Electric bikes have revolutionized the bicycle industry, bringing one of the oldest modes of transportation into the 21st Century. However, like most of the electronic tech we interact with each day, the mere act of recharging a bike isn’t exactly a convenient chore. But thanks to a new solar-powered ebike from the Copenhagen-based startup Kvaern, requiring a power outlet to recharge your ride may be a thing of the past.
Powered by a stationary battery pack the company refers to as Kvaern+, the device amasses power by storing the solar energy it generates throughout the day. Whenever the bike needs a bit of a jolt, the power packs allow the accumulated solar energy to transfer to the bike, allowing riders to go roughly 31 miles on a single charge. No plug-ins or wires necessary — Kvaern’s ebike is fully off-grid. The company’s founder, Jonas Gissel, even points to Tesla’s Powerwall as a source of inspiration.
“No doubt, Tesla has been a great inspiration for Kvaern, and like pretty much the rest of the world, we are very impressed with what they have managed to do to the car industry,” Gissel said. “With the electric bike, we’re facing a revolution in the bike industry as we know it. Whether fully electric or hybrid, this is the future.”
Similar to how Tesla charging stations have begun popping up across the country, Gissel intends to pursue public installations of Kvaern’s system down the line. For now, the company’s focused on perfecting its personal power packs before scaling the tech. The idea is to deliver “smart, affordable, and cool everyday-products that run on green energy.”
In addition to the bike’s 31-mile range, it’s also capable of accelerating from zero to roughly 15 mph in just four and a half seconds and sports a 250-watt motor. It’s unclear if the 15 mph is the bike’s top speed but if it is, it’s worth pointing out that it would be roughly 10 or so mph slower than most pedal-assisted ebikes on the market.
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