In view of the increasing pollution of urban centres, the manufacturers of electric engines are improving and extending their production to attract the attention of an increasingly conscious clientele, moved either by a greater environmental awareness or by the increasingly unbreathable city air.
In the meantime a number of European cities particularly sensitive to alternative transport systems have mounted the battery recharging columns of scooters with electric motors. While in Turin, the administration has decided to equip the city with a fleet of electric cars which citizens can hire for $3 per hour, after leaving their explosion engine cars in the appropriate car-park.
The Free-bike electric engine which can be fitted to a normal bike
In Florence a range of different models of motorbikes, scooters and hybrids somewhere between a bike and a moped have been presented, including a model of engine which can be fitted directly to the bicycle. There are interesting electric solutions in every price range, with the customer spoilt for choice and sometimes a little puzzled about the practical efficiency and performance of the vehicles.
Among the proposals are Atala’s Lectron, defined by the company managers as electronic.
With an endurance of 50 km on the urban circuit, it has a gearcase called the “electric drive management” which controls all the engine functions and recharges the lead acid batteries in the deceleration phase. If the gearcase does not recognise the electronic key, it also operates as an anti-theft device.
The hybrid, somewhere between a scooter and a bike, presented by Lee Iacocca and called the E-bike, instead has an endurance of about thirty kilometres. The motor is located inside the rim of the back wheel, and the removable batteries located within the frame of the two-wheeler can be recharged in 4 hours.
But perhaps the most interesting novelty, which is also fairly economical at about 800,000 lire, is the Free-bike assembly kit which can be fitted onto any bike, converting it to electric traction. The batteries are mounted on the luggage rack and the roller electric motor fitted on the stand support acts directly on the back wheel of the bike. The company manager Romeo Cazzaniga guarantees that the entire mounting operation takes only ten minutes.