Why Build an Electric Bike?
We stated that prior to starting a large scale hybrid vehicle conversion project; you might want to consider first building an electric bike. The lessons learned will be invaluable for a larger vehicle and you will then have the pleasure of riding an electric bike! The bike we build has the following basic specifications:
Bike: Full suspension mountain bike
Battery: 48V, 20ah pack
Motor: 1000W rear hub motor
Range: 20 miles
Top Speed: 29 mph (a bit too fast for a bike)
EV Grin: Yes
Elevated Heart Rate: Definitely yes
More Exercise Than Driving: Of course! My exercise level is similar to biking without a battery as I prefer to pedal just as hard, even while traveling much faster.
Opportunities for improvement: The rear battery pack mounting configuration canít sustain the weight of the pack without failing. This occurs during off-road riding with moderate vibrations / jumps. The rack is additionally supported to prevent failure although a more clever rack is merited.
Our favorite electric bike is by far the Optibike (Durango, CO). Maybe someday we will have the opportunity to ride one!