapsulated in one piece.

I read this news while eating a pizza, and I wondered: wouldn’t the pizza deliverers get out more cheap if they used this kind of transportation? I used a bicycle as the only way of transport for a few years in a crowded town with no incidents. In many cases, having the possibility of reaching a speed higher to that of the cars decreases the chance of bicycle accidents.

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Guest

Sounds good, I’d love to see how this would work. Where people need to use bikes for their jobs it can be good to find something that is friendly to the environment but also helps you to make bike riding a little easier. I don’t ride my bike but for something like this I’d give it a go for going to work.

Ken
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Ken

Electric Bikes have been used for delivery of pizza and other fast food orders since 3+ years ago in China. Go to Shanghai, or other cities, see for yourself.

Glenn Brown
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Glenn Brown

Very nice concept.

Is this sealed from water & dust?
Have the MIT engineers tested these bicycles outside in the New England winters?

diario seo
Guest

What about bateries? Are they really integrated in this small mechanism? If so they are smaller than my mobile phone batteries and they didnt last more than a week.

Ravi Soparkar
Guest
Ravi Soparkar

Very interesting.

This concept / technology, must be commercilized soon to make it affordable. Do keep me updated.
Ravi Soparkar, Pune, India
[email protected]