The technology surrounding electric bicycles seems to be advancing at a blistering pace. These days, e-bikes are so much more than simple bicycles with electric motors attached to them; they're from-the-ground-up specialized machines designed to do as much as replace your car on daily trips. As technology advances, we can expect even more capability and range from electric bicycles in the near future.
Take, for example, this innovative e-bike system developed by Spanish company Niche Mobility. It's called the Automatic Digital Transmission System, or ADTS. The system seeks to optimize efficiency and pedaling output through a unique setup. Instead of having a mechanical connection between the pedals and electric motor, the pedals here work as a generator which then supply power to the electric motor. Within the electric motor, power is then fine tuned and sent to the wheel depending on a multitude of factors like speed, incline, and rider input.
The way it works is pretty interesting, as Niche describes the technology as an "automatic transmission that adjusts continuously based on the riding situation." The system operates similarly to a serial hybrid drive, where the motor and crank are separated, and power is transmitted via a central motor and a belt. Pedaling generates power that charges the battery, which then supplies the motor independently.
According to Niche Mobility, this setup allows for greater power output, as in theory, you could input more power than the system needs, and it could later on store said power for steeper climbs, without requiring extra exertion from the rider. For a seamless, intuitive riding experience, the drive system adapts resistance based on factors like torque, speed, and gradients, and offers variable electrical support.
The rider is also given a selection of modes to choose from, with stepped speed options easily accessible on the fly. According to Niche Mobility, the ADTS has options of 25 kilometers per hour (15 miles per hour), 45 kilometers per hour (28 miles per hour), and 60 kilometers per hour (38 miles per hour). Furthermore, the ADTS is rated for up to 120 Newton-meters of torque. As for battery tech, Niche Mobility has incorporated a sophisticated regenerative braking system that recharges the battery under braking and deceleration. Niche claims an 80-kilometer (50 miles) range in between charges.
Last but not least, the entire system can be controlled via a two-inch TFT display module. There's also a smartphone app that allows users to fine-tune settings even further. Security features such as digital activation have been thrown into the mix, as well.
As of this writing, Niche Mobility's ADTS is undergoing crowdfunding via the online platform Crowdcube. It's garnered close to 350,000 Euros, or about $375,169 USD, smashing its goal of 250,000 Euros. According to the company, it hopes to produce the first 500 units of the ADTS before the end of 2024.