The boffins at MIT are working on an all-in-one electric wheel hub called the GreenWheel which when retrofitted to old bicycles converts them to electric power. There are plenty of Chinese electric wheels on the market, but this one goes a stage further by folding all the technology, including batteries, into the single hub, making it easier to install and use. The development prototypes still need to have the wheel spokes rejigged, but they’re working on an alternative so it can become more DIY friendly. What’s more, the single wheel should be able to power the bike for 25 miles, which is astonishing when you think of the size of the battery enclosure. Fascinating. [Via]
A GreenWheel equipped bike is a smooth ride, as Discovery News found out during a recent afternoon test ride around MIT’s campus. Turning the handle mounted throttle, like any motorcycle, just a few small degrees produces a noticeable increase in power and a light electric hum. The handle-mounted throttle is connected wirelessly to the electric motor in the wheel. The GreenWheel is also durable. The team estimates its range at 40,000 miles, or about eight years work of travel at an estimated 20 miles per business day.