Like most plug-in battery-powered items, it can be a bit of a drag to find an outlet for one’s electric bike and then sit around waiting for it to charge. Copenhagen-based engineer Jesper Frausig has come up with a solar-powered alternative that never needs to be plugged in. Instead, the Solar Bike charges its battery from available sunlight when parked, and has a range of over 40 miles.
The Solar Bike features cells built into both sides of both wheels that are, according to Frausig, highly efficient and “shadow optimized.” When the bike is parked it can garner enough power from available sunlight for a range of 2-25km (1.2-15.5 miles) each day (depending on cloud cover, and, one might assume, on the angle at which the bike is parked), and can store enough electricity in its thermos-shaped battery for a 70km (40 mile) range.
As you cycle, the solar cells trickle through whatever electricity they generate to help power the bike in addition to stored power. That electric assist carries some fairly serious wallop; the bike has a standard speed of 15mph, and a top speed of 30—which is almost certainly more than you need to make it through the commute to work. Additionally, the on-board lights are solar-powered.
The bike is the product of three years of work by Jesper Frausig, and the current version is his second prototype. While there’s no word yet on if or when the bike will go into production, or how much it might cost, it has been nominated for an INDEX: Design to improve life Award.
Images © Solar Bike