Photo: Currie Technologies
"We are confident that the Express will make an eBike believer out of anyone that takes it for an extended test ride," says Larry Pizzi, president of Currie Technologies. The iZip Express is the latest hybrid electric bicycle from Currie, and is arriving on the US market after three years of development.
The nuts and bolts are that its 36V 18Ah Lithium-ion battery can move the rider at speeds in the vicinity of 32km/h (20 mph) and it can manage a range of between 50 and 80 km (30 -5- miles) depending on the mode selected.
But what's got Currie revved up is their patented EVO-Drive hybrid cadence sensing system. Apparently it "detects human power and adds motor power proportional to the speed of pedaling. All the electronics work happens seamlessly behind the scenes." Such that the rider can reportedly easily climb 2,300m (7,500 ft) worth of hills on one battery charge.Although not explicit in their specification it appears (from their battery care notes PDF) that Express's Li-Ion battery requires about 4-6 hours of charge time. And will last about 500 cycles.
The Express is a electric bike said to have a "transmission similar to the hybrid mechanics found in some hybrid automobiles." Swiss company, Dolphin eBikes engineered the mechanical and electrical components that make the hybrid characteristics work on bicycle. It was Sturmey-Archer, originator of internally geared bike hubs who manufactured this hybrid drive rear hub system known as the EVO Drive 2.0.
But the teamwork doesn't end there. Trinamic, a German motion controls company has produced the electrical control hardware and software elements in Germany for precise quality and reliability. The bike's frame is crafted by Fairly Bike Manufacturing in Taiwan, while their Chinese affiliate, Wettsen Corporation provides the finished assembly services.
For all its high performance, the downsides are the bike is no light weight, tipping the scales at 28 kg (62 lbs) with batteries. And the price packs some oomph as well -- $3,500 USD.
But Currie Technologies reckon people may overlook the sticker price when they realize that with the Izip Express' Evo Drive, "You can ride greater distances at higher speeds compared to any other hybrid electric bike on the market."
::IZip Express Evo Drive, via media release.