Show me your electric velomobile.

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
Fastolfe   1 W

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by Fastolfe » Nov 10 2015 9:31am

This is my Quest velomobile :

Image

It is fitted with a 500W mid-drive Cyclone motor. Average consumption is 7.5 Wh/mile on hilly terrain, when I'm not too careful with my motor usage, a bit less when I am, and a lot less when I ride on flat ground like in the Netherlands. When I don't use the motor, my average consumption is 5 oz of premium beer per hour - which is a lot less economical :)

sendler2112   100 kW

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by sendler2112 » Nov 10 2015 9:45am

These are all beautiful machines. I wish they were a little cheaper.

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by Fastolfe » Nov 10 2015 9:48am

If you use them and leave the car at home, they pay for themselves rather quickly.

sendler2112   100 kW

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by sendler2112 » Nov 10 2015 10:21am

I use my CBR250R at 100 mpgUS. A $4,300 purchase price and $.023/ mile for fuel takes a long time to reach $8,000 for a velo.
.
http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/honda/ ... dler/78563
.

Fastolfe   1 W

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by Fastolfe » Nov 10 2015 11:37am

sendler2112 wrote:I use my CBR250R
which is not a car. Bikes are thrifty, but they suck hard in the rain. I'd rather be warm and cosy in my velo than wet on your bike.
sendler2112 wrote:at 100 mpgUS. A $4,300 purchase price and $.023/ mile for fuel takes a long time to reach $8,000 for a velo.
Typical blindness of motor vehicle owners to the true cost of ownership. It costs more to own your bike than just the cost of fuel: there's taxes, insurance, maintenance, depreciation - and in your case, specialized motorcycle gear, etc. Do the math, and the picture will look a lot less rosy.

Owning a velo proves less costly in the long run, and the amortization period gets shorter the more you ride. But even if it's costlier, there are other things to consider: less pollution, better health, easy parking, being happy to hit the road every morning as opposed to being miserable in a steel box stuck in traffic, being able to do your own maintenance...

But hey, to each his own :)

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by sendler2112 » Nov 10 2015 12:17pm

There are obviously other good reasons to eliminate use of fossil fuel other than just money. But the point is, velos are still way too expensive for what they are. When Honda finally starts selling a nice velo for $3,000, they will sell thousands of them. Right now they are way overpriced.
.
ps
I get the same joy from riding my motorcycle to work every day there is no ice on the roads.
.

A brand new CBR300R is $4,100. I pay $90/ year for insurance and $27/ for tags. The oil capacity is 1.4L and a filter is $6. My tires last 14,000 miles rear and the front is till on at 28,000. How much do you spend on tires? I have done 3 valve adjustments myself for $15 in parts and 10 hours labor. 3 air filters at $12. 5 minutes to put them in. 1 chain at $90 and 2 hours.
.
My PCX is even cheaper to operate costing me only a $40 belt and 1 rear tire so far over 18,000 miles.
.
46,000 miles over 4 years between my CBR250R and my PCX150. I am still a decade away on either bike from making it to $8,000 for a velo.
.
I still want one. But not to save money. I will have to settle for a diy aero recumbent for now.

John in CR   100 GW

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by John in CR » Nov 10 2015 1:57pm

sendler2112 wrote:There are obviously other good reasons to eliminate use of fossil fuel other than just money. But the point is, velos are still way too expensive for what they are. When Honda finally starts selling a nice velo for $3,000, they will sell thousands of them. Right now they are way overpriced.
For $3k it needs to be much more substantial than a few hundred dollar shell on a few hundred dollar frame. The price of the very low production stuff available is far too high, and that's why they're so rare with makers commonly going out of business.

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by Fastolfe » Nov 11 2015 4:26am

Well okay, I must say, I based my own return-on-investment calculations on European car TCO. Insurance for my basic diesel, small-engined panel van ran in the hundreds despite having had no accidents in 15 years. Gas cost a lot more than in the US back then - and still does. And road taxes and MOT are crazy expensive here. Also, it's a lot harder to work on cars than it is on bicycles for me, so I have to pay a garage top dollar (well, top euro) to do it for me. Plus parking meters, tickets, congestion charges... it all adds up.

