Monday, October 19, 2015

223.1 - Good News: Company introduces (almost) zero pollution electric bike

Good News: Company introduces (almost) zero pollution electric bike

A French company named Pragma Industries has designed a new electric bike. It runs on hydrogen batteries which are built into the frame, takes only five minutes to recharge, and can go for 100km, about 62 miles, on a single charge.

And here's the thing: Because it runs on the hydrogen batteries, the only waste product, the only emission, is plain water. The carbon footprint is almost zero. What's more, the company says the bikes are, quoting the CEO, "made of up ever more recyclable products" and even the recharging stations are solar- or wind-powered to limit carbon emissions even more.

The disadvantage, of course, is that you can never be more than 100km from a charging station. That problem of having to be within reach of a recharging station is one shared by every all-electric vehicle, but here it's a bigger one: Most such vehicles using more let's call them traditional batteries can be plugged into any outlet to be recharged. These bikes have to be recharged with hydrogen, requiring a special charging station.

Even so, they are a real neat new and environmentally-friendly thing. They're rather expensive - the new ones will run about €2300, which is about $2600 - but supposedly that is no more than existing top-bracket electric bikes. And the French Post Office has reportedly expressed an interest in ordering a fleet of the bikes which not only could bring the price down but could involve a network of hydrogen-refueling stations, making them both more affordable and more useful for most people.

Nearly zero pollution electric bikes. Yup, that's a good thing.

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