The e-bike industry is advancing at a rapid pace, so much so that it seems like new tech is being introduced pretty much every day. At present, e-bike powertrains, as well as those of all other EVs, are ruled by lithium batteries. Thanks to their energy efficiency, it’s easy to understand why lithium batteries are the number one choice in the world of EVs. That said, in the e-bike world in particular, there’s another energy source that looks to make its presence felt.
Supercapacitors aren’t exactly new tech. In fact, they’ve served numerous industrial applications for many years. In terms of micromobility, particularly in electrically assisted bicycles, some companies are using them instead of standard lithium batteries. Take for example Ostrichoo and its wide selection of e-bikes, all of which are powered by supercapacitors. The Dutch company, as well as a few other players such as Anod, are looking to introduce supercapacitors as a mainstream means of powering lightweight e-mobility devices.
Supercapacitors have a number of benefits which when put in the context of e-bikes make a lot of sense. Thanks to their rapid charging and discharging capabilities, they’re able to release a lot of energy at one go (perfect for sprinting up steep hills) and rapidly recharge in a matter of minutes (through regenerative braking or simply pedaling with your legs).
Furthermore, Ostrichoo highlights several other benefits such as a smaller environmental impact. Made from aluminum and coal, supercapacitors are cheaper to make and use fewer rare earth metals. Ostrichoo’s bikes have a claimed 2,200 charge cycle, which is nearly twice that of a standard lithium battery-powered e-bike. That said, the supercapacitor-powered bikes have a notably shorter range of about 70 kilometers (44 miles) on a single charge. Nevertheless, this is made up for with a super-fast charge time of just 30 minutes. Ostrichoo even claims that its bikes can charge up to 80 percent in just eight minutes with seven to nine-amp chargers.
Ostrichoo is all about keeping its products accessible, all while catering to the needs of all types of riders. Its entry-level model is called the Nero, and it’s a rugged e-MTB with an MSRP of just 1,199 euros, or about $1,324 USD. The Caesar, meanwhile, is a compact urban commuter with an impressive 120-kilometer (75-mile) range, and carries a premium price of 3,199 euros ($3,532 USD). Apart from rugged e-MTBs and city commuters, Ostrichoo also has a selection of urban bikes meant to make commuting a fun and convenient experience. All these models can be seen on Ostrichoo’s official website.