An electric bicycle is a bicycle that is powered by an electric motor. Electric bikes are also known as motorized bikes. These are fitted with a motor for pedaling, so that the rider does not have to pedal. Electric bikes generally contain a small electric motor or an internal combustion engine. However, internal combustion engines are being replaced by electric motors with the sunset of lightweight, high-battery-storage motors. Electric bikes are very popular in some countries like China, where bicycles are still a chief mode of transportation.
The earliest motorbikes can be traced to the late 19th century. Motorcycles evolved from this development, which tested to power a regular bicycle with motor power. In fact, the moped is a direct descendent of the motor bicycle, and most mopeds still have pedals attached to them. Some mopeds also use pedals as a starting aid and for propaganda. The different kinds of electric bikes are: direct-drive, geared, chain drive, hub motors and friction drive. Another classification is the power-on-demand (motor is activated by a handle-bar mounted throttle) and the pedelec (motor is regulated by pedaling).
Electric bikes are different from motorcycles, as they still contain pedals. Some electric bikes require pedaling in spite of the engine, while others do not. However, they can be pedaled if the engine fails for any reason. Electric bikes have similar construction as regular bikes but they are made of stronger components. The frame is also stronger, in order to accommodate a motor. The motor is generally powered by batteries that can also be recharged.
Electric bikes are gaining much popularity in most countries because of their various advantages. They are non-polluting, quiet, small, easy to maneuver and inexpensive. They can also be used by almost anyone. With increasing traffic congestion, heavy pollution and concern for health, electric bikes are slowly becoming a preferred alternative for many. Beside, they are also much faster than regular bicycles, and riders do not even need a license in many countries. The main providers of motors for electric bicycles are: Sanyo, General Engines and EV Warrior.
Source by Ken Marlborough