The bike sharing service CycleHop has now started offering e-bikes with swappable battery packs. If you’ve been riding electric bikes, or you were deterred by long charge times, this is a welcome development.
Charge times for modern lithium-ion batteries is usually in the range of 20 minutes to 4 hours. However, some exotic designs are in the sub-10 minute range. While charge time has become less of an issue, an easily-swapped plug-in battery pack like this is still much quicker.
The concept of swappable battery packs for cars has apparently died due to the requirement of a swapping mechanism and swapping stations. However, e-bikes are lightweight, and therefore only require small battery packs that can are light enough to be swapped by hand. No mechanisms or swapping stations required!
The 180-Watt battery pack in the CycleHop electric bike is smaller than a MacBook Air, and it resembles a USB power bank. You could even fit an extra one in your pocket! (not all pockets) Although, I don’t know what CycleHop’s policy regarding battery packs is.
The battery pack weighs two pounds and can provide 10 miles of range at speeds of up to 15 MPH. The bike also works with HOPR’s ride sharing app