Monday, February 05, 2024

Revolutionary Innovation: French Company Unveils Groundbreaking E-Bike That Operates Without a Battery


French Entrepreneur Adrien Lelièvre Unveils Pi-Pop: The Battery-Free E-Bike

If riding a bike on a daily basis is too much of a challenge for you, you might be tempted to opt for an e-bike.

Revolutionary Innovation: French Company Unveils Groundbreaking E-Bike That Operates Without a Battery

The issue with those is that the production of the batteries consumes a lot of natural resources such as lithium or rare-earth elements which require extensive and often environmentally impactful mining procedures.

French entrepreneur Adrien Lelièvre, however, has engineered a pioneering, sustainable solution.

Fitted with a Supercapacitor

The inventor, who has a background in electronics, designed and patented an e-bike called Pi-Pop, which doesn't use lithium batteries but supercapacitors.

"The system gets charged when the ride is easy and when the bike brakes - thanks to engine braking - the energy is given back when needed," Lelièvre, the director of STEE, the company behind the bike, told Euronews Next.

To put it simply, a supercapacitor works by stocking energy in an electrostatic way, or by way of a slow-moving charge. In contrast, a lithium battery stocks energy as a chemical reaction. In other words, a supercapacitor can stock and release energy very quickly when it is needed.

In the case of its bike, it means stocking energy when the person pedals or brakes and using it to assist more difficult actions like restarting or uphill riding.

'A Symbol of Sobriety'

According to him, the 20 kg Pi-Pop "really is a symbol of sobriety".

"Always wanting more, meaning wanting to go faster, adding more energy… this is a dead-end," he said.

No rare earth materials are used in the bike’s production as supercapacitors are made of carbon, conducting polymer, aluminium foils, and pulp - materials for which recycling processes already exist.

There is no need to wait for the bike to charge either, another perk compared to the classic e-bikes. The company also claims that the supercapacitor's lifetime ranges from 10 to 15 years compared to five or six for a lithium battery.

Lelièvre also has European ambitions.

"In 2025, we want to target the European market, we are currently discussing potential fundraising," he said.

Cracking this nut could be a huge opportunity for the company as the EU imported 1.2 million e-bikes and 5.2 million non-electric ones (five times the amount exported), according to EU data agency Eurostat.<

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