Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cycle Electric

Electric bicycle turns heads, saves gas

Canadian Fabr i z io Cross designed and built an electric bicycle, which he uses almost every day to run errands around the city. He and his wife come from British Columbia. She works at the Canadian Embassy in Tegucigalpa.
We recently caught up with Fabrizio to find out more about his gas-saving vehicle.

Honduras This Week (HTW): What was your inspiration to build an electric bicycle?

Fabrizio Cross (FC): I bought an electric conversion kit for a standard bicycle, but I found that the technology and the way it worked and felt was very imperfect for riding. I also wanted something with a recumbent position, which also meant that I could fit the batteries underneath the seat of the bicycle, unlike no other electric bike. It took me around 100 hours through a period of 4 years to build.

HTW: What speed can the bicycle go?

FC: The maximum speed that it can reach is around 70km per hour, but I have changed the setting on it, so that it only reaches 30km per hour. Whilst the bicycle is set to 30km per hour the horsepower is 12.

HTW: How did you build the bicycle?

FC: Working as a graphic designer, I had made plenty of plans to ensure that the bicycle would work efficiently. I mainly used old bicycle parts, but for the frame for the bike I welded scrap pieces of metal to obtain my desired shape.
Also, unlike standard bicycles where the seat is adjusted dependent on the rider’s height, on this bike the pedals are adjusted.

I also decided to include a reverse option on the bicycle, which not even the motorcycles have, which makes them all very jealous. I also incorporated a storage area on the back of the bicycle, which I used, when I was in Canada, to store my mountain bike, and then use the electric bike to ride to our
meeting point.

HTW: How long can the bicycle run without being recharged?

FC: It can do around 50-60km before needing to be recharged, although I charge the battery after every time I use it, to sustain its optimum life. The charger is integrated to the back of the bicycle, so if I lose power whilst out I can recharge it from any power supply.

HTW: I notice that the bicycle has no lights?

FC: This is because I don’t ride it during night, as I feel that it would not be entirely safe, and I also do not use the bicycle in adverse weather conditions either, so there really has been no need for me to install a light.

HTW: Are you considering building another bike?

FC: As technology has advanced, I would definitely be interested in building another more refined bicycle. There would also be an option now where you could use solar panels to create the energy to run the bicycle, which would help with fuel consumption issues.

For information about how to build an electric bicycle, please contact Fabrizio Cross at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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