GreenWheel Wants to Make Going Electric Easy for Bikes

greenwheel electric bike wheel from MIT photo
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Photo via Discovery News, credit MIT Media Lab

How great would it be if you could just swap out the wheels on your pedal-powered bike and - Voila! - it's an electric bike? Well, you might not have to wait too long for that to be a reality.MIT scientists are working on a bike wheel that would allow you to swap out your regular old boring bike wheels for an electricity-generating wheel.

Called GreenWheel, the system is designed so that all the important components - power generation, storage and propulsion - are all encompassed within the wheel. And it can last as long as 8 years or 40,000 miles.

From the outside, the GreenWheel has the radius of a small dinner plate and is about 2 inches thick. Inside the aluminum frame sits the three major GreenWheel components: an electric generator, batteries and an electric motor.

Something so small, durable, and able to be retrofitted to existing bikes could mean an inexpensive option for people looking into electric bikes.