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What is an E-bike?
e-bike is nothing but an energy efficient electric bike or scooter which works on integrated electric motor. The rechargeable batteries are used in the Ebikes. The board in an electric motor stores an electricity which is used for emission. It can be said that it is one of the significant adoption of sustainable transportation. E – bikes are the electrically powered version of the motorcycles which are very energy efficient because of the batteries used in it instead of other fuels such as petrol, diesel etc.
In 1895, Ogden Bolton Jr. of Ohio requested for an application of patent for an electric bicycle. In 1896, Humber known as a bicycle manufacturer, at the Stanley Cycle Show presented a bicycle which had motor made up of storage batteries and a Speed controller. It was primarily made for racetrack. The renowned magazine ‘Popular Mechanics’ published an article in October 1911 on electric motorcycle which had three speed controller and it could cover up to 120 km to 160 km per charge. Socovel– the electric motorcycle company was established in 1936. In following years plenty of electric motorcycle companies were founded and year by year the features of Ebike got upgraded.
Currently, there are multitude of manufacturer of E-bike present in market such as Harley Davidson, BMW, Bultaco, KTM, Ather Energy, Bajaj Auto etc.
Components which are used in an Electric bike
E-bike is constructed by using major components such as electric motor, Battery, and electric controller. Also, there are security components like lighting, structure and brakes which are much stronger than ordinary bikes.
This is a descriptive list of all major and minor components required in the electrical system for a battery-operated electric bike. The parts to be installed inside the components are not described.
Motor used in electric bikes are made up of wrapped coils on a stator, a magnet and a rotor. Rotor is used for rotation while magnet is used to stimulate the rotations hence it performs electromagnetically.
A wide variety of electric motors can be utilized in electric bikes depending upon form factor, efficiency and cost. Approximately 90% of the energy from the battery is converted to mechanical energy, considering the cumulative loss in inverter, motor and transmission.
Brushless dc motor with chain or belt drive is used.
Two types of motors are most commonly used in e-bikes:
In this type of hub motors, tiny brushes made up of metal are present and these small metal brushes are utilized to transfer the electric energy to rotor. these brushes need to be replaced after certain time. The brushed hub motor requires simple controller and this makes it less costly. But there is a disadvantage in these motors because when they are open for repairing purpose, its original standards cannot be preserved.
In this type of hub motor, the resilience become unbounded as no brushes are existing inside the motor so the likelihood of any fault occurring there is nearly null. Three distinct windings are used in these motors due to advanced controller. These windings are placed in different locations and at that point power in provided to each one of them. When the motor passes one winding, the power is passed to another winding by the controller and it keeps cycle uninterrupted.
A hubmotor can also be used instead of bldc motor. For light application, we can use a motor of 250W-1000W. For highways and hill climb with more load, we can use more than 2kw motor depending upon the application. For high speed and high torque, more than 5kw motor must be used.
2) Motor Controllers
The name itself defines it controls the whole electronic parts. Controllers are CPU of e-bikes which takes as the input signals as per command and signalled return in return.
A motor controller is the device which serves to govern in some predetermined manner the performance of an electric motor. A motor controller might include the manual or an automatic means for starting and stopping the motor, selecting forward or reverse rotation, selecting and regulating the speed, regulating or limiting the torque. Apart from controlling the motor, it can also be integrated to intelligently operate auxiliaries, indicators and transmit the data through data patch cords or Bluetooth and for debugging the programmer through the interface. Therefore, this component is a most complicated yet most important part of the system.
Controllers are divided for two types of motors
1) Brush type
2) Brushless type
The type of controller is used for specific motor as per requirements. Each controller has its own specifications. Here brushless controllers are highly efficient and durable whereas brushed are less complex in controller mechanism.
- Brushless motors
This Controllers are highly efficient due to the use of sensors. The sensors maintain the control and speed of the motor. Sensors are capable of monitoring the speed accurately. Sensors which attached are the hall sensors. The reason behind adding such sensors is to control the speed of the motor, when the initial torque is applied. The controller works on closed loop system for precised speed as it has feedback system which eliminates the error. The feedback system controls the speed, over voltage, over current and other level of protections too. Controller uses PWM to adjust the power input to motor. Adding to the feedback system ebikes also consist of RBS (regenerative braking system) for power generation and management. This leads to the safety and control of the bike.
- Brushed motors
Controllers used in brushed motors are the most commonly used due to low cost and less load acting on it. The mechanism is simple is mechanism as It works on open loop system which does not have feedback system. This type has drawback that it’s low in efficiency due to constant rubbing of brushed wire leading to low durability.
Battery is the main component in the e bikes.
There are various types of ebikes with different types of batteries installed.
There are many variants of batteries and new technologies are developed for batteries in Electric vehicles. Lead acid batteries were used in earlier model of EV. The most commonly used batteries in early times was Lead-acid battery and further it got substitute with lithium ion batteries due to the battery capacity and slow charging. Generally, the storage energy mostly upto 400 watt for 22hours.
