An electric-assisted bicycle is an ordinary bicycle that has an attached electric motor that assists with pedaling.
The JMU campus, like many other campuses, has significant elevation changes. An electric-assisted bicycle would provide extra power when you want it. For instance, you might use it to help you ride more easily up hills.
The motor on an electric-assisted bicycle is powered by a battery, not by gas. The batteries are charged by plugging a battery charger into a normal wall electrical socket. Electric-assisted bikes are a more sustainable form of transportation to or on college campuses than cars; their widespread use would decrease destruction of green-space (fewer parking lots), reduce use of non-renewable fuels, reduce traffic, and reduce stress.
Our plan calls for the construction of four electric bikes. To get ourselves used to the required components, the first two bikes are being built from kits. We identified two types of kits: hub motor kits and chain drive kits. With hub motor kits, the front wheel is replaced by a wheel that has a motor built in to the hub. Chain drive kits include a motor that is integrated into the existing crank and sprocket drive system. The image below describes these chain and hub kits in more detail.
A blog of the technical team activities, related to building of the electric-assisted bicycles, is updated at the JMU Alternative Fuel Vehicle Laboratory website.