Electric bicycles provide for those who want a cleaner energy transportation solution an alternative to driving automobiles. E-bikes typically have a limited range though, which isn’t an issue if you mind manually pedaling to cover the remaining distance of your journey. Pedego, a maker of electric assist bikes, thinks it may have found a solution though to extending e-bike ranges even further via a partnership with green chemistry company SiGNa involving hydrogen fuel cells.
Pedgeo and SiGNa recently showcased a new battery-fuel cell hybrid system compatible with all existing Pedego bicycles and batteries that is said to be “an ultra-high-performance range extender.” The SIGNa hybrid system, according to its developer, “utilizes the battery for peak conditions such as acceleration and hill climbing, while the fuel cell extends the operating range of a Pedego bicycle by over 40 miles for each additional cartridge. Riders can carry additional cartridges which are real-time hot-swappable.”
With this hybrid system it is said that for every 1.5 lbs. of weight a rider carries, an additional 700 watt-hours of energy is available (compared to ~350 watt-hours for an ultra-high performance lithium-polymer battery at a weight of 7 lbs.) It is also noted in the SiGNa design that “a key innovation is the use of sodium silicide to liberate hydrogen from water as needed by the hybrid fuel cell. This process happens at a very low pressure of less than 30 psi (a soda can typically has 55 psi at room temperature).” There was no specific word on availability or pricing.
“The Pedego line of electric bicycles provides a unique user experience of performance, style, and comfort. We are pleased to work with Pedego to extend power usage by three,” said Andrew Wallace, Vice-President of Alternative Energy, SiGNa Chemistry, Inc, in a statement.