Due to unhealthy habits in their day-to-day diets, a certain demographic has become unfit and overweight. To overcome this situation, people are showing interest towards exercise and other activities. Such interests have increased the use of exercise equipment like a bicycle. The health- and fitness-conscious population are including every possible physical activity in their lifestyles. This has led to rising of using bicycles in many countries. And, responding to sustainable trends, the bicycle is one of the best ways of sustainable transportation. In order to promote to use a bicycle in various ways as a mode of transportation, e-bikes or electric bicycles came into play. These are bicycles integrated with electric motors for momentum. Manufacturers are focusing on developing convenient and most efficient motors for electric bicycles. Technology advancement is also playing a major role in such developments and further contributes to the conservation of natural resources.
Indulging in recreational activities such as mountain biking or cycling are also increasing the use of electric bicycle, as it enables longer and daring cycling trips. Governmental authorities of several countries have also introduced rental and sharing services of electric bicycles for the local population as well as for tourists to promote easy and sustainable commute. These electric bicycles are sweat free, good for health even in older people, strengthen muscles and joints, safe, and some are even considered to be faster than cars. Surging benefits of electric bicycles are influencing the key players and manufacturers are targeting on improving the motors depending upon the different purposes of these bicycles.
What are the Types of Electric Bicycle Motors?
There are different types of electric bicycle motors differing in position, cost, gears, etc.
Hub Motors: These are the most common motors and are mounted on the central part of the rear wheel which does not bring any change to the design of the bike. Some of the bikes with hub motors are powerful but some aren’t suitable for hilly areas as these bikes have only one gear. Hub motors are easy to install, cost-effective, fairly reliable, lightweight, require low maintenance etc.
Crank Drive Motors: These motors are more advanced than the traditional hub motors and are known for higher performance. It powers the crank drive, converts energy from your legs to energy that moves the chain, and brings additional power from the gear system. Crank drive motors show smooth performance and efficiently release heat with their fanned casing. Since they are placed on the bottom part, the bike provides a good balance. These motors perform well in hills with quite low power levels as compared to hub motors. Bikes with 350W crank drive motors are suitable for the aggressive and steep hill, while 250W can be used for less steep.
Brushed and Brushless Motors: Brushless motors are more incorporated in electric bikes than brushed ones as they are small, light, quiet, and do not need to service. However, brushed motors are cheap, reliable, robust, easy to gain the hill-climbing ability, and hence are still preferred by many people. On the other hand, the absence of brushes provides brushless motors low internal friction at high speed. They are absolutely noiseless and have higher speed range.
Friction Drive Motors: These motors are exceptionally light and simple. They work by spinning a roller which is pressed against the bicycle tires. Friction drive motors were used on some of the first electric bikes. They are easy to install, more powerful than hub motors, well balanced, reliable, comparably silent, and readily available.
The availability of different types of electric bicycle motors is creating a competitive landscape in its market. The potential factors and future of this market are presented in a recently released report of electric bicycle motors market, a detailed excerpt of which can be viewed at here.