E-bikes are becoming more popular and accessible as a green and convenient alternative to cars and public transport. However, one of the main challenges that e-bike users face is the battery life and charging time. Most e-bikes use lithium-ion batteries, which are heavy, expensive, and degrade over time. They also require frequent charging, which can take hours and limit the range of the e-bike.
But what if there was a way to make e-bikes more efficient, lighter, and cheaper without compromising on performance? That's the vision of Anod Hybrid, a French start-up that has developed a revolutionary e-bike that combines supercapacitors and mini-batteries to create a hybrid energy system.
What are Supercapacitors and How Do They Work?
Supercapacitors are devices that store electrical energy in an electric field, unlike batteries, which store chemical energy in a chemical reaction. Supercapacitors have several advantages over batteries, such as:
- They can charge and discharge much faster, in seconds or minutes rather than hours.
- They have a longer lifespan, as they can withstand millions of cycles without losing capacity.
- They are more environmentally friendly, as they do not contain toxic or flammable materials.
However, supercapacitors also have some drawbacks, such as:
- They have a lower energy density, which means they can store less energy per unit of volume or weight than batteries.
- They have a higher self-discharge rate, which means they lose energy faster when not in use.
Therefore, supercapacitors are ideal for applications that require high power and fast charging but not for long-term energy storage or high energy consumption.
How Does Anod Hybrid Use Supercapacitors and Mini-Batteries?
Anod Hybrid has designed an innovative e-bike that uses supercapacitors and mini-batteries to create a hybrid energy system that leverages the best of both worlds. The e-bike has two main components:
- The Anod Box is a removable module that contains 12 supercapacitors and a mini-battery. The Anod Box can store up to 300 Wh of energy and weighs only 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs). It can be fully charged in 15 minutes using a standard power outlet or in 2 minutes using a dedicated fast charger. The Anod Box can also be charged by regenerative braking, which converts the kinetic energy of the e-bike into electrical energy when slowing down or going downhill.
- The Anod Drive is a hub motor that provides up to 250 W of power and 40 Nm of torque. The Anod Drive can propel the e-bike up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph), the legal limit for e-bikes in Europe. The Anod Drive can also be controlled by a smartphone app that allows the user to customize the level of assistance, monitor the battery level, track the speed and distance, and access other features.
The Anod Hybrid e-bike uses supercapacitors as the primary energy source and mini-batteries as a backup. The supercapacitors provide instant power and fast charging, while the mini-batteries extend the range and reduce the self-discharge. The hybrid system can adapt to different riding conditions and user preferences, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency.