A relative newcomer to the bike manufacturing industry, a road and mountain biking company, SRAM, has charted a course to make your daily e-bike commute even greener.
SRAM’s recent patent application, US20220131404, takes aim at charging e-bike batteries while they are on the go or while they sit chained outside during the workday. SRAM is looking to capitalize on any and all spare real estate by integrating solar panels into the bike itself, such as on mud guards, water bottle holders, and the bicycle frame tubing.
Modern e-bikes and bicycles in general have an increasing number of electronic components supporting critical functions, including supplying power to control shifters and dropper posts. Without power, these functions stop working, leaving the rider reaching for their spare battery.
Spare batteries are additional weight and expense and drain energy even when not in use. SRAM’s application attempts to address these problems by charging the battery with sunshine. This has the potential to eliminate the need for a spare battery altogether and reduce energy consumption from the grid.
Although it remains to be seen whether the ideas presented in this application will see the light of day, I think we can all agree that the e-bike industry is one step closer to matching the sustainability of the classic bicycle.