Field of Science

Electric bicycle casts a long shadow

Electric bicycles have long been possible, but the trailing cord was a real problem. So here's an electric bicycle with the solar panels built into the disks of the wheels where there is a considerable amount of surface area but an unfortunate orientation. This bicycle's inventor is from Denmark, so that explains a lot.  At latitude 56 degrees north the sun is always sort of low in the sky.  Now here in the upper Midwest at some 40 degrees north, in summer the sun is considerably higher and correspondingly these wheels will capture less solar energy.  If you live in the tropics, well, you just out of luck because you'll have a electric bicycle that needs to be on its side to function well at capturing energy, but non-functional as a vehicle. However you can park the bicycle in such a manner as to capture solar energy for your ride home, but no some thought must be put into the orientation and placement of bicycle racks and to the orientation of the bike in the rack. And those of us who always looked for a shady spot to park our bikes must learn some new habits. 

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