Linked by David Adams on Wed 1st Aug 2012 16:53 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes I had the chance to attend the bike industry’s annual DealerCamp in my hometown of Park City, Utah last week. It’s an event where dealers and manufacturers can meet up, and everyone can try the latest bicycle technology on the roads and trails. While there, I took a particular interest in electric bicycles, which were represented by several vendors. Electric bicycle tech has made some major strides in the past few years, but still has a long way to go, in particular on the software side.
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"While I was riding, I was also wondering whether it would be feasible to do a completely drive by wire system wherein the pedaling only charges the battery, and isn’t connected physically to the wheel at all, similar to the way ..."

What you forgot here is that battery charge while riding is always achieved thanks to the motor, which produces electricity when rotated by mechanical forces. If you want to pedal to charge the battery while not using the existing motor then you need to add a generator, that is another electric motor. And BOTH would have to be big enough to generate enough energy for the whole propulsion. That's the point after all.

You MIGHT gain a slight improvement in efficiency in energy conversion over a transmission chain (which is not the best of trade but has many other benefits), but I'd bet on a huge overall efficiency loss due to the added weigth. And you'd still have to use the first motor for regenerative braking anyway.

The example you give are of fixed powerplants with no weigth constraints, where mechanical transmission of energy can prove less than practical. Different needs, different contexts lead to different designs.

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