When inventor Stefan Gulas rides his eROCKIT around Berlin, he still turns lots of heads. Is it a motorcycle, a weird scooter, a souped-up bike? People don't seem to know. For eROCKIT is not only fast, going at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour, it's also pretty - a skinny, streamlined electric motorcycle or a thoroughly decked-out e-bike. Electric assist bikes are popular on TreeHugger, and most of them run between $1,000 to $5,000 - electric motorcycles are around $15,000. ERockiT plans to build just 10 machines in 2009, for the pretty-penny price tag of $44,000 ($35,000 down)! So O.K. maybe not for the masses, but still cool.
eROCKIT's electric assist is made to zip through city traffic
eROCKIT's inventors call it the human-hybrid machine. That sounds like hyperbole until you watch the eROCKIT in motion. The cyclist's pedaling motions assist the motor, which multiplies the rider's effort by a factor of 50, the company says. The faster you pedal, the faster you go. Continuous 'muscle deployment' to power the motor
eROCKIT said this is the first time that the driver's physical power is just as relevant for driving dynamics and speed as the vehicle's technical properties and engine power. You pedal to get going and pedal to accelerate - hand brakes slow you down. Pedaling also helps to charge up the bike's battery. The bike has no separate acceleration pedal or handle as a motorcycle would.
Nano-phosphate lithium battery
eROCKIT says it is using a nano-phosphate lithium battery in its present design, which it expects to last for 10 years or 50,000 kilometers of use. Depending on driving or pedaling style, a charge should last for 60 to 80 kilometers, and cost the German consumer about 60 Euro cents, or just under U.S.$1. The eROCKIT weighs about 100 kilos (225 pounds) so you won't be able to carry it up the apartment steps, that's for sure.Via ::eROCKIT (German and English)
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