In the next morning, we went over to the final assembly factory to make a pre-production build. While I wait for some critical parts to arrive by carrier, I explore the section of the facility where cargo e-tricycles are made. By the time the bike comes alive, it's time to clock out and get some dinner with more suppliers.
Nov 2, 2010: Today was the last day in China before I returned to the states. We got a chance to take the e-bike out for a little trip around the factory before lunch. There was just enough time to test the normal bicycle version before I left. The bikes will be painted and later flown to San Diego for more testing.
We had breakfast with the Bafang guys in the morning and then drove over to Kunshan, China to the factory where the battery enclosure is made. I can see now we need to reduce the amount of plastic we use - even if that means an increase in cost.
We later made our way back to Shanghai for a night of rest. The next morning we drove the van to Jinhua where we do the final assembly. In the next days, we will build up a pre-production sample to evaluate the sourced parts and figure out how to efficiently manufacture the bike. http://www.juicedriders.com
The next morning, we headed over to the frame factory to check up on the samples. There was no way to escape without having lunch and booze with the factory managers. That made us really late getting into Suzhou and the Bafang motor factory was about to close. Another big dinner with the Bafang managers rounded off a long day.
In Part 1 of the video documentary, I head to Shanghai to help Justin Lemire-Elmore over at Ebike.ca/Grin Tech with his parts suppliers before meeting up with my team in Part 2. It was an epic journey through China where we visit the The Controller Garage, The Nine Continent Factory and later spend a little time in Shanghai.
Mint.com has an infographic showing which cities spend the most and least on gas per month. San Jose, CA is at the top of the list with $216 while not surprisingly, New York, NY is at the bottom with $102.
It is interesting to compare this to Bicycling.com’s list of top 50 best bike cities.
The Ridekick Trailer gives cyclist another option for electric assist. The trailer attaches to a normal bicycle, instantly turning it into an e-bike with a range of 15 miles (24 km).
The electric-assist trailer format is very clever as when you need a boost, it is often when you are carrying cargo. This solution serves dual purpose and quickly disconnects when not needed.
- 19 mph (30.5 km) maximum assistance
- 15 mile (24 km) range
- 10 minutes installation
- $729.00 including shipping
- Available for now for online ordering
There are no batteries or electronics to ruin the lines of your pedal bicycle. All of the heavy electronic components are protected from the elements. The unit can be wheeled "carry-on style" indoors for charging. Check out the video of the Ridekick in action.
This is a well written article which documents the moment when the mental switch is flipped and the rider discovers how e-bikes fit into the transportation paradigm.
The city of Las Vegas has launched a program to provide five e-bikes for employees to get around town. The program is funded by the Sustainability Initiative Grant. Follow the link to view the video from the local news coverage.
While one city gears up for electric bicycles, across the Pacific, authorities in Shenzhen, China are actively banning their use. The ban is in place until December 5th when officials will study the impact on road congestion and safety. The ban is intended to reduce traffic accidents involving e-bikes.
Technically electric bicycles are illegal to use in New York. That does not stop some brave deliverymen from making drop-offs up to 80 blocks away according to the article from New York Times City Room Blog.
In China, it is very common to see delivery guys on e-bikes. Fast food restaurants even international brand-name establishments have a fleet of e-bikes exclusively used for delivery.
Sources: New York Times
Replacing the carbon fiber with aluminum adds 3.2 kg (7 lbs), but reduces the price by a whopping $1,800. That works out to $562.50 per kilogram! The Fusion can be ordered online for $1,995 and ships in four weeks.
The Hybrid offers A2B Metro styling but complies to Europe’s pedelec Limitations of 250W and 125km/h (25mph). Along with the smaller direct drive motor comes the lower MSRP price of 2,299 USD.