When I bought my velo a few years ago, I had calculated that it'd take 3 years to pay for itself - and it did. Although if I'm honest, I added a lot of expensive gadgets in it to be able to tour comfortably off the grid in complete autonomy. But I don't factor in those expenses, because I file them in the "stupid money people spend on their hobby" category :)

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by John in CR » Nov 11 2015 7:31am

Fastolfe wrote:Well okay, I must say, I based my own return-on-investment calculations on European car TCO. Insurance for my basic diesel, small-engined panel van ran in the hundreds despite having had no accidents in 15 years. Gas cost a lot more than in the US back then - and still does. And road taxes and MOT are crazy expensive here. Also, it's a lot harder to work on cars than it is on bicycles for me, so I have to pay a garage top dollar (well, top euro) to do it for me. Plus parking meters, tickets, congestion charges... it all adds up.

When I bought my velo a few years ago, I had calculated that it'd take 3 years to pay for itself - and it did. Although if I'm honest, I added a lot of expensive gadgets in it to be able to tour comfortably off the grid in complete autonomy. But I don't factor in those expenses, because I file them in the "stupid money people spend on their hobby" category :)
Fastolfe, I understand that current prices can be justified by a short ROI. My issue is that the world needs very light and efficient all weather personal transportation, and high pricing for what it is and compared to the low prices possible with mass production prevents reasonable levels of adoption. OTOH make the price under $1k with a $499 electric kit option, and imagine how well a well marketed velo/e-velo could do.

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by sendler2112 » Nov 11 2015 9:27am

$1,000 is too low to wish for since a decent bike starts at $600. But $8,000 is just way too high. Much of the expense coming from the full structural tub construction and laid up rear swing arm, single sided hub brake knuckles, ect. There has to be room in between for an aero body on a regular tube frame trike to come in under $3,000.

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by Marc S. » Nov 11 2015 12:38pm

About prices:
Roughly 20 years ago, I had a discussion with my late granny (born 1905) about the price of a 'good quality' bike. I showed her my new steed and she was shocked about its price (1,500 German bucks).
It turned out in her recollection, since before WW2 the price of a good quality bike was always about the average monthly salary of a craftsman. After that discussion she thought my 'ridicously expensive' bicycle had actually a quite reasonable price.

Now, there are currently several relatively affortable velomobieles available:
-the Alleweder A4 from Alligt (FAW+ in the States), made from aluminium sheet metal, comes at €2900 as kit. You need some time and the help of 1200 pop rivets to bring it into shape, though.
-the Alleweder A6 from Alligt, with GFK body, comes at €3500 as kit. Both Alligt models cost a grand more when bought assembled. http://www.alligt.nl
-the Trislet Rotovelo, with roto-moulded body, cost AU$ 6000 (US$4200). http://www.trisled.com.au/rotovelo.asp
Unfortunately high shipping costs of the Australian Rotovelo eats most of the price advantage away.
sendler2112 wrote:$1,000 is too low to wish for since a decent bike starts at $600. But $8,000 is just way too high. Much of the expense coming from the full structural tub construction and laid up rear swing arm, single sided hub brake knuckles, ect. There has to be room in between for an aero body on a regular tube frame trike to come in under $3,000.
The price of a decent recumbent trike with suspension is way north of €3000. I've never saw a production velomobile fairing for trikes cost less than €2,000-3,000 either. https://etrike.wordpress.com/2014/01/05 ... for-trikes

While a carbon fiber rear swing arm cost about €500 (IIRC), the Sturmey Archer drum brake hubs are actually pretty cheap (€88 for a pair of 90mm hubs + €50 for a pair of brake plates). I would probably get a custom designed rear swing arm made from steel tubing, instead of the stock carbon fiber swing arm anyway (ca €250-350).
Last edited by Marc S. on Nov 11 2015 1:01pm, edited 1 time in total.

sendler2112   100 kW

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by sendler2112 » Nov 11 2015 12:53pm

Great price and selection on all of the Trisled bikes.

