Electric bicycles are a great means of transportation in the city, especially if you don’t like to pedal too hard. But they have two problems. Firstly, the additional equipment that gives the bicycle its electric properties makes it bulky and heavy. And secondly, at some point, the battery charge simply runs out.
However, the Austrian company VELLO BIKE, which developed the VELLO Bike+, believes that it has solved both of these problems. This is the world’s first self-charging folding electric bicycle, giving cyclists unprecedented freedom.
Oh yes, their name is very similar to ours, only one “l”, but ours is more correct. Well, it depends on where. In Austria, theirs is more correct.
The creators claim that the VELLO Bike+ is lighter than most folding electric bikes on the market – the titanium model weighs about 11.79 kg.
In addition, it can be folded to dimensions of 72 by 53 centimeters (i.e. suitcase size), which allows it to be stored in quite tight spaces – for example, in a car trunk or even under an office desk. You don’t even have to carry it: it is equipped with special wheels, so once folded, it can simply be rolled alongside you. The VELLO Bike+ folds very quickly and easily thanks to its patented magnetic fastening.
“The bicycle is equipped with a self-locking magnet, which allows folding the bike without using hands – this distinguishes VELLO Bike+ from typical folding bikes with complex hinges,” says Valentin Vodev, co-founder and designer of the company. “They are usually not very user-friendly because folding such bikes takes a long time and is tedious.”
For the design of this bicycle, Vodev received the international Red Dot award, given to people working in the field of product and communication design.
“In my work, I always try to use a new, previously unexplored approach. As a rule, this leads to unconventional solutions, which I can then turn into something innovative. In my opinion, design is a combination of logic, aesthetics, and art,” he said after receiving the award.
As for the self-charging function, the developers claim that the lithium-ion battery built into the bicycle can be fully charged by pedaling and braking. They call this system the Integrated Kinetic Energy Recovery System, which converts mechanical energy into electricity, thereby powering the 250-watt motor of the bicycle. It’s like the Toyota Prius of bicycles.
“You can activate either the self-charging mode, which allows you to ride at speeds up to 24 km/h indefinitely, or the turbo mode, which, when the battery is fully charged, allows you to cover distances ranging from 28 to 48 km,” claim the creators of the bicycle. “When you stop pedaling, the motor takes over. The generated energy depends on several factors, including the speed of the bicycle, pedaling speed, road incline, and the selected mode.”
The bicycle also has a smartphone application that allows you to configure something like a control panel, where the user can see the speed, mileage, battery charge, etc. There is also the possibility to remotely lock the bicycle in case of theft.
“The most important thing in the development of the VELLO Bike+ were its riding characteristics. In this aspect, it is better than most folding bicycles currently available on the market,” says Vodev.
The VELLO Bike+ took 18 days toto raise funds on KickstarterThe requested amount is 80,000 euros (about 5.4 million rubles), and at the moment the collected amount has already exceeded 200,000 euros. On the same Kickstarter page, it is stated that the cost of a bicycle with a regular frame will be 1,599 euros (about 108,000 rubles), and delivery will be possible worldwide.
You can see this bicycle in action here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll3s9RpXF4oSupport VELLO BIKE+ on Kickstarter.