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A pedelec (from pedal electric cycle) is a bicycle where the rider's pedalling is assisted by a small electric motor; thus they are a type of low-powered e-bike. However, unlike some other types of e-bikes, pedelecs are classified as conventional bicycles in many countries by road authorities rather than classified as a type of electric moped. Pedelecs include an electronic controller which stops the motor producing power when the rider is not pedalling or when a certain speed – usually 25 km/h – has been reached. Pedelecs are very useful for people who have to ride in hilly areas or where there are often strong headwinds. A pedelec can be any type of bicycle, but a pedelec city bike is very common. Ordinary conventional bicycles can be converted to pedelecs with the addition of the necessary parts, i.e. motor, battery etc.
The most influential definition which defines which e-bikes are pedelecs and which are not, comes from the EU and as such is valid across the whole of Europe. From the EU directive (EN15194 standard) for motor vehicles, a bicycle is considered a pedelec if:
- the pedal-assist, i.e. the motorised assistance that only engages when the rider is pedalling, cuts out once 25 km/h is reached, and
- when the motor produces maximum continuous rated power of not more than 250 watts (n.b. the motor can produce more power for short periods, such as when the rider is struggling to get up a steep hill).
An e-bike conforming to these conditions is considered to be a pedelec and is legally classed as a bicycle.
Note that it is important that pedelecs be legally classed as bicycles rather than classed as mopeds or motorcycles. Other kinds of e-bikes, such as the more powerful S-Pedelecs and power-on-demand e-bikes (those whose motors can provide assistance regardless of whether the rider is pedalling or not) are often classed as mopeds or even motorcycles and the rider therefore must conform to the conditions that riders of those vehicles are subject to, e.g. being licensed, wearing a helmet, vehicle registration etc.
- 1 Advantages and disadvantages
- 2 History
- 3 Pedelec market penetration
- 4 Legal status of pedelecs worldwide
- 5 Technical
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Advantages and disadvantages
Pedelecs provide various advantages over conventional bicycles:
- Mobility: People living in hilly areas can cycle using a pedelec rather than be forced to rely on fully motorised transport (i.e. cars or motorbikes). This is particularly of use to the older people who may no longer have the capacity for strenuous exercise that hill climbing demands that they once had.
- Speed: Destinations can be reached more quickly, since the average speed is higher for the same amount of effort.
- Effort: Alternatively, the same speeds can be reached with less effort. This means that a rider on a pedelec can sweat less if at all – particularly when going up hill – so that bicycle commuting in work clothes is made less problematic, i.e. eliminating the need to change and/or shower upon getting to work.
- Higher range: Since the rider will be less fatigued, and average speeds higher, greater distances can be attained.
The main disadvantage is the purchasing cost of the pedelec itself, which is significantly more expensive than a conventional bicycle of the same type: the average selling price in Germany is between €1,500 and €2,000. The other additional expenses are minor: these are the electricity recharging costs and the eventual replacement of the battery, which together have been calculated to cost a mere €0.20 - €0.40 per 100 km.
In 1989, Michael Kutter, founder of Dolphin E-bikes, designed and produced the first pedelec prototype. The first market-ready models of this kind were available in 1992 from the Swiss company Velocity under the name Dolphin.
In 1994, larger numbers were produced by Yamaha under the name Power Assist.
The term pedelec was first used by Susanne Brüsch in her thesis in 1999.
Pedelec market penetration
Throughout the whole of Europe in 2011, between 900,000 to 1.24 million units were sold; this is 29% more than in 2010.
It has been predicted that in 2015, 3 million e-bikes will be sold in Europe, and these will mostly be pedelecs.
As of 2012[update] there were about 600,000 pedelecs on the road in Germany. Growth has been spectacular: the year before, 310,000-340,000 pedelecs were sold in Germany and this in turn was 55% more than in 2010. In fact, in Germany sales have gone up by more than 30% every year since 2008. In comparison, there were around 70 million conventional bicycles in Germany in 2011 according to ZIV, the German Bicycle Industry Association.
About 95% of all e-bikes in Germany are in fact pedelecs.
Only the Chinese market for pedelecs and e-bikes is higher than the European. According to the National Bureau of Statistics in China more than 100 million e-bikes are on the road. The annual production in Chinese factories has increased from 58,000 (1998) to 33 million in (2011).