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by sendler2112 » Nov 11 2015 1:21pm

The Trisled rotomolded velomobile proves it's durability with a bike on ice hockey match.
.

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davevelo   100 mW

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by davevelo » Nov 16 2015 11:47am

cavallo pazzo wrote:
Britchon feux.jpg
Assisted velomobile, base is a Leiba X-Stream XXL, with rohloff 14 speed hub on rear wheel and two Crystalyte 406 motors on the front.
Made for winter conditions with heated seat, heated frame, defrost, good lights.
Calculated range is around 400 km with same logic as big ebike manufacturer.
Nice but a bit scary to me. How are you controlling the two motors?
Modified Go-One Evo-R Pedal/Electric
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cavallo pazzo   100 mW

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by cavallo pazzo » Nov 30 2015 3:26am

One throttle, CA to receive and shape the signal, a "Y" to split it in two and go for the controllers.
It means inner wheel in sharp turns will increase torque in response to lower rotational speed, but due to ackerman compensation of steering, it will effectively pull velomobile inside curve if I accelerate !
Oversteering behaviour in a front wheel drive vehicle, very pleasant to drive... or to pilot.

At throttle release, it naturally understeers, meaning it's possible to adjust curve radius by throttle. Like an old rear wheel drive muscle car.

All this with a 12-16 Wh/km, 0.12-0.16 L/100 km or 1500-2000 mpg equivalent.
It's high for a velomobile, but reason is I'm in the car flow, not in bike flow. High speed in city flow, high acceleration.
Daily driver, replacing a car. Not totally economical, as a small old car could be driven for 3500-4000 CHF (swiss money) per year, and my velomobile needed 12'000 CHF plus a lot of tires, currently motors are eating front tires every 5'000 km or so. It'll be at breakeven after 4-5 years depending on distances, but added benefits are huge, on city parking, pleasure to drive, health, and ultimately pleasure to be different.
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cavallo pazzo   100 mW

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by cavallo pazzo » Nov 30 2015 3:36am

John in CR wrote:Nice e-velo Cavallo! Can you give us some info regarding consumption, wh/km at different speeds? Do you have any handling issues with the dual hubbies up front? How do you use it...as primary transportation or as fun and economical transportation? What do you think about a highway speed capable e-velo...interesting or no way (high speed is too dangerous with such a light vehicle?
About high speed: Leiba X-stream is designed for low to medium speed, say 25 to 45 km/h mainly. It becomes difficult to pilot after 65 km/h roughly. Very twitchy. To go quickly somewhere, best is regularity, not top speed, and thus I decided to go with twin motors to whithstand to load of high grade slopes without speed loss. As a car substitute it must be safe, fast, fully equipped and allwheather.
all wheel drive is a good start, and regen on front wheels allow for easy winter riding.

Wh/km is almost nil at low speed, as 25 km/h is easy to maintain with such a shape. with speed comes energy cost, and to sustain a good mean speed of 30-33 km/h it needs 12-16 Wh/km in mountains.
To help understand, a car do 43-45 km/h mean speed in my region, and a bike will do 13 km/h generally. Yes, it's hilly.

Only drawback with front motors concerning handling is due to unsuspended weight, on bad pavement only. Globally, bike tires are too soft for such high torque, probably needs to switch to moped tires.

For highway speed solution, there's other velomobiles capable of 100 km/h without worries, my best choice would be a katanga WAW with a Crystalyte Crown.
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davevelo   100 mW

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by davevelo » Nov 30 2015 12:50pm

Typical blindness of motor vehicle owners to the true cost of ownership. It costs more to own your bike than just the cost of fuel: there's taxes, insurance, maintenance, depreciation - and in your case, specialized motorcycle gear, etc. Do the math, and the picture will look a lot less rosy.

