Innovative Electric Motor Fits Any Bicycle, Costs Under $150


Semcon has developed a clever  and inexpensive prototype electric motor that can be easily fitted to any bicycle. It is designed and engineered so it can be produced for less than $150. That’s so more people will be encouraged to use bicycle transportation instead of driving a private car or taking public transportation. The fact that it can be easily transferred from one bike to another is a worthwhile bonus.

“The needs and wishes of the typical cyclist are what got us started. The benefits of the electrified bike are obvious, but existing solutions are expensive and complex. That’s why we developed an engine which is compatible with any bike and easily shared among friends and family,” says Anders Sundin, technical sirector at Semcon.

Making the engine small and easy to carry around was important for the developers. The team decided the best solution was a small electric motor with a 150 watt output. It weighs just over 2 and a half pounds. To maximize battery life, the engine detects when the cyclist is pedaling. It is only active at speeds between 4 and 15 miles per hour. That ensures a comfortable, smooth and safe ride, as the smart motor reacts to the amount of effort the rider is putting into the ride.

The motor is connected to a small computer which controls how often it runs. That will make it possible for Semcon engineers  to develop different apps in future. They could include such things as different modes that prioritize speed or range. Other apps such as anti-theft features or smart tracking could be incorporated as well.

The electric bicycle motor is strictly only in prototype mode at present. Semcon is hoping to attract investors interested in bringing the new bicycle motor concept to the market. The Semcon unit it not very sophisticated, but its very simplicity and low cost could more than offset its lack of advanced features.

Source: Semcon

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I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I’m interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • roseland67

    Regenerative downhill breaking to charge?

  • Joe Viocoe

    I’ve seen prototypes of this same idea from other companies… since over 5 years ago. E-Bikes are a huge market in SF. But they never took off because of poor performance related to how power is transferred by friction on the wheel.

    • Steve Hanley

      I can see how this system might be less than optimum for some riding situations. I remember seeing pedestrians walking faster uphill in San Francisco than diesel buses could manage!