The Copenhagen Wheel is a rear bicycle wheel currently in development that has an in-built electric motor, battery, and in-built computer. A bicycle equipped with a Copenhagen Wheel in effect becomes a pedelec, i.e. a bicycle in which the electric motor assists the rider when necessary but only when they are actively pedalling. The wheel was developed by the SENSEable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the City of Copenhagen, and was unveiled at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. For commercialization, the technology was spun off into the company Superpedestrian, which like the lab is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Copenhagen Wheel includes a built-in electric motor with a 48-volt lithium ion battery. The Wheel is controlled by a smartphone app. The Copenhagen Wheel is charged externally via a battery charger, with additional charging while riding the bicycle from regenerative braking, i.e. when the rider back-pedals as in a coaster brake. The in-built computer uses sensors in the Copenhagen Wheel to analyse the topography and the rider's pedalling to decide whether to deliver power to assist the rider.
Range per battery charge is stated as up to 50 kilometres (31 mi). As of March 2016[update] a small number of wheels had been sold to early pre-order customers. Otherwise, the wheel could be test-driven in Cambridge, and pre-ordered for future delivery at a price of US$1199.
Superpedestrian and MIT filed patent infringement complaints in 2016 against FlyKly (based in New York) and ZeHus (based in Milan) for manufacturing similar products without licenses. Other competitors include Evelo, which is selling a wheel starting at $1,199, and GeoOrbital, which is also in the pre-order phase.
- Copenhagen Wheel Project
- "Innovation: Copenhagen Wheel for Electric Hybrid Bikes". Businessweek. 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- Superpedestrian homepage, with "Specifications" section and pre-order option.
- Next-gen bike technology still pedaling uphill
- Walker, Alissa. How "Weeds" Became A Marketing High For MIT's Hybrid Bike Wheel, Fast Company, 15 September 2011. Accessed 10 June 2014
- Superpedestrian - Company website
- "Superpedestrian Now Accepting Pre-Orders for Copenhagen Wheel". Digital Trends. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- Bernstein, David S. (2013-12-03). "Copenhagen Wheel Is Now Available to the General Public". Bostonmagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- [dead link]
- Honig, Zach. "Copenhagen Wheel turns any bike into an electric hybrid, ships early 2014 for $699 (video)". Engadget.com. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "Cambridge Company Creates Wheel That Turns Any Bicycle Into A Hybrid Electric « CBS Boston". Boston.cbslocal.com. 2013-12-06. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- 07 Dec 2013 (2013-12-07). "Video: Reinventing the wheel: how MIT sees us all cycling into the future". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
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