Owning a velo proves less costly in the long run, and the amortization period gets shorter the more you ride. But even if it's costlier, there are other things to consider: less pollution, better health, easy parking, being happy to hit the road every morning as opposed to being miserable in a steel box stuck in traffic, being able to do your own maintenance...

But hey, to each his own :)
Different strokes for different folks I say. Being an avid road rider for 30 years, I've spent thousands of dollars on high end road bikes. My carbon fiber Velomobile wasn't all that much more than my Bianchi/Campy superleggere 928 nanotech. The hybrid mod on my Evo-R raised its price to around 15k but I'm confident that it will pay for itself in a few years. Not to mention it's resale value and the fact, as you say, that you don't have to pay for or worry about smog tests, fuel, insurance, license renewal, registration renewal and maintenance. Besides, I get bored without having something to pedal... cheers!
Modified Go-One Evo-R Pedal/Electric
Increased cargo capacity
HS3540 hub motor on 20" wheel
Duel LifePO4 80v 40ah system
Top Speed: 52mph (electric only)
Regen capability
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Kai   10 W

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by Kai » Dec 04 2015 7:19pm

Here is my attempt to make artistic photo of my velomobile
Image

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Kai   10 W

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by Kai » Dec 04 2015 7:29pm

Hi Fastolfe, I like your racing hood what kind of visor you use in it? Do you sell those hoods? If not, can I make a copy of it using your mold?

You have impressive power consumption. My lowest was 4 Wh/km when I pedal assist and don't use electricity when coasting downhills.
If I dont want to save juice I can ride at higher power non-stop but my power consumption is almost 10Wh/km (and average speed is higher about 45km/h)
Last edited by Kai on Dec 06 2015 1:58pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kai   10 W

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by Kai » Dec 04 2015 7:43pm

davevelo wrote: Direct drive hubs are best for Velos. Geared hubs do not have regen capability.
In my opinion, mid drive is better on flat lands. Where I live hills are not steep and I don't need o brake or use regen. My fastest descent speed was just 80 km/h and it took about 3 to 6 km before the speed dropped to 34 km/h when I started to pedal with the help of motor. If I had a direct drive, I believe it would had caused considerable drag even without using regenerative braking. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Since regenerative braking has very low efficiency (and often cannot be adjusted proportionally) it is better to use the free power of gravity carry you at higher speed forward than use regen to slow you down and get only a little Wh in return.

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by ideaHex » Dec 05 2015 7:15am

In South Australia there is a race series mainly for school kids but also for some adult team http://www.pedalprix.com.au/. My son has raced these for the last 5 years. One of the vehicles is a Trisled chassis with an Ozone fairing. His team of six average riders road over 650km in 24 hours. here is a video of some of the race https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-SMtYeX2tc jump about half way in to see the vehicles race . These would make great velomobiles as long as you didn't need to take to much luggage and aren't too tall. We had a couple of 14 year old riders who are 6'4" and they rode with bent knees. Keeping the riders cool and maintaining aerodynamics is also major challenge.
The fastest trike out there though is probably the Trump http://trumptrikes.com.au/ the handled corners extremely well. They would be awesome with a rear hub motor.

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davevelo   100 mW

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by davevelo » Dec 05 2015 3:39pm

Kai wrote:
In my opinion, mid drive is better on flat lands. Where I live hills are not steep and I don't need o brake or use regen. My fastest descent speed was just 80 km/h and it took about 3 to 6 km before the speed dropped to 34 km/h when I started to pedal with the help of motor. If I had a direct drive, I believe it would had caused considerable drag even without using regenerative braking. Correct me if I'm wrong.
You must have nice roads to descend at 80 km... I envy you. It's rather hilly where I live and the roads are very bad. If I were to descend at that speed, I would most certainly die.

I recommend direct drive hub motors for three main reasons: Regen capability, quietness and no added wear and tear on the bike's drivetrain components. With the latest CA3 firmware update from Grin, regen voltage can now be dialed in with the throttle.

