Retro vintage beach cruiser meets monkeybar chopper in solar-electric heaven? If you’re the discerning, style-conscious enthusiast who’s been looking for just the right electric bike, consider the Solar Powered Electric Bike, a DIY conversion by Nate D. of Motorbicycling.com.
This cool conversion (which comes to us by way of Greenlaunches) started life as an already pretty cool “stilletto” chopper five-speed by Giant. Then, it was converted into an electric bike using a motorized bicycle engine kit–at which point most of us would have stopped and called it good. But this DIYer, apparently, had a bigger vision of eco-electric and the skills to back it up. He added a modular solar panel array that delivers around 36+ volts and 10 watts, wired in to charge the battery pack; the PV panel/battery pack can be removed for charging or simply left attached to the back of the bike as you tool down the street.
While not all of us have the skills to create such a fine conversion, this DIY project seems like something the growing array of e-bike manufacturers (including Sanyo, and their growing line of Eneloop solar-powered products) should pay close attention to–especially given the predominantly pedantic designs that have generally dominated electric bike territory thus far. Here, in a nutshell, is what we want; an e-bike that delivers not only transportation, but style, and an electric that’s carbon-free not only when it’s moving, but when it’s charging as well.
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