Legal status of pedelecs worldwide
It is important for a pedelec to be legally classed as a bicycle in each country or jurisdiction rather than classed as a moped or motorcycle. The danger is that if a pedelec is classed as a moped or motorbike then it may not be allowed in bike lanes or on bike paths; the pedelec may have to be registered; the rider may have to wear a motorcycle helmet; and/or vehicle insurance may have to be paid for.
This means it is important to legally distinguish between pedelecs and other e-bikes (including S-Pedelecs) as these are likely to 1) have a more powerful motor than 250 W, 2) they may be able to attain a higher speed than 25 km/h before the electric motor assistance cuts out (if it cuts out all), and/or 3) may have the ability to travel via electric motor alone (i.e. without pedalling). If any of those three conditions are true, then the bike is therefore more likely to be legally classed as a moped or motorcycle rather than as a bicycle.
The "Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 March 2002 relating to the type-approval of two or three-wheel motor vehicles and repealing Council Directive 92/61/EEC" joined under Rule 23 on May 9, 2002. Until 9 May 2003, Member States were required under Article 20, paragraph 1, "they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such reference on the occasion of their official publication.". Article 20, Paragraph 3 states "From 9 May 2003 Member States shall not prohibit the first entry into service of vehicles complying with this Directive."
The EU Directive, which aims at classifying two-and three-wheeled vehicles, and sure under what their requirements in placing on the market in the Member States can not be prohibited, calls lit in Article 1, paragraph 1. a) to h), for which vehicles and their components and technical units, the policy is not applicable.
This EU Directive is inter alia not apply to:
- h) "cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0,25 kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h, or sooner, if the cyclist stops pedalling,"
As explained earlier, such a hybrid powered bicycles are called Electric Pedal Cycles, i.e. pedelecs. S-Pedelecs with pedal assistance up to 45 km/h are not of this exception of the EU directive.
Austria (Highway Code and CFG)
According to § 2 para 1 of 22 StVO 1960 two types of electric bikes can be distinguished:
- Lit. "B) a [bike], which in addition to an electric drive according to § 1 2 KFG 1967 is equipped (electric bike)" (thus hybrid drive according pedelec definition ');
- Lit. "D) an electrically driven vehicle, the drive corresponds to an electric bicycle as defined in § 1 paragraph 2a KFG 1967" (thus a just-electric drive).
Not as motor vehicles under § 1 paragraph 2a KFG apply electric bicycles - whether hybrid (pedelec) or exclusively powered by electricity - with a bicycle for purposes of traffic 1960
- A maximum permissible power of not more than 600 watts, and
- a design speed not exceeding 25 km/h.
Provided above criteria are not exceeded is, therefore, under Austrian law, such an electric bike / pedelec not as electric power rad and therefore requires neither approval nor vehicle registration. As for normal (only muscle powered) bikes, also for electric bikes, the provisions of bicycle Regulation, for the control of these are the same as those for muscle StVO-powered bicycles, etc. Mandatory use of the bike path lane with bicycles. For their (commercial) In placing on the market subject to the product liability provisions.
In Austria, S-Pedelecs (power-assisted pedalling up to 45 km/h) are not classed as bicycles. Whether they lit at best as moped According to Article 1 paragraph 2. A) Directive 2002/24/EC (or as motorbike § 2 Abs 1 line 14 KFG) are typable and registered as a motor vehicle can be driven, so far (October 2010 has not survived).
As of 30 May 2012, Australia has an additional new electric bicycle category using the European model of a "Pedelec" as per EN15194 Standard. This means the bicycle can have a motor of 250 watts continuous rated power which must be activated only by pedalling (if above 6kph) and must cut out over 25kph. The State of Victoria is the first to amend their local road rules to accommodate this new standard as of 18 September 2012.
Pedelecs differ from an ordinary bicycle by an additional electric motor, a battery, an electronic control system for the motor as well as a sensor to detect the motion of the cranks. Most models are also equipped with a battery charge indicator and an motor power setting, either continuously or divided into support levels.
