EMcycle: An E-Bicycle with an Important Twist

EMcycle: An E-Bicycle with an Important TwistIt’s been a while since I wrote anything about my friends at EMcycle, whom I interviewed for one of our very first “2GreenEnergy Video Reports” back in 2011.  Astonishingly, EMcycle never got the full commitment of support they needed: an investor with a few million dollars to take this concept into production, though they’re now in conversations that seem quite promising.

What is an EMcycle?  I could bore you with the details, but the photo here says it nicely: it’s an e-bike oriented to the business community—one that shelters its occupant from rain, dirt, and a host of other stuff we don’t really want to be coated in.  We may not object to this on our weekend rides, but we most certainly don’t want it during the work week.  At the same time, the EMcycle provides a place for us to hang a sport jacket, or to stow groceries.

There are three reasons why I believe this concept is bound to succeed:

At the risk of appearing egotistical, first and foremost is my own reasoning.  Here is why I personally believe there is an extremely high probability that the EMcycle will enjoy great success in the marketplace of urban commuters:

·         Large populations in the developed world, especially young people, are keen to reduce the size of their eco-footprint associated with driving.

·         This audience is not locked rigidly into the paradigms of the past, as evidenced by the way they have radically changed their lifestyles by adopting the thousands of popular apps for smart phones. New phenomena in today’s world come to prominence with lightning speed.

·         Couple this with the fact that people are starting to rethink one of the most ingrained paradigms in the Western world, i.e., car ownership, while they’re looking for low-impact alternatives for short distances, e.g., trips to the store and commuting to work.

·         But there are important natural limits here, one of which is imposed by the inconvenience of public transportation, particularly the first and last miles.   Another key limit  is associated with bicycles, i.e., people don’t want to arrive at their destination sweaty, dirty, or soaking wet from rain.

·         The EMcycle is one of very few options available to this large and growing demographic.  If the price point is attractive, and the quality appealing, I believe this can be a huge winner.

The second reason I see success coming here is not my own viewpoint, but that of distributors.  Several dozen organizations that carry bicycles, e-bikes, and scooters all over the world positively LOVE the EMcycle, and are champing at the bit to take it on.

Third and final is that this product has huge potential to improve, in terms of its physical characteristics, from the development of “new materials.”  Of course, one could say this about many products — but the EMcycle stands to benefit more than most from these new light and super-strong substances.  For those who might have missed this article in Gizmag, here’s a link.  Apparently, researchers from MIT and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed ultra-lightweight materials for use in the construction of the bodies and frames of cars and airplanes that are literally lighter than air.

I’m extremely excited with the potential of the EMcycle.  How ‘bout you? If you’d like to learn more, please let me know.

 

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Posted in Electric Vehicles
10 comments on “EMcycle: An E-Bicycle with an Important Twist
  1. Chrsitopher Kotting says:

    As someone who commuted to an office, 13 miles away from home, on a regular bicycle, in all kinds of weather: I don’t get it.

    – From the position of the occupant, there is no way that he or she could produce any effective power from pedalling. There would be no market for this among cyclists.

    – It is essentially a 3-wheeled electric car, with pedals. Because it pretends to be a bicycle, (actually a trike) it will turn off electric car buyers who might otherwise be interested.

    They’d be better off ditching the bicycle aspect and marketing it as a 3-wheeled compact electric car.

  2. Benjamin says:

    I myself also like the concept, but if you do some research, you’ll find this isn’t the first time this has been tried. And by examining the roadways you’ll see it never took off. I’m not sure what the problems are but I would guess price may be high on the list, and that’s in the past when they didn’t have the exotic new materials you mention, which will remain very expensive for quite a while. Maybe also safety concerns and fears of theft. (By the way, from the photo it appears to be a tricycle, not a bicycle.)

    But we can dream. Maybe someday.

  3. Richard Gorman says:

    If the vehicle was much lower, it could have a much lower aerodynamic drag and be easily powered by a minimal sized battery and pedaling.. Since you have more than 2 wheels you don’t need a high cg.

  4. Frank R. Eggers says:

    I was planning to ask about how the vehicle would fare in crosswinds, but I see that someone on the promotor’s website has already asked that question.

    Here in Albuquerque, we often have very strong winds. They can be very annoying when riding a motorcycle. Because the E-bicycle appears to have a higher side area than a motorcycle, I’d expect it to be affected even more by crosswinds. Although it’s hard to know for sure from the picture, it could also be more affected by headwinds.

    It may be that the concept would be more practical if it had a recumbent configuration, but considering that recumbent bicycles have been available for a long time and have never become popular, a recumbent configuration might increase sales resistance.

    Before setting up to manufacture them, it would be a good idea to make a few prototypes to test the sales potential and practicality.

  5. Bruce Wilson says:

    Have they tried crowd source funding? This sort of thing could revolutionize transportation in emerging markets so that they could get the mobility without ruining the environment.

  6. Great concept for short commutes to work or to replace a commuter car to the train station

  7. VRReambillo says:

    Very Interesting! Is it commercially available? How much is cost per unit, charging, charger, controller and repair/maintenance?

    • James Pick says:

      Check out Organictransit.com located in Durham NC to answer some of the questions raised by people commenting.

  8. send prices of 3 no. C&F lahore

  9. Ravindra Rao says:

    This has great potential in India where we have 10 million cars and 80 million two wheelers. A personal three wheeler with the comfort of a car will be welcome. We have three wheelers called autoriksha but all these are in the para transit use. All the two and three wheelers are noisy, polluting and disrupt traffic.

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