With your concerns regarding motor drag, I assume you are referring to the "cogging" effect? This is compensated for by providing a slight trickle current to the motor. I can use my cruise control for this but usually apply Ebrake while pedaling or coasting to restore power. I've traveled 50 to 100km and kept my LifePO4's charged up at around 80v. Another nice thing about hubs and regen is the capability to charge the batteries standing still. Just prop up the rear wheel and pedal.
Since regenerative braking has very low efficiency (and often cannot be adjusted proportionally)
See above
Modified Go-One Evo-R Pedal/Electric
Increased cargo capacity
HS3540 hub motor on 20" wheel
Duel LifePO4 80v 40ah system
Top Speed: 52mph (electric only)
Regen capability
Road legal

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Kai   10 W

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by Kai » Dec 06 2015 1:48pm

davevelo wrote:
Kai wrote:
In my opinion, mid drive is better on flat lands. Where I live hills are not steep and I don't need o brake or use regen. My fastest descent speed was just 80 km/h and it took about 3 to 6 km before the speed dropped to 34 km/h when I started to pedal with the help of motor. If I had a direct drive, I believe it would had caused considerable drag even without using regenerative braking. Correct me if I'm wrong.
You must have nice roads to descend at 80 km... I envy you. It's rather hilly where I live and the roads are very bad. If I were to descend at that speed, I would most certainly die.

I recommend direct drive hub motors for three main reasons: Regen capability, quietness and no added wear and tear on the bike's drivetrain components. With the latest CA3 firmware update from Grin, regen voltage can now be dialed in with the throttle.

With your concerns regarding motor drag, I assume you are referring to the "cogging" effect? This is compensated for by providing a slight trickle current to the motor. I can use my cruise control for this but usually apply Ebrake while pedaling or coasting to restore power. I've traveled 50 to 100km and kept my LifePO4's charged up at around 80v. Another nice thing about hubs and regen is the capability to charge the batteries standing still. Just prop up the rear wheel and pedal.
Since regenerative braking has very low efficiency (and often cannot be adjusted proportionally)
See above
Thanks for info about hub motor drag and regen Davevelo. I have to look into CA3 regen when I installa hub motor to my commuter bike. Unfortunately my Quest velomole doesn't have two handed forks and it's impossible to install a normal hubmotor. I would have to make extensive modifications to frame and rear swing arm design. I know there are hub motors that are "lefty" or single side mounted but that requires fabricating a new swing arm. Interesting idea anyway.

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by Fastolfe » Dec 29 2015 8:07am

Kai wrote:Hi Fastolfe, I like your racing hood what kind of visor you use in it? Do you sell those hoods? If not, can I make a copy of it using your mold?
This is a hood made my Velomobiel.nl. They only made 5 of them, and they only made one for me after pestering them a lot :) They don't make it anymore, because the visor - which comes from a regular motorcycle helmet - isn't available anymore.
Kai wrote:You have impressive power consumption. My lowest was 4 Wh/km when I pedal assist and don't use electricity when coasting downhills.
My actual power consumption turns out to be even lower than that: between 2 and 3 Wh/km. But I suspect we don't use our velomobiles the same way: I use it primarily as a bike, and I only use the motor once in a blue moon, only when I absolutely need it. That was my plan all along when I electrified my Quest, and I reckon it's working pretty well so far.

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Re: Show me your electric velomobile.

Post by davevelo » Jan 23 2016 10:58am

sendler2112 wrote:$1,000 is too low to wish for since a decent bike starts at $600. But $8,000 is just way too high. Much of the expense coming from the full structural tub construction and laid up rear swing arm, single sided hub brake knuckles, ect. There has to be room in between for an aero body on a regular tube frame trike to come in under $3,000.
A high end Pinarello Dogma F8 road bike will set you back $15g. High end Velomoibiles are cheaper than that.
Modified Go-One Evo-R Pedal/Electric
Increased cargo capacity
HS3540 hub motor on 20" wheel
Duel LifePO4 80v 40ah system
Top Speed: 52mph (electric only)
Regen capability
Road legal

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