In the new era of modern commuting with zero emission the first thing which comes to our mind is Electric Technology,
The technology that is flourishing around us without getting much attention is electric technology. People are now a days thinking about the ways to conserve our mother earth and reduce carbon emission footprint and electric technology is solution.
Electric Vehicles are being implemented in all the countries across the globe to provide a zero pollution , safe and convenient mode of transportation for the commuters.
Among many countries India too have pledged to shift from conventional mode of transportation to efficient electric mode of transportation/
‘Paris agreement’. By 2030, all the vehicles in India will be electrified as conveyed by the government of India.
What is e-bike or electric cycle
In comparison to traditional cycles / motorcycles, electric cycles / motorcycles are identical in design and appeal but is way more different under the shell. In traditional cycles one has to use physical force to propel the cycle where as in case of electric cycle minimal physical effort is needed as there is a motor to give the required desired power to the wheels to spin it thus hassle free commuting without shedding any sweat. The battery is the power house of the cycle and the controller is the brain of the cycle.
Different parts of e-bike or electric cycle
Motor is the most fundamental feature of an electric bike. Different types of motor which are found in different electric bikes are front hub, rear hub & mid motor
Front hub: These are located on the front Tyre & give propulsion by spinning the tire. Same concept is applicable in case of front wheel drive automobiles.
Rear hub: These are located on the back Tyre & generates propulsion which push the rider forward.
Mid drive motor: Mid drive motor sends power to the drive-train which generates the propulsion. This is the most advanced type of motor offered only in premium high end cycles and give the best outputs compared to other type of motors.
Batteries used in electric bikes give around 30 to 70 kilometres of range per charge. This depends on the rider’s preference like pedal assist, or electric only.
Lithium ion battery is used widely due to their light weight & high capacity. Normally lithium ion batteries have ranges from 24 Volts to 48 Volts.
A good quality lithium ion battery requires 2 to 4 man hours to charge fully. According to the design, battery pack is either removable or non-removable. Removable battery can be charged anywhere providing added convenience to the rider.
Pedal assist technology
The motor is only activated when the pedals are in motion. It consumes less power & gives more mileage. In this mode two modes of energy are used simultaneously
Physical Energy along with stored electrical energy.
The bike will move once we press the throttle just like a traditional motorcycle. It consumes more power than the pedal assist system.
It depends on the rider’s preference which mode the rider wants to use.
It is a group of different components which deliver power to the driving wheel. It comprises of
- chain ring,
- speed cassette.
- Motor is not counted in drive train.
It is an electric circuit which controls the speed of an electric motor. It uses power from the battery pack & then drives it to the motor which in turn will generate thrust to move forward. When we move faster, more power will be needed. Controller will send signal to the battery to release more power.
There are two types of sensors used in an electric bike, cadence sensor & torque sensor.
This type of sensor is used mostly in all the electric cycles available in the market. The principle working of this kind of sensor is that it turns the motor on when we start pedaling & turns it off when we stop pedalling. It works like a switch.
This is the advanced type of sensor . It measures the actual force on the pedal and gives power equivalent to the force. The harder we pedal, more power from the battery goes to the motor & vice versa. In simple terms the harder we pedal the more power we get.
How is it different to ride an electric bike or cycle compared to traditional bikes and cycles ?
We will still have to pedal with an e-bike or electric cycle depending on the rider’s preference. We can use only electric or using electric with pedal assist. The only difference is that the motor adds extra power to our natural ride making it easier & comfortable. Electric bicycles or e-bikes are very similar to traditional bicycles with the only real difference being the added electrical components.
In traditional bicycles, we need to put extra power to move faster. But considering electric bikes or electric cycles, things will become easier than the usual. We can travel longer distance before feeling fatigued.
What is a controller
Electric bike controller connects all the electrical components together like battery & motor. It acts like a brain of e-bikes. It takes all the inputs from all the other components & determine what would be conveyed to them in return.
Battery -------- Controller--------Motor
When we push the throttle or start pedaling, controller sends signal to the motor where motor gets power from the battery. Controller determines how much power is required to be in motion depending on the pressure on the pedal or on the throttle.
What is a sensor. What are the different types of sensor?
Sensor of an electric bike determines how hard the rider is pedaling or how much the rider is twisting the throttle in order to move forward the bike. After measuring the pressure on the pedal or on the throttle, it sends signal to the controller & controller then determines how much power is needed or to be delivered from the battery pack to the motor. Basically, if the speed is low, motor provides higher support & vice versa.
According to functioning, sensor can be categorised as cadence sensor & torque sensor.
There is a fixed sensor which is attached to the bike & rotational moving sensor which is fixed on the rims of the bike. Each time the moving sensor passes through the fixed sensor, the system measures the speed of the bike. It turns the motor on when we start pedaling & turns it off when we stop pedalling. In simple term, it acts like a switch. It determines if we are pedalling or not.
Whereas a torque sensor is connected to the chain. It determines the actual force we apply on the pedal. It simply measures how hard we pedal. After determining the force on the pedal, it sends signal to the controller. The rest of mechanism is same as cadence sensor.
How does it feel to ride electric bike/ electric cycle?
We all have some sort of experience of ridding traditional cycle. Cycling is all about commuting & commuting come from different needs. When we talk about needs, it could be in different forms. Considering traditional cycling, commuting needs are backed by other needs which a traditional cycle can provide like comfort & ease of pedaling.
With the globalization & passage of time, our commuting needs remains same, but the commuting medium has changed to a great extent. As far as commuting medium is concerned, a new technology that is revolving around us is electric cycle or electric bike which is going to be the future of mobility. In a nutshell, electric cycle or electric bike provides you the cycling experience backed by technology.
Electric assisted cycling is something different from traditional cycling. Electric thrust which is an inevitable part of electric cycle helps to cover more distance with less efforts. When we twist/press the throttle, motor will be activated & momentum will we generated . Hence ensuring travelling longer distance before the muscle get fatigued.
It is certain that adapting new technology creates a little bit problem at the initial stage but once you start pedaling you will feel the differences, smoothness & ease of pedaling. You can feel the combined experience of having adventure, excitement & recreation all together in one ride at the same point of time. Have you thought it before? Well, we are here to assist you & can provide you the best of electric propulsion.
As a first-time user, you will feel like you are ridding by a premium two- wheeler which has provided the luxury as well as status of having an innovative one. It is more likely due to its design & aesthetics.
We at SR have been experimenting with electric bike for three years & found it to be the most cost- effective medium of daily commute. After lots of research we figured out that the running cost of the electric cycle is only 10paisa per 1 km.
How does it feel when you can get everything without incurring much cost? Obviously, we feel proud to be the early adapters of electric mobility.
Most exciting experience we ever got when we were travelling uphill. You can enjoy the air suspension which was truly amazed us. Gears & different power modes will give you that much of control you always want to have in your extreme ridding. And moreover, you can use it on all surface like hilly areas, on sands or even on muddy areas. If you love excitement & adventure, it would be best suitable for you. Are you ready to feel the thrust?
What is a battery pack?
A battery pack contains battery cells or small identical batteries in necessary configurations along with the battery management system & safety precautions as per prevalent statutory rules to generate required power for the electric bike. Components of battery pack include
- battery cells
- temperature sensor.
Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are used globally in automobile as lithium metal has high energy density. most e-bike kits are rated for a specific voltage range. A typical 36v e-bike needs a battery that delivers power between 42v to 30v. A 36v pack, at 42v is fully 100% charged and holding as much energy as it can and at 30v it should cut off and and stop giving power before causing permanent damage.
Voltage drives the motor's peak RPM, if the same motor is given a certain voltage, it will turn at a given speed, increase the voltage and it will spin faster. So electric motors are made to rotate at a certain rpm for a given application.
Capacity of a battery pack
Capacity of a battery pack is denoted by Ampere hours. It is a measure of how many fixed numbers of Amps a battery can sustain for one hour. In general, higher voltage bikes go faster. Volts & amps equal to watt which represents power.
It is more accurate to express it through watt hours. A 500-Watt battery can deliver 500 Watts for one-hour or 1000 Watts for 30 minutes.
Power delivered to the motor depends on Volts.
36Volts*10 Ampere Hours= 360 Watt Hours
48Volts*10 Ampere Hours= 480 Watt Hours
So, higher the volts, more power will be delivered.
Battery management system (BMS)
A battery management system is an electronic regulator that monitors & controls charging & discharging of rechargeable batteries. It is essentially the brain of the battery pack. It measures & reports crucial information for the operation of the battery & also protect the battery from damage in a wide range of conditions.
Battery management system is a critical part of an electric vehicle powertrain. BMS is needed to measure the state of the charge & condition of the lithium battery due to their charge & discharge characteristic & safety configuration. It performs several key functions to ensure that the pack capacity can be maximized such as cell balancing & control of the charger. The configuration of BMS changes according to the battery pack & power train configuration.
Factors monitored & controlled by BMS are
- Main power voltage
- Battery or cell voltage
- Charging & discharging rates
- Temperature of the batteries or cells
Why electric bike cost so much
In general, electronic components consumed 60% to 80% of total cost & hence makes it so expensive compared to traditional bikes/cycles/
The cost of the motor & battery greatly influences the price. The batteries used in electric bikes can cost as much as 100000 which causes their price to increase. Furthermore, manufacturers invest money & technology into the safety of the batteries.
A premium quality electric bike can cost you as much as 10,000,00. As far as quality is concerned, it is justifiable according to the global market.
Most of the people has a common question, is it worth enough to buy an electric cycle with this price point? Let’s clarify the price point of an electric bike.
