Carbon Fiber Electric Bike Uses Frame As Energy Conductor

How do you build an electric hybrid bike without wires? By using the frame itself as a conductor. That’s the thinking behind the HMK 561 pedelec concept by German designer Ralf Kittmann.

It’s a powerful idea not only in terms of powering a bike, but reducing the amount of energy it takes to move the thing to begin with. That’s because the HMK 561’s innovative carbon fiber frame not only conducts electricity, it keeps the bike super lightweight. Which means that when you hit the hills, that electric assist on this bike (charged by regenerative braking) won’t have nearly as much work to do as it would with even an aluminum-frame.


image via Yanko Design

On this picture, you may note the strange absence of gears and chains. That’s not a Photoshop fail–according to Yanko Design, the HMK 561 system actually turns the wheels using a counter-turning axel rather than the familiar mechanism that loves to bite your pant legs and cover them with grease. It may sound far-fetched, but consider this: a prototype of the bike was exhibited in Cologne, Germany, way back in 2008.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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