Although electric bikes definitely are more eco-friendly than exhaust-spewing cars, some people quite rightly point out that the electricity used to charge their batteries typically comes from not-so-green sources such as coal-burning power plants. That’s why Santa Cruz-based NTS Works created its NTS SunCycle pedelec cargo bike.
Unveiled last week, it features an integrated photovoltaic panel that’s reportedly capable of fully charging the bike’s battery within eight hours.The 60-watt panel is located on the lid of the cargo box, adding 2 lb (907 g) to the weight of the bike. It utilizes noncrystalline solar cells, and is said to be over 19 percent efficient. While it’s likely that many users won’t be able to regularly leave their bike out in the sun for eight hours at a time, they also won’t necessarily always be charging the battery from empty, nor will they require a full charge for all trips. In the event that they do require a faster charge, the battery can still be juiced up from a regular electrical outlet as well.
Like this idea? The NTS SunCycle should begin shipping in May, and is currently available for preorder. It’s priced at US$3,900.