Price of a good quality electric bike starts from 70,000 & premium quality electric bike starts from 1,50,000. This price point can create a little bit confusion to many people but there are several factors that causes the price of e-bike to be as high as they are.
The most important aspect of such high pricing is battery. Price of a good quality battery pack considering 36 V battery pack starts from 30,000. Since lithium ion battery pack is globally used due to high efficiency, I guess you can easily connect with my explanations.
We can consider the example of batteries of mobile phones. It’s a common matter of interest that it uses lithium ion battery & we are very much familiar with these types of batteries. If I ask you with honesty about the price of a lithium ion battery used in mobile phones, what would be the best answer? Considering lithium ion battery of iPhone by ‘Apple’ can cost you almost INR 3500. A battery pack contains several such lithium ion batteries which makes the battery pack. According to the requirement of the motor of the electric bike or cycle, a battery pack may contain as much as 150 such lithium ion batteries which cost you INR 5,25,000 considering a premium electric bike. In addition, this is a new technology which is used globally. ‘Tesla’ model 1 also used the same Panasonic battery cells which we offer in our premium cycles.
This is another component which drives the price high. The purpose of the motor is to utilize the energy from the battery. Price of a good quality Brush Less DC Motor costs you as much as INR 60,000 depending on the requirement of the rider. Hence battery & the motor together constitute the major portion of total cost of an electric bike or an electric cycle.
Since motor provides extra power over normal one which means it runs faster than the ordinary cycle. So, an electric cycle has some special components which supports extra power & energy provided by the motor. When you are cycling over 20 mph it’s important that the brakes will be able to make you stops quickly. Controller is another important component which increases the price of an electric bike significantly high. Price of a good quality controller costs you as much as INR 40,000. Apart from that, sensor is also an inevitable part of an electric bike. A more expensive price tag usually means better quality components which will provide better performance.
We should also consider the frames used in the electric bike. It has great importance because all other electronic components are supported by the frame. Design of the frame changes according to the requirements & hence cost also changes. For example, those who loves adventure will prefer MTB frames (mountain bike) over others. MTB frames are designed to perform on all surfaces. So, it adds extra cost to the bike.
Hence, all the components used in an electric bike maintains quality standard to add safety measures to the rider. Here, safety & security of the rider is the basic thing & maintaining safety & security adds extra cost. So, higher price simply signifies higher cost of production to deliver quality products that can perform at its best when you need it.
The other part which most of the people ignore when they are trying to justify high price. As far as Indian market is concerned, EV (electric vehicle) is a new technology in India & eventually it is not a mass product. It has certain limitations which makes it more unique & premium. Once you ride an electric bike you will feel the exact difference.
What is a brake sensor?
Brake of an electric bike is an important safety feature. There are two options available, brake levers & brake sensors.
Inside the brake levers there is a sensor which kicks in when you start pulling it & then a signal is sent to the controller to cut off the motor. If an electric bike is using integrated gear shifters or hydraulic brake system, then it’s impossible to remove brake levers. It includes a magnet sensor which sticks to the brake base & a magnet which sticks to the lever. When we start pulling the lever the magnet moves away from the sensor & it disconnect the motor.
What is a Gear sensor?
When we need to shift the gear under load, all the tension is on the top of the chain. With the help of front & rare derailleur we can shift gear under load & it does not make any difference as the bottom chain line is not under tension. Shifting to higher gear does not create much problem but when we need to shift into lower gear, it creates lot of problems.
Here gear sensor plays the vital role. It senses when we are shifting gears & also sense in which direction we are shifting & accordingly it cuts off the power for a definite period for the seamless gear shifting experience.
Living with electric bike
So far, we covered the details of an electric bike like what is an electric bike, its characteristics, & how does it feel to ride an electric bike. E-bike come in a variety of configurations & we use them according to our choice & preference. If we consider how surrounding is changing, then we can find it as a problem solver to most of our commute problems. There are some legitimate reasons why we should use electric bike & how an electric bike can change our thoughts of living. If I am talking about how I feel, obviously, using an electric bike means you are living with one of the finest technology available globally.
Low cost of commuting
Considering the changes around us, it is the best low cost or even zero cost ridding available globally. We can use it in various purpose such as daily commute, fun ridding, adventure ridding or even in fitness purpose.
Electrification is the future of commute & we are moving towards the optimum utilization of electric vehicles. It is obvious that adapting new technology creates little bit of problems at early stages but it’s an evident that electrification is going to be a mandate in coming years as per ‘Paris Agreement’. It’s not an advanced technology in nature but it’s an advanced technology by its applicability.
Simple yet powerful
It was amazing how different electronic components are assembled together to give you smooth ridding experience. It’s a simple structure having motor, battery, controller & sensors but it is also too powerful to give you around 60 km per hour top speed having all the safety requirements.