THE PROBLEM: Cities were designed for cars instead of people
Joni Mitchell described it so well; “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”. We’ve become addicted to cars because our cities were designed to facilitate their use; every new freeway (and parking lot) made car ownership even more essential for having a productive life. Everyone desires the personal freedom that driving a car provides however problems arise when everyone gets their wish:
Tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks disrupt global climate and degrade public health
Those increasingly essential freeways and parking lots waste valuable real estate
Snarled traffic wastes fuel and increases the psychological stress of urban living
The high cost of owning them puts financial stress on both commuters and businesses
Dependence on diminishing oil reserves creates geopolitical strife and economic turmoil
All this leads to one inescapable conclusion ...
Our universal desire for car ownership is a huge social problem
A GOOD SOLUTION:
Design an Ebike that can perform more like a car!
Ebikes in general are the ultimate clean and green urban vehicle ... they're even more energy efficient than a bicycle!
CBIKE can go beyond traditional Ebikes due to three innovations that enable it to provide a more “car-like” experience than existing bikes or Ebikes. CBIKE's general design philosophy is that the more an Ebike can emulate a car's overall functionality, the more it will be adopted by motorists. Each motorist that can replace their car with an Ebike becomes part of the solution. Here's what optimizes CBIKE for that important social role.
Cars and SUV's occasionally carry lots of cargo so CBIKE has a heavy-duty rear carrier similar to that of other“cargobikes” such as the Yuba, Surly, Kona or Trek. Cargobikes form the basis of an ideal car replacement for cars because they can haul cargo, passengers or a mix of both.
The CAD rendering shown above illustrates the CBIKE's basic configuration which is appropriate for some personal commuting tasks. This electric cagobike is similar to many Ebikes currently on the market. CBIKE's design challenge is to provide new features that make it even more attractive to motorists.
The CAD renderings shown below illustrate how the simplest configuration of CBIKE can be progressively accessorized to provide more car-like capabilities.
Lower rear cargo decks have been bolted onto the base-model commuter bike to enable the cargo carrying and parking functions illustrated below. An auxiliary battery has also been added to make fullest use of the available rear cargo space.
In order for mass adoption to occur, each motorist's first test ride must be easy, comfortable and fun. CBIKE’s step-through frame and fat, low-pressure tires provide a comfortable “big-bike” riding experience that’s geared to people who currently love driving an SUV.
A bolt-on front carrier and saddlebags have been added to expand cargo-carrying capacity.
Note that instead of being attached to the front forks, the front carrier is a rigid extension of its main frame ... this provides more stable handling when heavily loaded.
The use of standard cargo bins increases the efficiency commercial package delivery (see truck-mounted images below).
Also shown above is CBIKE's optional cargo trolley which has been collapsed, folded flat and locked onto the rear carrier.
The trolley’s fold-down platform can be used to transport additional cargo bins.
The saddlebags can also be replaced with standard cargo bins. Alternatively, odd-sized boxes can be strapped on like this.
When even more cargo needs to be delivered, the trolley can be detached, unfolded and hitched to the rear carrier.
The detached and unfolded trolley also serves as a push-cart for delivering cargo or for shopping. This is particularly useful in the commercial delivery applications shown below.
This video demonstrates some of the prototype development that led to CBIKE's cargo handling system. When utilized in conjunction with a suitable truck-mount, it improves the overall efficiency commercial package delivery.
A conventional kickstand or centerstand may be used when the CBIKE is configured simply for light-duty personal commuting. If however it's configured for carrying a heavy load, then a conventional kickstand cannot provide adequate parking stability.
Furthermore, some commercial delivery applications require frequent stop-start cycles during which short-term parking must be accomplished quickly and easily.
CBIKE integrates an adjustable-length prop stand into the left and right cargo decks. This configuration enables the rider to quickly tilt the bike onto a wide-stance kickstand or else support the bike vertically using both props as shown.
CBIKE's rear cargo carrying system forms a support tripod that enables the bike to be parked vertically as shown above. Tilting the bike back onto this tripod is fast, secure and optimizes storage space.
Small wheels may be attached to the lower tripod legs to improve maneuverability is tight quarters. This enables the rider to easily maneuver into an elevator for compact and secure storage.
Just like typical car owners, Ebike commuters will rarely make use of their CBIKE’s full cargo carrying capability. However having the option to use it for a shopping expedition or to drop off a child at school makes Ebiking a viable alternative to owning a car.