The battery quality depends upon how many cycles they can be charged and how much it will work even after a fixed duration length by comparing it with the original capacity of manufacturing time.
The cycles in NiMh batteries is around 400 – 800 cycles of recharging whereas in lithium ion batteries it’s around 1000 cycles. The NiMh batteries requires 8-9 hours of time for full charging whereas lithium ion requires 6-8 hours. When it comes to fast charging 4hours is sufficient for the full charge. The most reliable battery is lithium ion battery to deliver longer range and high power for ebikes. In future they will be substitute for lithium ion batteries too.
Now, Lithium ion batteries are developed which provide good range and life cycles. Ather and different other EV has used lithium ion (NMC) batteries. More efficient and durable batteries have also developed. Lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) are one new batteries.
LFP provides 4000 lifecycle (1charge,1discharge=1life cycle) upto 10years with 3years guarantee. LTO are more efficient providing 15000 life cycles i.e. upto 40years with 10years guarantee. LTO is very much expensive than LFP.
4) Transmission ( Single Ratio / Multi Ratio / Continuously Variable )
Although transmission is often thought to be a part of mechanical component in an automobile system, it is very important to understand the type of transmission being used to determine the specification of motor and related components. Transmission System can be of many types but most commonly utilized Transmission is mentioned above.
Tyres are selected depending upon psi (star) rating. More rating means more load handling capacity. Small tyres will provide fast acceleration but could skid easily. Relatively big tyre are less likely to skid and can bear more load. Thicker tyre will give you good stability but could lower the max speed. Round edges will give you good stability and traction over the road turns.
As every day new technologies are been used in the automotive system, the industries have developed new technologies for brakes too. Earlies the drum brakes were used in every two wheeler. Disc brakes have bought new advancement in the field of breaking system. Efficient breaking is required in the vehicle so as to prevent accidents and also lower the fuel consumption. Disc brakes are been used nowadays in every electric bike. Some ebike manufacturers are trying to develop new technologies in the braking system. E bikes are coming with the following new characteristics in the braking system :
Anti lock braking system ( ABS )
ABS system provides the driver to turn towards left or right even if the brake is applied. This is very helpful and efficient braking system which can easily avoid an accidents. It provides better stability and control. ABS is most preferred braking system. ABS is applicable only for the disc brake electric bikes.
Combi breaking system ( CBS )
CBS is applicable for both disc brake as well as drum brakes system. In CBS system, brake is applied to both the wheels when the user applies only the rear brakes. This system also provides stability to the vehicle.
Regenerative breaking system
When the driver applies the brake, motor runs in the reverse direction and the energy gets stored in the battery again. This helps in storing some amount of energy in the battery everytime when the brake is applied.
Materials used for manufacturing
Aluminium is light weight which is why it is used in many Ebikes. It Is also a cheap and corrosion resistant material. But it will directly break during failure in accident.
2) Alloy steel
Alloy steel is very commonly used in E bikes because it has good strength as well as less corrosive than standard steel. It won’t break easily during accident. Has a tendency to resist failure. The only disadvantage of alloy steel is that it has more weight.
3) Carbon fibre
It is the strongest, lightest as well as corrosion proof material. It is used to make the outer body of the E bike or the tubular frame. But carbon fibre is very expensive material.
This material is not commonly used. It is only used for special purposes. Some E bikes manufacturer use titanium to build the swing arm of the vehicle to get more strength to the specific part. It has many good properties such as high strength , light weight , no corrosion , bullet proof. This material is very expensive.
Battery Management System
Since most of the batteries, are made of multiple individual units connected in series and parallel to achieve the required current and voltage rating, it is essential to charge and discharge the individual cells simultaneously. Unequal charge levels in batteries leads to circulating currents, create localized hotspots and swells the batteries. Other effects include over-discharge, reduced efficiency and shorter life. Battery Management System monitors the state of charge of every cell or a couple of cells and charges or discharges them simultaneously.
Advantages of E – bike.
- Reduction of CO2 emissions to some extent.
- Highly reliable
- Less maintenance as compared to IC engines due fewer moving parts.
- More life of the bikes.
- Cruise control (mainly in Cars)
- Light in weight.
- Eco friendly.
Disadvantages of E – bike
- Higher cost Due to lithium ion batteries. As compared to the use of lead acid batteries, the cost of the car 40% is high due to higher demand in use of lithium ion.
- Lower range (in kms)
- 3 Speed is way to moderate, much better for city rides
- Lack of power stations whenever we need to charge ebike.
- Long ride needs battery swapping which is difficult to carry the battery for a bike.
- Power generated is low than IC engine.
Reason behind adding it in disadvantages is because we can’t recognize the approach of the bike.
Adding to this
Ev’s (electric vehicles) is not the future.
Hev’s (hybrid electric vehicles) because of power is needed and scarcity of lithium ion.
Everyone will be speaking up on well know electric car is manufacture Tesla.
But the Jaguar has electric car much cheaper than Tesla i.e. Jaguar I-pace
0-100 km/hr in 4secs which belongs to an Indian manufacturer.