Electric Bicycles for Commuting to Work 929138

Bicycle commuting, widely practiced in cities in Europe and China, offers to the user convenience of (1) route flexibility, (2) transportation at each end of the commute, (3) avoidance of waiting for public vehicles at stations, (4) avoidance of time wasted while public vehicles stop to load and unload other passengers. Electric propulsion, proposed for bicycles as early as 1924, would make possible constant speed for all bicycles in a freeway lane. For example, a freeway lane carrying only bicycles traveling at 18 km per hour could deliver 8000 commuters per hour versus 2000 automobiles per hour. Our analysis and tests show that a 100 km range between charges is feasible with a gross weight of 136 kg (300 lb), which includes the cyclist. A bicycle does not offer air-conditioned comfort for the rider, but its other advantages include (1) ability to operate in downtown zones after fuel-burning vehicles are prohibited, and (2) feasibility of stacking on racks in downtown parking space. A light-rail train that carries bicyclists and their bicycles need stop only at stations spaced 8 km apart.


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