Researchers from Bellnix and Saitama University have created an electric bike which can charge wirelessly at an unmanned docking station.
In order for eco-friendly forms of transport such as EVs to become a truly viable alternative, they need to be as convenient and accessible as their petrol guzzling counterparts. We have already seen numerous initiatives from companies such as Ubitricity and Smartscooter looking to make electric cars and scooters a more attractive proposition by making them easier to recharge. Now, a development at Bellnix Co Ltd in Japan could do the same for the electric bike.
Researchers from Bellnix and Saitama University have co-created an electric bike which can charge wirelessly. In the past, an electric bike’s battery pack had to be detached and connected to a separate charger, but Bellnix use wireless power transmission technology and a power-recieveing coil attached to the side of the front wheel. This could prove extremely useful for streamlining the expansion and upkeep of electric rental bicycles, which are popular in urban centres and tourist resorts in Japan and China.
The bike takes five and a half hours to recharge completely, which enables it to travel around 55km. Since the bike simply needs to be placed on a parking device to recharge, it would be possible to have unmanned stations located throughout cities, enabling the bikes to be rented and returned to docking stations as easily their pedal-powered cousins.
Could this development help increase the popularity of electric bikes in the US and Europe?