Electric Bikes for Expedition Trucks
Those traveling with a heavy Expedition Truck usually have some alternative form of transportation onboard, like a bicycle, moped, bike, quad, some even small car. The past years lightweight, silent and eco-friendly electric bikes have become quite popular. Here’s an impression of the electric bike market in 2013 on Ecomobiel Exhibition in the Netherlands.
Bikes on Expedition Trucks
By far the bicycle is the most hassle free form of local transportation anywhere, it’s light, doesn’t need a lot of space, low maintenance and eco friendly. However in places with extreme heat, cold, mountainous terrain the classic bicycle might not always be the best solution specially when larger distances need to be crossed.
The motorbike versus the bicycle - 150 - 200 Kg or 15 Kg on the back of the Expedition Truck. For local transportation something in between a dirt bike and a mountain bike would be ideal – not too heavy and practical in a 10 Km radius on / offroad on battery power.
The Ecomobiel 2013 Exhibition showcased a nice example.
An electric bicycle weighs about 40 Kg including battery, here’s a great example based on a terrain worthy mountain bike, the e-Tricks;
The e-tricks electric bike has a 30 Km reach on full speed which is limited to 45 Kmh for legal reasons.
For heavy duty and rough terrain purposes the e-tricks is a good solution – specially if you’re for example visiting national parks where dirt-bikes are usually not allowed. The experience of riding bush trails in almost complete silence is quite a novelty.
Many other exhibitors had electric mopeds on display for primary use in city areas.
This is the Peugeot E-Vivacity - the electric variant of the popular vivacity scooter
The Novox electric scooter from China
SYM Symmetry Electric Scooter from Taiwan
With these solutions, weight goes up steeply when compared to the e-tricks electric bike.
Charging bicycle batteries
Most charging solutions for electric bikes are (still) electricity grid based (110 / 220 V AC). In remote area’s the most viable solution is charging the bicycle through the alternator of the truck engine when driving.
100% Solar panel charging or using the household battery as a power source requires too much battery capacity or an unpractical large solar panel surface for a 4 – 6 hour charge.
Charging takes about 4 – 10 hrs depending how far the lithium battery has been drained. A lithium battery can take about 800 charging cycles and the replacement value is about € 500,-
A future innovation would be a bike battery charger with DC Voltage input (12 / 24 / 48 Volt) instead of the classic 220V AC.