That cargo carrying versatility is good however a fundamental transportation problem still remains to be solved before Ebikes can be widely perceived as a viable alternative to a car. Urban sprawl and freeways sometimes make it necessary to travel long distances at high speed and no Ebike can possibly do that. The obvious solution is to integrate the two vehicles: conventional car-mounted bicycle carriers prove that both car and bike can travel together for most appropriate use and CBIKE simply optimizes that concept for Electric Cargobike use.
Other attempts have been made at a more sophisticated Ebike/Car integration as evidenced by this conceptual prototype from Volkswagen. While fascinating, VW's implementation of this car/Ebike concept has obvious cost and usability drawbacks
CBIKE goes one step further than Volkswagen by providing a legal, cost-effective and versatile Ebike which mounts externally on an innovative bike-carrier which enables extremely fast and effortless docking of the two vehicles.
In Europe, Ebikes are already being used for delivery
Across Europe, over 250,000 delivery bicycles are in daily use. DHL is the world’s largest logistics group and Deutsche Post, which is their mail division in Germany, uses 6000 Ebikes like this to deliver over 17 million letters per year. The Germans have demonstrated that Ebike delivery is viable in some urban work environments.
Canadians enjoy the most progressive Ebike legislation in the world. This enlightened Ebike definition promotes safe Ebiking across Canada and this summer, we're capitalizing on it to test a novel Ebike application. If sucessful, this methodology will expand the scope and cost-effectiveness of using Ebikes for delivery.
The British Postal Service has used clean, inexpensive bicycles and Ebikes for decades.
Finland has a distinctly Canadian climate and their Postal Ebikes provide an effective solution.
Commercial delivery vans can provide an ideal "Mothership" for carrying a CBIKE
The complementary strengths of a delivery truck carrying a CBIKE is clearly depicted in this table:
Trucks can commute at high speed to and from a distant sorting depot or garage.
Trucks can carry large packages as well as huge payloads.
Trucks can be used as a secure mobile mail depot that enables Park and Loop operations.
Ebikes are the cleanest motor vehicle possible.
Ebikes can legally use bike lanes.
Ebikes can legally park almost anywhere for free.
Ebikes are the least expensive motor vehicle possible.
Ebikes are the most fuel-efficient motor vehicle possible.
When traffic is slow and delivery sites are closely spaced, the truck driver can simply "Park&Ride".
CIKE's custom carrier fits any standard 2" trailer hitch receiver ... front or rear
CBIKE is shorter and less massive than typical electric cargobikes such as this one. Being so compact and configurable enables it to mount onto compact delivery vans such as these Ford Transit Connects:
The delivery industry is striving to adopt "Green Technology"
This British "Postie" has parked his electric minivan in a convenient spot and is
about to walk a round of door-to-door deliveries. This methodology is known in the industry as "Park
and Loop". Park and Loop combines the strengths of both driving and walking so it saves energy and
In North America, large electric-powered vans aimed at courier applications are being developed however they face significant technological challenges. Producing all-electric delivery vans that are cost-competitive with traditional trucks will be difficult. As Kermit The Frog once said: "It ain't easy being green!"
Due to their awkward shape, size and weight, electric cargobikes are difficult to mount onto existing bicycles carriers
What enables CBIKE's unique synergy with cars and trucks is this purpose-built carrier.
Instead of using a series of straps and wheel supports to grip the bike, this carrier uses two clamping posts to grip onto each end of the crank axle
This accommodates the step-through frame design and is both faster and more secure than conventional bike carriers
The close-up shows how conical indentations in each crank bolts is engaged by a matching ram ... the shaft is clamped as securely as if it were mounted in a lathe.
One stroke of the actuating cam and the bike is ready for transport to its next deployment site.
While enroute to that next delivery jobsite, the Ebike's battery is being charged by the car's battery charging system
This video demonstrates one of the prototype carriers in action.
Delivery companies that currently rely on trucks are ideal “first adopters”. But CBIKE's versatility also caters to the much larger personal commuting market … a motorist seeing a CBIKE delivering packages will quickly understand how they too could integrate this Ebike into their lifestyle. The already urgent need for clean, compact and inexpensive urban transport can only grow larger and this innovative Ebike will help meet that need.