Monday, March 9, 2015

The 36V Electric Bicycle Lithium Battery Is Changing The Future Of Riding

By Leslie Ball

The numbers of people riding bicycles has expanded exponentially in some cities. While not a practical option for all, it has become a popular alternate form of transportation for short urban trips, and the personal health benefits are undeniable. Uneven or steep terrain can become challenging, and results in many riders choosing bicycles enhanced by a 36V electric bicycle lithium battery for additional pedal power.

The concept is not new. Patents for similar vehicles were being issued prior to the beginning of the 20th century, but like many types of electric transportation, were eclipsed by the rise of the personal automobile powered by gasoline. Modern technology has given e-bikes a boost, and increased awareness of environmental concerns make them a practical and serious alternative in many locations.

These are not the same bikes that many people remember from childhood. The actual vehicles resemble most other two-wheelers, but with one critical difference. They includes a power pack that is undeniably the most expensive component, costing as much or more than the motor and bike itself, and the technology used is still under development. The cost per mile is staggeringly low, but the initial outlay can be quite significant.

Models from a few years ago often featured heavy lead-acid batteries, which add weight and can make riding cumbersome. Lighter power packs similar to those that run smartphones and laptops make more sense, and provide longer and stronger charges. A lithium battery can last up to 40 miles before recharging, and can achieve 20 miles per hour.

Whether the intent is to convert an existing older bike to electric power, or to buy a turnkey-ready model from a dealer, knowing which lithium battery to choose can be challenging. Highly-publicized accounts of fires that occurred during battery shipment spurred more stringent regulations, but the units are generally considered safe for biking, and most people worry more about longevity and power capacity.

Not all stored power sources are equal. People should know how much amperage they will need, and it makes sense to avoid bargain basement, unlabeled generic models, regardless of the savings. Most ready-to-use packs are made in China, can last up to one thousand charges, and have a range that is regulated by voltage and amp hours. Some can be installed in parallel for added power.

Although riding is an undeniably greener way to get around, it is not without environmental concerns when batteries are involved. Lithium technology avoids the use of heavy metals common in other designs, but must be recharged, which requires a power plug that is often connected to a fossil-fuel generating plant. Those recharged using solar or wind energy exceed the efficiency of standard bicycles.

Like most developing technologies, early adoption is not for everyone, but those who do take part are supporting alternate forms of transportation that can make a real difference in the amount of pollution released by fossil-powered engines. The initial investment makes the most sense in locales where daily bicycle use is already a practical option.

About the Author: