Electronic bicycles provide a convenient way to get around. You can travel several miles without tiring yourself out, making them the perfect solution for commuting to work or riding to a local store. If you love these bikes, you may want to learn more about their history.
Electric Bicycles Were First Created in the 1890s
The history of electric bikes dates to the 1890s. There were several US patents for electronic bicycles powered by an electric motor, including a patent granted in 1895 for a battery-powered bicycle with a 10-volt battery.
Over the years, additional variations of the electric bicycle were created. Throughout the middle of the 20th century, inventors continued to update and refine the concept of electric bicycles.
The designs were improved and gained popularity in certain regions. However, these early electric bicycles lacked torque sensors and other features that were not added until the 1990s. They also relied on lead-acid batteries, which were bulky and inefficient.
Introduction of Rechargeable Nickel-Cadmium Batteries
In 1992, e-bikes were produced by Vector Services Limited. These bikes were powered by nickel-cadmium batteries. The rechargeable batteries were lighter than the lead-acid batteries and more efficient, as well. With the NiCad batteries, e-bicycles could travel further and at faster speeds.
Over the next decade, from 1993 to 2004, many bicycle companies began producing electric bicycles with rechargeable batteries. Along with NiCad batteries, lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride are commonly used to power electric-powered bikes. During this time, demand for electric bicycles also increased more than 35%.
By 2001, people were regularly referring to electric-powered bicycles as e-bikes and power bikes. The most popular types of bikes include the pedal-assist bikes and power-on-demand bikes.
With the pedal-assist electric bicycles, the motor assists the rider and uses a sensor to monitor their pedaling. The power-on-demand bikes feature powerful motors that are typically controlled by a throttle mounted to the handlebars.
Development of the Original Fat Tire Electric Bicycles
As demand for electric bikes increased, so did the demand for bikes that could travel on snow, sand, and other off-road conditions. In the early 2000s, the original fat tire electric bike was released. There are several companies that produce these bikes which feature wider tires for better stability.
The fat tire e-bike is now one of the most popular types of electric bicycles. The history of electric bicycles closely follows the history of standard bicycles. As new innovations are developed in the cycling industry, you will likely see similar innovations appear in the e-bike industry.