i-Go is an electric bike concept loaded with futuristic rider-friendly features such as regenerative wireless brakes, internal gears, smartphone charging ability, mobile app and GPS all integrated into a foldable design. The i-Go ebike rental system was designed by recent college grad Marc Andre Cardinal, and it may be the best bike share scheme we’ve seen to date.
Bike sharing is no longer a new concept. Following Copenhagen’s lead, successful bike share programs have been introduced into major urban centers such as London, Paris, Barcelona, and Washington DC. Electric bike sharing systems, however, are still a handlebar on the horizon. So far, one eBike sharing concept has come to term in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius and another in the Swiss city of Nyon. As batteries become cheaper, lighter and more portable, it may not be long before more bike sharing cities incorporate electric designs into their growing fleets. This could be an especially good thing for cities with a challenging landscape (or those with lazier populations).
In Marc’s vision, the i-Go eBike sharing system is integrated into city infrastructure and manufacturers of the bicycle would have direct access to materials recycled through waste management. Ideally, “the plastic, aluminum, and rubber picked up by these industries could be used to fabricate all parts of the bike, resulting in a much lower cost for material and material processing, meaning the production [costs] of the bike would be relatively low.”
An aluminum structure would hold the batteries and electronic components, while recycled plastics would make the rest of the body. Plastic is a choice material because it is durable, doesn’t rust, hides scratches and is light weight.
Of course, that still leaves the cost of electronics and maintenance, but with riders generating power and transporting themselves from A to B to C with zero-emissions, the system would create net-positive energy meaning less power demanded from the grid, less cars on the road, and a healthier environment for all to enjoy.
It may not be too long before we see this concept scaled up and it’s definitely something to get excited about. An alluring, powerful, high-tech design coming from a recent college grad (who’s currently looking for employment) bodes well for the future of sustainable transportation. If your city is considering saddling up and joining this new wave of collaborative consumption, you might want to mention what you saw here.