Did you know.. The solar bike could be the future?

Solar bikes: the new trend in the e-bike industry

Stand on a big crossroad in a major city for around ten minutes, and you will see an e-bike. Guaranteed. But although electric bicycles have a huge number of advantages, there is one big disadvantage. As the name already states, these vehicles run on electricity. And because a cable would limit the reach of your bicycle to around five meters, their batteries will run empty after a while. But technology isn’t standing still. New energy sources are found and applied, also in the bicycle industry. The sun, for example, could charge your e-bike on the go. Let Bicle introduce you to the solar bike.

There is not one general kind of solar bike. Innovative tech companies invented multiple ways to keep a bike going in the most environmental friendly ways. A Dutch study has shown that using solar power to charge your bike reduces the amount of CO2-emissions up to 20 times, so it definitely does make a difference.

External solar panel

Of course, the sun receptors do not have to be built into the bicycle. KVAERN is one of the companies that chose this path. They designed a solar pack and panel specifically for their e-bikes, inspired by the Tesla Powerwall. Customers install the panel on their roof and the pack on a wall somewhere around their house. The power pack will charge on solar power during the day and stores it, so the electricity is available whenever you need it.

Built in solar panel

For those who will be away from home for a longer time, an external panel isn’t the optimal solution. They will want their panels available at any time, at any place. Of course, this is also the case for rental bikes. It is never sure where these bicycles will be stalled next. The relatively new company Spin, based in the United Stated, manufactured a rental bike with a solar panel built into the basked, which is mounted to the handle bar. Spin recently started a collaboration with the Indiana State University. They purchased over a hundred of these bicycles to ease environmental friendly transportation for its students.
Solar powered electric bike-cars
You may have never heard of it, and it may seem a bit strange. But solar powered electric bike-cars aren’t as weird as they sound. Imagine a vehicle, partly bicycle and partly car. Simply put, a bicycle with a roof on top and some walls around it. So far, the designs that are available on the market have three wheels, are very light and can reach speeds up to 20 miles per hour. A 100 Watt solar panel is mounted on the roof of the bicycle (or should we say car?) to charge the battery on the go. These vehicles offer some interesting opportunities, because they can carry more than one person or cargo up to 250 kilograms.
Electric bicycles already were an enormous step towards emission free transportation, and solar bicycles even sped up this process. Maybe all of us will ride a solar powered electric bike-car in ten years. Who knows?