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A Pedelec without Charger

Bike+ is a pedelec which does not necessarily require plug in recharge. Realized as parallel hybrid in the version of a mild hybrid, "bike+" is neither a standard bike nor a standard pedelec. It is a "morphodite".

Giovanni Alli came from Italy to Tanna to visit the ExtraEnergy Pedelec and E-Bike Test and brought his fascinating Bike+ prototype. "We want to have third-party data to compare with own measured data. In the end, it will help us to gain credibility with our product."

Giovanni Alli is a post-doc research assistant at the Politecnico di Milano. He is a senior member of the "mOve control team", a research group in vehicle control directed by professor Sergio Savaresi.

No plug in recharge necessary
Giovanni Alli explains:" Bike+ is not a bike because it helps you to do less fatigue than a normal bike. With respect to a standard pedelec, this bike helps you less but you don`t need to recharge."

Advantages of Bike+ according to Giovanni Alli:

  • decreases the barrier of use of a normal bike (less fatigue; power-peak shaving)
  • does not require plug-in recharge
  • you can change the behaviour simply by your smartphone: App scheme (JPG)
  • option: usable like a normal bike
  • option: usable like a normal pedelec
  • option: usable like a fitness bike
Energetically Closed System
Top energy efficiency: "The bike helps to increase the metabolic efficiency of the body - metabolic efficiency is the capacity of the body to generate energy. This enables to generate the same amount of energy with lower oxygen consumption and thereby lower CO2 emission (carbon footbrint). Without charging the batteries. So, this is an energetically closed system that means that the cyclist just uses the own energy in a better way when riding Bike+."

Hannes Neupert (President ExtraEnergy e.V.) looks back on his first contact with Bike+:

"At our Go Pedelec! dealer training in Brianza near Milano in July 2012, I met Giovanni Alli. When he told me that he has made an invention which makes the charger for pedelecs an unnecessary device, I believed that I met the 1001 person who has had the clever idea which is reflecting the perpetual mobile...

But he had very good arguments which are different, since the classical perpetual mobile function is that you do generate electricity in the same moment when on the other side of the battery an electrical engine is engaged in powering the vehicle. Giovanni, togheter with the Ph.D. student Pierfrancesco Spagnol, has researched on the human body functions and the efficiency curves of the human combustion engine burning biofuel (food) to generate mechanical energy (muscle power) when driving the bicycle.

Thanks to the collaboration with Mapei Sport Center, he found out the same what other engineers found decades earlier when analyzing the efficiency curves of gasoline engines (our relatives in respect to combustion engines, just specialized on drinking fossil fuels) and applying electrical engines and battery systems.

The mild hybrid car resulted out of these studies - and today it is known that it is possible to drive the same speed, the same distance just as with a non hybrid car and to consume less gasoline - Why? The mild hybrid is taking away energy whenever the motor efficiency is at a good energy level and is storing it in the battery. In the moment when the combustion engine is in its weak positions, the energy is released by the electrical engine, supporting it to get quickly to its sweet spots.

In September, I met Giovanni again at the bicycle exhibition in Verona (www.eica.it) where he displayed his uncommon pedelec. He demonstrated the controller device which was actually his smart phone, easily attached to his bike. I did some test rides in the exhibition area which proved: it is finally possible to create a pedelec mild hybrid - similar to the proven path which is selling well in the car industry since the mid 90's.

He actually took in consideration that the human engine is much more efficient at higher pedal frequencies  with low effort. At these pedal frequencies, we are actually unable to feel that the electrical engine is taking some mechanical energy away from us. The excess energy is stored in the tiny battery to be released as soon as our body is in an inefficient position, enabling to get fast back to the sweet spot of efficiency.

It was breathtaking for me to accept that it works. I even consider: In the area of pedelec development, it`s the most important item I have seen for several months.

Actually, the bike which I tried there is nothing special - it is all about the algorithms which are used - they could be easily applied by any hub motor system maker with a system which is able to recuperate. It would allow to build pedelecs which first feel like an ordinary pedelec. They would even needed to be recharged but it would take the battery much longer to drain. Before the battery would drop below 20% left capacity, it would change the mode into the capacity sustaining mode. In that mode, it would balance the average of in- and output at the same level.  So, it would be impossible to deplete the battery completely."

Future plans
Giovanni Alli´s plans for the future: "We are planning that dealers will have the possibility to customize the product for the end users. So, the customers go to the dealer, ride the bike and choose their settings. Afterwards, the bike would slightly adjust the settings, depending on the driving style.

Next year, we are planning to present Bike+ at exhibitions around Europe.

Because the ExtraEnergy Test is the most complete test offered worldwide, we will come back to Tanna to participate in the ExtraEnergy Pedelec and E-Bike Test as soon as Bike+ will be a finished product."

>> Photo gallery Bike+ (JPG)

Further information:

>> www.facebook.com/BikePlus.Hybrid

>> move.dei.polimi.it

Text: Hannes Neupert, Giovanni Alli
Online release: Angela Budde

Pictures: Giovanni Alli

15 November 2012
Updated: 19 November 2012



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