8/28/2012PROJECT THE E-KIT Empowering the comman man’s ride | kundan giri Rajiv ranjan kumar Ratnesh Chandra srivastava Ruchika singh
The rise and rise of e-bikesIt can no longer be disputed across the globe that electric bicycle numbers are on the rise.Nowhere has the rise of e-bikes been more prevalent than in China where units-sold have risenfrom the tens of thousands in the late 1990’s to over ten million in 2005. In the US also, electricbikes are becoming popular for short trips to the grocery store or leisurely rides. Meanwhile, inIndia, the young and moneyed call center workers lean heavily toward scooter-like e-bikes astheir vehicle of choice. The reasons for this increase are many, and vary from nation to nation.In China, a country renowned for its push-bike culture, the shift to e-bikes has been influencedby the following changes in urban form that have rendered trip distances too long for ordinarybicycles and too slow by other means of transport; national and local government policiestargeting pollution; rising income levels with an increased proportion of income spent ontransport; and the improvement of e-bike battery and motor technologies. Meanwhile, incountries like the US and Australia, rising oil prices, the adoption of a green lifestyle ethic andthe fact that e-bikes are suitable for elderly or physically impaired riders has seen numbersincrease significantly over the last two decades.The origin of the idea…The greats of the cycling world and the gods of mechanics had already given the verdict that“the most usable and the most successful of the bicycles would be the simplest ones.” Thenecessity of improvement and the vision to add something more valuables to this segment ofbikes keeping in mind the environmental benefits which would be a sidekick of the forthcomingcycling economy are one of the baits that lured the young minds of the current generation toconstantly improve the design and modify the various basic designs available in the market.Looking forward to the options available, the first thing which came into our heads was tofabricate a new foldable two-wheeler which could have been carried as backpacks (basically forstudents ); the additional features could have been a wirelessly controlled, electricallypowered, i-pad docking and regeneratively chargeable multitasker. But as it appears, the ideawas a little out dated (a lot of these were available in the market), plus we also required a littlecoding and programming for the operating software to run through i-pad. Then what next, webrainstormed for thing that would be more practical while keeping in mind the third worldeconomy of our nation and the dearth of the common man. Conclusively the result of itcompelled us to ask a question to ourselves…
Why these e-bikes are not so popular in India?The answer to which is obvious:-high cost-design complexity-average durabilityIf we put an eye on the market statistics and the use of cycles in Indian market, we can easilysee that it prefers cheap, simple and rugged bicycle which can go through any terrain, couldcarry many times more load than its recommended capacity and still be reliable. Gandhi Ji oncesaid “If you want to develop India, start from the villages” and truly so. Most of the cyclingpopulation of India constitutes of farmers, labors, students and the forces. In fact every singleperson in India would have once tasted the ride of a bicycle in his life whether it’s a king sizefigure like siddharth mallya who rides the lavish Firefox Colarado or a common layman whoprefers the “Hero jet”. Since hero jet is the most popular bike of India we have decided to makeit our test specimen for the design consideration.
AbstractThe essence of whole elaborated discussion is that we will try to give the local population analternative to the mainstream cycles. This is to be done by designing from scratch a kit whichwill basically transform the ‘hero’ into a electrified vehicle while keeping it cheap, simple andmost importantly-“the motor would be easily attachable and detachable to the standardsprocket”. The mechanism is basically a clutching /declutching system to affix the electricmotor steadily and quickly. We are actually dealing with design parameters of making thisinstallation faster, sturdy and efficient.Main components hypothesized to be designed:- 1. Annular gear type arrangement for connecting to sprocket 2. Clutch plate arrangement 3. Motor housing 4. Control wiresGoals:-To make the cycle more usable… The motor could be engaged and disengaged at any time by user’s will in no time. The bike must harvest energy through braking and pedaling by choosing one of three modes:- i. off ii. Motor Assist iii. Pedal Assist (Regeneration/exercise mode) All components, including the motor, gears, locking mechanism, should be integrated into a hub in the back wheel or at the pedals. The mechanism must be easily retrofittable into any standard bicycle. The weight should be no more than a ‘heavy bike’ when fitted into a regular bike. The cost of the kit should be viable for the general public. The kit should not require any technical assistance at the time of installation.
The Copenhagen wheel…The project is basically inspired by The Copenhagen Wheel – the wheel that turns ordinarybikes, quickly and easily into electric hybrids with regeneration and real-time environmentalsensing capabilities. An innovative electric bicycle system that harnesses the power of real-timeinformation and crowd sourcing. The system was developed by MIT’s SENSEable City Lab for theCity of Copenhagen, with support from the Italian Ministry for the Environment and DucatiEnergia s.p.a. The Copenhagen Wheel not only represented a leap-frog technical solution forthe electric bike market – that includes the development of a regenerative braking system andinnovative motor control – but also uses real-time sensing and the powers of crowd sourcing toimprove the cycling experience; get more people riding bikes; and to aid in the design anddevelopment of cities. The initial prototype of The Copenhagen Wheel was presented at theMayor’s Summit at the COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen,December 2009. It went commercial in 2010.
Drawbacks of the Copenhagen wheel:- Adds rotating mass to the cycle which becomes very unbalancing and hard to carry in comparison to a much larger static load. The design is too complex and fragile mechanically. The cost of the wheel is high.
Budget and requirementsRequirements:- CAD software Bicycle Gears, clutch plates, chains and sprockets Control wires Batteries and motor (230 KVA) on loanCost estimate:- 6000/- INR.References MIT’s paper on the Copenhagen wheel. Hero motor corp. Wikipedia Outlook survey on the bicycles used in Indian market