Iranian Students Build 40km E-Bike
Tehran, the capital of Iran, experiences some of the worst air pollution of any major urban center in the world. Hemmed in by often-snow-capped mountains and home of more than 8 million people, roughly the same as New York City, as many as 4,460 of its citizens died prematurely in 2013 due to its choking air pollution, largely caused by a gridlock of 3 million automobiles, buses, and trucks.
Long beleaguered by international economic sanctions, the government has tried to find ways to address the problem, calling more recently for 400,000 electric motorcycles and 120,000 electric taxis. Over the last half-decade, the local universities have experimented with various electric car technologies from electrathon-type racers to hybrids to the clone of a Renault Twizy all-electric urban runabout.
Now students at Tehran's Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology have built their own electric-assist bicycle, pictured above. Powered by lithium-ion batteries and what appears to be a rear hub motor, it's good for some 40 km (25 mi) of range when the rider both pedals and uses the motor. Given the steep streets in many Iranian cities, having electric-assist is seen as a boon to encouraging more people to ride bikes.
The e-bikes student developers told local Iranian news that they plan to negotiate "with Tehran’s municipality in order to mass-produce the bike."
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