Besides the motor, the battery is the main component of pedelec technology. It is usually either a NiMH - Ni - or a Lithium-ion battery. The battery capacity is up to 24 Ah n (Ah) at 24 or 36 V (V) or up to 15 amp hours at 48 volts. The stored energy can be up to about 800 Watt hour n (Wh), but mostly about 400 Wh (2013). In ideal conditions, after a thousand charges NiCd batteries have 85% of their original capacity and are therefore considered worn. With NiMH batteries about 400 to 800 cycles are possible. The charging time depending on the type of battery is around 2 to 9 hours. The durability of the battery is dependent on other factors. As lead-acid batteries discharge they provide less Power, so that full motor power is no longer achieved. The very light, more expensive lithium-ion batterys are now used by most manufacturers and have a range of up to 100 kilometers with moderate pedaling and a medium capacity battery (e.g. 15 Ah). Lithium batteries do not tolerate Frost and should not be charged at frosty temperatures. For safety, the chemical composition and the quality of the electronics are crucial. Especially with short circuit and over voltage, lithium-ion batteries react very strongly. These problems in laptops have led to recalls. Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries are a notable exception. They have far safer thermal characteristics as well as being non-toxic.
In evaluating pedelec batteries, it is useful to consider not only the capacity, criteria such as durability, memory effect, capacity, charging time, weight, safety and environmental protection aspects.
Manufacturers to equip their pedelecs with NiCd batteries deliver, usually with an AC adapter, which discharges the battery completely before the actual charging process in order to decrease the memory effect. NiMH batteries have a much lower memory effect. With lithium-ion batteries this is completely absent.
Lithium iron phosphate battery s are much longer lived than other the lithium-ion batteries. Their use significantly reduces operating costs resulting from battery wear . Currently, they are not yet available as standard in most pedelec models. In 2013 some pedelecs (e.g. Beyond Oil) began installing LFP batteries as standard.
For switching or control of the motor, there are several possibilities:
- Measuring the force or torque on the signal of a force sensors on the pedals, the pedal crank, the chain or at the wheel
- Measurement of treading on the signal from a revolution counter or threshold switchs on the crank, or at another suitable location
- Measurement of both force and the speed
- Measurement of acceleration or drawbar force at the push trailer
- Measuring electrical values in the serial hybrid (pedal generator)
In addition, the speed of the vehicle are measured on the wheel, in particular, for example, to drive the motor from 25 km/h off.
The measurement can be further processed mechanically or electronically and is used to control the motor on and off or to regulate a control function based on continuously.
The fed power is based on the sensor data (force sensor, crank speed, ground speed) is calculated based on the chosen level of support from the motor controller. The so-called support levels, that is, how much the motor supported in addition to the driver's performance lie in horizontal drive 5-400 percent.
Since the motors are in operation and especially on uphill grades may heat significantly, some have a temperature sensor in the motor winding. Here the electronics on when reaching a certain temperature from the support or reduces it. Also protects the electronics by disconnecting the battery at a predetermined discharge to prevent such a discharge, and to ensure sufficient supply for the operation of the lighting system. This can also be done by a electronics in battery.
When running with a force sensor, the motor is automatically a certain percentage of the service provided to the driver. In many models, this proportion may be set in several stages. There are also models where the support level can be set only at the dealer to the customer.
Rotary motion detection
In the version with speed sensor (s) of the motor is automatically using a function to a set percentage of the self-applied force. Since the force required at the speed rises sharply, it can be calculated in some models without force sensor.
Sliding or traction
The slide or traction can help with Maximization of legislation to support a motor without pedaling to 6 km/h. The shift means has the advantage that you can let the bike roll alongside with motor support without pedaling or you push yourself (e.g. must, when transporting a heavy load, or so you walk up the wheel alone on a hill may be). For some models, the allowed 6 km/h can be achieved only in top gear, the other gears in the wheel rolls correspondingly slower. In any case, it allows for a faster (and more controlled physically) starting from standstill to "green" switches over light n
The power electronics is, depending on the type of motor, consists of a DC motor controller with pulse width modulation or a regulated DC-AC converter.
The use of maintenance-free AC induction motors pedelec is the exception.
Direct rotor hub motors provide the ability to regenerative, that is the recovery of energy when braking. In addition to a minor charge the battery when going downhill this offers the advantage of a mostly silent and wear-free auxiliary brake.
Force approach of the electric drive
See generally starting points of the electric drive. When Pedelec specifically, the type of control of the drive by the pedaling (see above), which may be integrated in the drive.
The position of the motor has a significant impact on the handling of the pedelec. The following combinations of actuator position and motor have been successful:
- Motor in the hub of the front wheel.
- Motor in the hub of the rear wheel.
- Motor in the bottom bracket.
Generally the range is with motor support between 7 km for a constant rise and up to 70 km. At medium power addition, it is about 20 to 50 km. On some models, by default two successive switchable batteries are housed in luggage bags, here is the range specified at medium power addition of 100 km.
