The project focused on the development and implementation of innovative electric pedal-assisted (pedelec) bicycles and tricycles to be integrated in bike sharing schemes. The introduction of pedelec tricycles can in fact improve accessibility of bike sharing systems to different user categories such as elderly, people with minor physical disabilities and parents carrying children. The diffusion of pedelec tricycles can also contribute to the improvement of security aspects related to their daily usage in urban areas.
The project aimed at achieving the following objectives:
- improvement of technology-related aspects of current electric pedal-assisted bicycles;
- implementation, at prototype level, of light shelter protection covered with solar panels improving bike usage in the case of light rain, as well as to increase battery autonomy and reduce recharge time;
- testing of a particular drive change to manage electrically assisted wheels in order to provide kinetic energy to more easily overcome steep gradients while limiting the maximum speed to 25 km/h.
The development of the different prototypes and the testing phases were carried out in collaboration with the University of Naples Federico II (Department of Industrial Engineering - Mechanical and Energy Section) and the company F.lli Schiano srl. In particular, following the design phase, some of the planned components have been created and the first prototypes of electric pedal-assisted bicycles have been assembled, including the set of innovations proposed.
Innovative design included the integration of the photovoltaic system to the bike frame, in particular through the definition of the type and form of the solar panels to be adopted.
The planning and construction of the innovative mechanical transmission has been completed with the elaboration of the executive design elements.
Moreover, new components for improved pedelecs have been defined and tested.
'OSOLEBIKE focused on three main innovative aspects:
- The first line of intervention refers to the technological evolution of electric bike features, such as an innovative design to better integrate new and more performing batteries inside the bike frame and thus to hide them almost entirely from the view.
- The second one refers to on-board implementation of flexible photovoltaic panels integrated into the design of the bike frame, with the aim to double the battery autonomy at full charge;
- The third one refers to the adoption of an additional mechanical gearbox to the one normally provided on modern bikes, allowing an easier ride on steep gradients (particularly suited to elderly people).