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Ebert The Electric Bike

Ebert and I at a Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station
Ebert is an electric folding mountain bike. Made in the USA by Prodeco Technologies. He is powered by a 36V 12AH Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery coupled to a rear hub high torque geared 500 watt brushless motor. In the distant future, vehicles like this will likely become practical commuting alternatives to the heavy steel oil powered piston driven vehicles of today.....

I got Ebert for a discounted price because I ordered Ebert when Prodeco was a brand new company having problems getting production started. After a lengthy delay, he was finally shipped to me right before winter started in 2011. Just recently, a few weather breaks have enabled me to take Ebert out. As of this posting, I have logged in about 120 miles of riding on ebert (2/3rds of those miles in the last week).

He is not light-weight. This mostly aluminum bike is built with heavy/ thick everything. He weighs almost 60lbs. I click in at about 155LB so our gross weight is roughly halve that of my super-light 04 GSX-R600 (which gets about 38-40MPG = even at 80-90MPH continuous). My car gets anywhere between 42 and 50 MPG's (averaging about 46.4 over its lifetime/ 05 Prius): so you might be wondering, with an ORCA pass and highly fuel efficient ICE vehicles, why an electric bike?

I have a non-electric 21speed 26inch Schwinn mountain bike that I got on my 21st birthday. I have ridden it approximately 2000 miles (infrequently/ mostly for fun) : Its a great bike and I will continue to use it, but commuting on it up and down the hills where I live is no trivial task: climbing up the hill back to my house is similar to going on a steep hike like Poo Poo Point in the Issaquah Alps, in terms of physical exertion. 

In all honesty, I am not in the kind of shape needed to effortlessly fly up my steep hill with daily regularity on a bike. That is where Eberts electric system comes in handy; the high torque geared rear hub motor adds in just enough power to smooth out the hill climbing from Hard to Medium difficulty. That medium difficulty enables me to climb the hill twice as fast with %40 less effort. I can average 12-14MPH climbing the mountain I live on with Eberts electric throttle full out. 

Ebert has a cool cycle computer and a GPS mount for my Garmin. He also sports a bell and a 2W LED headlamp. Ebert has a 7sp gear system for the crank input. In 7th gear, moderate pedaling on a flat results in a steady state speed of around 20MPH: Pedaling flat out down a gentle slope I was able to get up to 30MPH without any electric assistance. Coasting down my mountain, Ebert exceeds 30MPH with ease, but I refrain from going faster than 33MPH for safety. In electric mode on a flat with no help Ebert can cruise full throttle at 18.6MPH; with a little help he can cruise at over 20MPH. 

Ebert is a fun bike :) Toot Toot to oil free powered transportation. I really wanted a Tesla Model S : but they are not for sale yet so Ebert was the best deal for me :P $49K is outside of my vehicle budget right now too :/ not that I would ever spend that much on something that moves me from point a to point b....

I have now logged in about 200 miles on E-bert. He works magic on the hills, absolute magic. The 500w electric assist adds just enough help to making steep hill climbing reasonable....... I am all for exercise and fitness, but the real problem with climbing hills without assistance is time... time vampire. I can only average about 5.5 to 7 MPH climbing the main mountain to my house on my regular bicycle: with E-bert I easily exceed 12MPH average up the mountain :)

Keep your eyes peeled, there is lots of good innovation in electric bikes coming down the pipeline. Avoid Lithium Polymer - they wear out after 500 deep cycle.... Lithium Iron Phosphate LiFePO4 is what you want in terms of battery chemistry. Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries can deep cycle over 2000 times: that is what Brammo, Zero and Tesla are using... that is what Ebert uses... that is what any quality electric bike uses....

1 comment:

  1. Interesting bike there. I thought about going electric, but haven't yet. My commuter is a full-size folding bike and I know there are kits I can retrofit to it, but for now, I'm working on the fitness, so maybe I won't even need it.