The E-Bike Unchained: Compact Folding ‘Footloose’ Bicycle has a Battery Boosted by Pedal Power
Footloose, a new e-bike designed by Mando, offers a new way to travel light without breaking a sweat. Lighter and cheaper than four-wheeled e-vehicles, electric bikes are a great way to extend your range without a lot of extra time and effort. If power starts to run low while you’re en route, you’ve got the pedals to fall back on. But when your e-bike is fitted with a heavy chain and motor, pedaling isn’t exactly easy or fun. The Footloose eliminates the familiar chain and gears but keeps the pedals for a surprisingly compact ride that can take you almost anywhere.
Working in collaboration with British designer Mark Sanders and Dutch e-bike expert Han Goes, Korean auto suppliers Mando Corp and Meister Inc. revamped the e-bike design to reduce weight and make it more compact for urban commuters. The Footloose still has pedals, but instead of employing a chain to turn the wheel, the pedaling motion simply adds more power to the battery. When the rider engages the pedals, it sends power to an alternator which generates electricity to keep the motor running. And that’s not even the most amazing part! Without the bulk of chain and gears, the Footloose can be folded up into an incredibly small package–perfect for those who have to ride the bus or subway, but don’t want to walk or drive the last mile.
Mando and its collaborators say the Footloose will be able to travel around 20 miles on a single charge, and that when energy is low, the uniqe pedal generation system will power the bike indefinitely. The company plans to release the e-bike to European markets next year, but they’re keeping the price a secret for now.
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