Thursday, March 4, 2010

Electric Velorbis

Velorbis Scrap Deluxe-Elechic gents bicycle

Lithium-Ion battery pack enclosed in waterproof case.

 
High quality brushless induction hub motor fitted to the front wheel. (Whatever that means).


Display monitor "cockpit" shown with iButton activation key 

The electric bike concept gets a chic shot in the arm thanks to the new Velorbis range called, "Elechic" (a portmanteau of "electric" and "chic'). The Danish designers of classic, coveted bicycles have included several ladies and gents models in the new range: in addition to the Scrap Deluxe, there's the Victoria Classic and Dannebrog for the ladies and the Churchill Classic and Churchill Balloon for the gents. Velorbis is also offering an Elechic version of their Mobii tricycle.  

Perhaps Velorbis was inspired by the Copenhagen Wheel to make a simple electric motor that would attach to their bikes without ugly-ing them in any way. The bike isn't designed around the motor or designed to look like an e-bike, it's just a slick bike with a motor on it. The only hitch is that, even though the motor is priced separately from the frame, it doesn't look like you can have the motor added to the Velorbis you already own. Elechic bikes are built to order. I think that's a significant hiccup since you probably need to be deeply in love with your Velorbis to plunk down another three grand to motorize it. 

Honestly, I'm a little fuzzy on the concept of an electric bike at this price point. According to Velorbis,   "the pedal assisted electric motor system brings added convenience and opens cycling up to a wider audience; to those who may view cycling as a physical struggle, those who have steep hills to navigate, and those who simply need an extra energy boost on their journey." Of course, the Elechic bikes are still green methods of transportation and as pretty as regular Velorbis bikes. If cycling is that difficult for these newbies, aren't they just as likely to take their $4,800 (?!!) to a scooter store to buy a Vespa?

5 comments :

2whls3spds said...

Electric assist is great in many contexts, it is almost like having another rider to help push you along. I have test ridden a couple of electric assist bikes, in fact I have toyed with the idea of purchasing one...

The Velorbis is at the upper end of the price scale, average for a decent quality electric bike seems to be ~$1600-$2000 range.

Biggest advantage over the Vespa? no registration, insurance, oil or gas needed.

FWIW I have considered getting/building an electric car for city use and building a recharging station for it at home powered by solar panels (advantage of living in the deep south), not particularly cost effective at this point but an interesting exercise in design and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Aaron

The Bronze Bombshell said...

The guy who commented on my Sanyo post seems to know a lot about the subject and something called a Currie conversion kit. Maybe you should strike up a conversation in the comments section!

I've never given an e-bike a test-ride; I don't think I've ever seen one in a LBS. I'm sure they have advantages over a Vespa, but at the Velorbis price point I think those are diminished a bit. I wonder if those viewing an e-bike as their entré into cycling hold the fitness benefits as a high priority and wouldn't prefer, at the Velorbis price point, to get a scooter instead. They're still greener and cheaper than cars and you can probably store more stuff than a bike with a basket.

If you decide to build an e-bike and a solar-charging station definitely keep me posted. That sounds so cool!

2whls3spds said...

Here is an electric bike I have been contemplating... The 450E retails for around $1600. I have looked at conversion kits and various drives. But I think for the first one I would want a factory built system to give me a base line to work from.

Aaron

The Bronze Bombshell said...

It certainly looks like you've done your homework; the 450e looks like top-of-the-line. Good luck with your e-bike adventure (if you choose to go for it)!

javieth said...

Electric vehicles is a great alternative specially to save money and don´t waste a lot of money in fuel. Added to this help the evironment to keep it clean. I started in
costa rica investment opportunities
and i like the idea because it a country without too much pollution.