NTS Works SunCycle: Solar-powered bicycle with huge boot space
NTS Works (start-up company in Santa Cruz, Calif) founded by Neal and Lisa Saiki, has come up with a revolutionary bicycle dubbed SunCycle that harnesses the energy of sun to boost human pedal power assistance. The aerodynamically designed cargo hold makes sure that there is no wastage of energy as the bicycle propels forward, making it a highly energy efficient two wheeler. All the sun’s energy collected by the solar panels is stored in battery technology called the Lifetime Rebuildable EV lithium ion battery which in itself is revolutionary. The battery gives rider almost 25 miles of electric pedal powered assistance, and to make it more efficient, the battery hub motor controls the amount of assistance depending on the road. For example while climbing hills, the assistance is more (15 miles on battery) and when the rider goes downhill the assistance level is far less (40 miles average).
The cargo container of SunCycle is good enough to hold all your groceries, suitcases or anything that your vehicles boot space can store. Moreover the steering system of this bicycle places cargo load directly over the front wheel for optimum balance while driving in urban areas. Talking about the high quality lightweight solar panels of this bicycle, the 60 watt power panels are capable of charging battery to its full level in 8 hours.
As I said, the Lifetime Rebuildable battery is as innovative as the SunCycle itself because it comes with a lifetime rebuild warranty, meaning that you can upgrade or rebuilt it with latest battery technology anytime you want. And it is going to cost you only half as much as the new battery.
The rear of SunCycle has optional rack system with removable wire baskets, increasing its ability to carry cargo even more. In addition the bicycle is very low maintenance since the Gates Centertrack belt in the drivetrain doesn’t need lubrication, all the cartridge bearings are sealed tightly and the rear hub is Shimano Alfine 8 internal geared that requires maintenance only after 2000 miles.
NTS Works SunCycle is all set to be shipped from April 2014 for a price tag of $4100 and the first 100 people who place a pre-order will get it for $3900.
# SunCycle reviewed by Richard Masoner