Electric velomobiles

Positive discussion on ebikes and pedal assist bicycles

Electric velomobiles

Postby KenGS » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:36 pm

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2012/10/ ... biles.html
Both the velomobile and the electric bicycle increase the limited range of the cyclist -- the former optimises aerodynamics and ergonomics, while the latter assists muscle power with an electric motor fuelled by a battery.
The electric velomobile combines both approaches, and so maximises the range of the cyclist -- so much so that it is able to replace most, if not all, automobile trips.

While electric velomobiles have a speed and range that is comparable to that of electric cars, they are up to 80 times more efficient. About a quarter of the existent wind turbines would suffice to power as many electric velomobiles as there are people.
--Ken
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by BNA » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:02 pm

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Re: Electric velomobiles

Postby Joeblake » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:02 pm

I'd agree with some of the comments on the Lowtech website, that's there's no "universal" vehicle, whether it be petrol powered, electric or human. Like one of the posters I have 5 "bikes", each of which I use for different purposes. I have two electric trikes, both with 250W motors, one is fast on the flats, but won't climb hills, the other is vice versa. I seldom use my electrikes for local shopping (ie 5km or less), preferring an MTB with a big plastic box on the back.

Perhaps the way of the future might to go for a modular design where eg carrying capacity can be added as required (or removed when not - say a trailer), photovoltaic panels can be detached for short distances, different battery capacities can be switched around for different purposes. Paradoxically, small batteries may be more useful for longer trips if there are solar panels. I've never flattened my batteries since I added the solar panels, because I use the motor so little (mostly take offs and hills), so even smallish photovoltaic panels (measured output roughly 12 watts on a good day) will top up the batteries. Bigger batteries over shorter distances without panels would enable the rider to use the motor more. And so on.

I think an eVelo is a good idea, but I suspect there will be a bit more work to do.

Joe
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Re: Electric velomobiles

Postby Myrtone » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:02 pm

Most velomobiles have three-wheels (each). But could an electric velomobile do with only two wheels, and a pair of retracts, stabliser wheels which can be retracted and deployed while on the move?
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Re: Electric velomobiles

Postby Rhubarb » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:13 pm

Most velomobiles have 3 wheels for stability in cross winds etc. When you put such a large fairing over the bike, cross winds have a big impact at speed. A 2 wheeler tends to cross about 14 lanes of traffic when hit with a sudden gust of wind whilst doing 45km/hr.
I own a sinner mango sport velomobile which also feels the wind but obviously not as much as a 2 wheeler.
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Re: Electric velomobiles

Postby Myrtone » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:23 pm

Don't you thing the front end colud be narrower with only one wheel. If you really must have either two wheels at the front or rear, or four in total, one might want to consider paralell tilting of opposing wheel pairs. Make sure that the tilt lock can be operated while on the move!
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Re: Electric velomobiles

Postby Joeblake » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:45 pm

The mother of all two wheel velomobiles - available in electric* versions apparently (Yes I know it's a motorcycle but the principles are the same)

http://peraves.wordpress.com/

Note the stabiliser wheels which automatically raise and lower as required.

Image

Joe

*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzK012GjjX4
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Re: Electric velomobiles

Postby Myrtone » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:18 pm

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Re: Electric velomobiles

Postby Hamster » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:50 am

I agree with the concept of combining a velomobile with an electric motor to give a all-weather, low cost and highly efficient form of transport. If combined with a powered detachable trailer it would then also have the capacity to carry a considerable amount of shopping/luggage etc.

At the moment to take such a vehicle onto our congested roads with their rampaging herds of 2 tonne metallic beasts would be akin to suicide.
It would not be at all strange if history came to the conclusion that the perfection of the bicycle was the greatest achievement of the nineteenth century.
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