A conventional battery (36 V / 7 Ah) (1.9 to 5.1 kg mass in a pedelec) has an energy content of around 250 Wh (1 kg of gasoline, however 11,500 Wh. The conversion of electrical energy into mechanical work is done, depending on the efficiency of the motor and the motor controller, with loss of heat. Typically, incurred losses of around 25 percent. Thus, a pedelec with a 70 kg rider (total mass of ~100 kg) calculated move at 1.4% slope 21 kilometres on battery power - helps with the driver, is a proportionally greater range possible.
Safety issues are a concern in relatively flat areas but are more pronounced in the hills. Hilly areas provide changing conditions; this poses the possibility of encountering more critical situations and accidents and thus more casualties are therefore to be expected. Thus, for example can be pre-programmed by the frequent overtaking and high speed in an emergency end with serious consequences for cyclists and drivers pedelec. For drivers, it is difficult to calculate how fast a cyclist on the road. Also a senior on a city bike may arise thanks to the electric assistance much faster than expected from previous experience. Risky situations can also arise at exits and junctions. To illustrate the consequences of such critical situations, the German Insurers Accident Research (UDV) has conducted a research project with road tests, performance tests and crash tests for pedelecs.
On the other hand, many pedelec (and e-bike) users report that they find that they can ride more defensively with the auxiliary electric drive assisting them; this is because they are happier to brake and decelerate as they can much easier accelerate to reach a good speed again. The Bavarian accident statistics for the first half of 2012 lists 6,186 accidents involving bicycles, of which 76 (i.e. about 1.2%) are e-bikes (95% of which - see above - will be pedelecs).
- "Präsentation zur Wirtschaftspressekonferenz" (PDF) (in German). Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV). 21 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2013. "Die angegebene Spanne des durchschnittlichen Verkaufspreises schließt auch die vernachlässigbar wenigen ausschließlich elektrisch angetriebenen Räder mit ein."
- "Meilensteine des Dolphin e-Bikes (Milestones of Dolphin e-bikes)" (in German). Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- "BKTech AG" (PDF). ecademy.ch (in German). between 1997 & 2001. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Susanne Brüsch (April 1999). "Pedelecs: Fahrzeuge der Zukunft (Pedelecs: Vehicles of the future)" (in German). Heidelberg University.
- "Bike Europe - EU-2010: E-bikes Rising Star in All Major Markets". Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Pedelec, Segway, Bierbike: Lust oder Last? - Arbeitskreis auf dem 50. Deutschen Verkehrsgerichtstag" (in German). January 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- "Go Pedelec! Handbuch mit wertvollen Praxistipps" (PDF) (in German). 2012. p. 14. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- "Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 March 2002 relating to the type-approval of two or three-wheel motor vehicles and repealing Council Directive 92/61/EEC (Text with EEA relevance)". EUR-Lex - Access to European Union Law. The European Parliament & Council. 18 March 2002. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Power assisted bicycles". VicRoads. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Alle Ergebnisse des Pedelec und E-Bike Tests" (in German). ExtraEnergy e.V. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- Siegfried Brockmann (7 April 2011). "Elektrofahrräder – Umweltschonend aber gefährlich?" (PDF 1.7MB). Neumünster: Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V. (GDV). Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Crashtest: Pedelec gegen Autos" (Video). Unfallforschung on YouTube. Unfallforschung der Versicherer (UDV). 7 April 2011.
- "Safety Aspects of High-Speed Pedelecs". Unfallforschung der Versicherer. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "E-Bikes nicht gefährlicher als andere Räder". Augsburger Allgemeine. 2012-09-20. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- Hannes Neupert: Das Powerbike. Moby Dick, 1996, ISBN 3-89595-123-4.
- Gunnar Fehlau, Peter Barzel: Das E-Bike: Die neuen Fahrräder mit elektrischer Antriebsunterstützung. Typen – Modelle – Komponenten. Delius Klasing, 2009, ISBN 978-3-7688-5282-1.
- Alexander Jaeger: Aufsatz: Elektrofahrräder in Zeitschrift für Schadensrecht. 12/2011 (PDF 4.25 MB).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Electrically-powered bicycles.|
|Look up pedelec in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Pedelec vs Ebike
- Electric Bikes on Robert Llewellyn's Fully Charged. (The first bike presented is a pedelec.)
- Go Pedelec! – a European project with independent information
- e-motion electric bike, 3sat-science documentary in March 2013, video, YouTube (44 min)
- Electric bike: a trip simulator to understand how far and how fast you can ride with your electric bike