An inventor from the Netherlands has devised what he claims is the world’s first solar powered e-bike, which he says is capable of achieving 15 miles an hour through energy harnessed from the sun alone, without the need to pedal.
The Maxun One is the brainchild of Albert van Dalen from Maastricht. It was reported on by Mail Online towards the end of 2014, but its creator released a new video earlier this year, and this is the first time we’ve seen it.
He says on the Maxun One website that with his invention, “the impossible has become possible.”
While those solar panels front and rear look unwieldy and perhaps not best suited to weaving through traffic or riding in space shared with pedestrians, van Dalen insists that isn’t so.
“The solar bike is made very lightweight, sportive and fast,” he says, adding that “despite the solar panels it rides almost as light as a road bike.
“The solar panels are small enough to allow easy riding in traffic, and large enough to perform well, even on a semi-cloudy days. A small battery provides energy in the absence of sunlight.”
“Riding by solar energy is a unique experience; we just need sunny summer weather,” he concludes.
“You will often overtake other cyclists [who] wonder: what was that? The solar bike is one of the most remarkable vehicles on the street, nothing compares, no-one has ever seen such a thing before.”
The bike was given the name ‘One’ because van Dalen says it is the world’s first bike that can run purely on solar power; that’s open to question, because as Treehugger reported in 2013, Terry Hope splashed out $700 on a personal project to convert a 1998 Specialized FSR mountain bike to run on solar power.
Last year, the same website reported on the Solarbike devised by Jesper Frausig in Denmark which has disc-shaped solar panels housed in the wheels – though in this case, they are used not to supply power directly but rather to charge the battery on the bike.
While this is the first time we’ve reported on an actual bike being powered by the sun, we’ve previously looked at how solar power is being used in cycling infrastructure examples being cycle paths in the Netherlands and South Korea.
There is a comprehensive FAQ regarding the technical aspects of van Dalen’s bike here, with the inventor saying that his IP (intellectual property) broker is looking for someone to buy his intellectual property rights and put it into production.
When Mail Online reported on Mr van Dalen’s project in 2014, however, it said he was looking to produce a limited-edition run of 50 models, however ... with a price tag of £80,000 each.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.