The Future Is Here: The Copenhagen Wheel Turns Bicycle into Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The Copenhagen Wheel

Welcome to the future. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has unveiled a bike wheel that turns a bicycle into an electric hybrid vehicle.The new innovation was designed SENSEable City lab at MIT and the project was sponsored by the Mayor of Copenhagen, Denmark, hence its name the Copenhagen Wheel.

The Copenhagen Wheel

The Copenhagen Wheel is a simple and useful innovation that can do incredibly useful things.The red hub fits onto the back wheel of any existing bike. Inside the red hub is fitted a 48V lithium ion battery and a 350W motor. The hub stores energy generated when pedaling and also captures and stores the energy released while braking the bicycle. The stored energy is then used to provide an electric boost while you ride on steeper slopes or where you need an extra push.

Fiiting the Copanhagen Wheel
Fitting the Copenhagen Wheel into an existing Bicycle

 If you’re pedaling hard  up a hill, the motor kicks in. If you’re cruising along happily on a smooth straight path, the motor may not run at all but instead stores up energy from your pedalling. At its highest speeds, the motor can power your bike to an impressive 32 kph.

The wheel connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone app

A smartphone app, which acts like a control panel, connects with the wheel’s electronics via Bluetooth. The app allows you to lock/unlock your wheel, change gears and select how much the motor assists you. The user can also get track personal usage statistics including time, distance, calories burned, elevation climbed and more via the app.

Copnahagen Wheel
How the Wheel Works

Inside the hub, constitutes components such as a motor, 3-speed internal hub gear, batteries, a torque sensor, GPRS and a sensor kit that monitors CO, NOx, noise (db), relative humidity and temperature. In the future, you will be able to spec out your wheel according to your riding habits and needs.

Inside the Hub
The mechanics behind the wheel

Copenhagen Wheel experience is said to preserves the normal biking experience while enabling riders to bike faster, farther, and easier.Copenhagen Wheel costs $699, and the first units are expected to ship in the first quarter of next year by April 2014.