Solar Powered Chopper E-Bike A Cool DIY Eco Project

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.

solar-powered-stilletto-chopper

image via Green Launches

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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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.