Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Electrom manufactured/assembled?
The Electrom is designed, manufactured and assembled in Vancouver BC using a combination of domestic and imported components. The Frame, bodywork and steering system are designed and made in Vancouver. The majority of the electrical and bicycle components are readily available off-the-shelf items. This was a deliberate strategy in order to provide a secure source of spare parts to future owners and to control manufacturing costs.

Does the Electrom come with a battery charger?
The Electrom ship with the Grin Technologies high-voltage Satiator battery charger.

If the battery is fully discharged can you still try to pedal to find somewhere to plug in?
One is able to move the bike on human power alone, but due to the weight it is not recommended and should be considered for emergencies. This is because the rear electric hub motor is Direct-Drive which means that if there is no power, one is working against the magnets to spin the wheel. This is a trade-off in order to have regenerative braking. Like a motorbike, if you’re out of gas, your not going to be happy. The upside is that the battery system is so small compared to an electric car that it can be charged with a standard power plug so one can “opportunity charge” almost anywhere.

How much does the peddling contributes to battery charge?
This depends on how fast one is going, and therefore how quickly one is using power. On the slowest, and most conservative setting, the bike consumes about 500 watts while traveling at 32 KP/H. We have found that one can generate 150 watts continuously to providing about 1/4 of the power used. On this setting and on relatively flat ground one could achieve 220 kilometers of range on the two built-in batteries. The rider can decide how much work they want to do; at a gentle pace of 75 RPM at the pedals, they generate 80-150 watts, however, the resistance/generation curve goes up quite quickly. At 80 pedal rpm the rider will generate 175 watts, and at 85 pedal rpm the resistance is quite significant and the rider is generating 250 watts. The average fit rider can generate a maximum of about 600 watts for a minute or so.

Can you peddle to charge the batteries while parked?
Unfortunately you cannot pedal while stopped. The cranks are connected to both the generator and the back wheel via chain. This is for two reasons:

  • Reason number one, as an e-bike “working pedals” are a requirement
  • Reason number two is that when a rider encounters a hill that is too steep for the motor alone, the bike slows down to the point where the rear freewheel engages and the rider’s energy goes into helping the motor up the hill. This happens at speeds below 15 kp/h. As soon as the bike speeds up again the rear drive begins to freewheel again and the rider’s energy is only going into the generator. In this situation the rider is not working against the generator as the peddling rate is usually below 70 rpm so the generator is not producing power or resistance.

It is possible to put the bike up on a stand to lift the rear wheel and use it as an exercise bike. We also do this to allow people to test out the GCD without actually taking it for a ride (riding a two-wheel recumbent position takes some practice).

Where is the Electrom available?
We will ship to Canadian Provinces as well as the United States. If a European (or other continent) buyer is interested we will investigate alternatives for shipping and assembly. the shipping costs on their behalf.

What is the lowest temperature at which the Electrom can operate?
One starts to notice a decrease in battery power at temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius. It is possible to use a small amount of power to provide battery warming. Because the batteries are located within the fuselage they can be insulated for low temperatures and once they warm up they start to preform better. However, with two batteries the system is easily able to supply the needed power even when cold.

Do I need a driver’s license to operate the Electrom? Is it classified as a light motorcycle, moped or e-bike?
The Electrom meets the legal description for a motor-assisted bicycle in most jurisdictions and does not require a license. The Electrom does have all of the lights, signals and horn required on a scooter or motorbike for safe operating practices.

What is the expected life of the direct drive hub motor mounted on the rear wheel if used under Start Stop conditions on a regular basis?
The Direct drive hub motor is a wonderfully simple thing. With no moving parts, other than the rotation of the wheel on wheel bearings, there is very little to fail. We have a test hub motor on a cargo bike that is now over 12 years old, with over 10,000 kilometers and it is still going strong.
The Golden Motors Magic Pie motor  currently used on the Electrom is expected to last for tens of thousands of kilometers. Currently there is over 7000 kilometers on the sample motor.

What are the estimated operating costs for the Electrom?
The electrom is thoughtfully designed for longevity and is simple to maintain. Based on the power costs in British Columbia (hydroelectric) and by employing good maintenance practices it is estimated that the Electrom’s operating costs (using an assumed component life of 10,000/15,000 hours for the major items) are around C$0.07/km.

Do the motors on the Electrom need any periodic maintenance?
If the Eectrom is only running a Direct-Drive rear motor, then no–these types of motors are maintenance free.
If the Electrom is equipped with a dual motor system with a geared front hub motor there is some maintenance required.  The nylon gears front hub motor can eventually wear out and require replacement. However, the way the Electrom is set up, the front motor is only in use at lower speeds to help with traction and to bring the bike up to speed, so we expect the front hub motor to run for multiple thousands of kilometers before a rebuild is required.

How long (KM driven/years) do the brake pads last before they need to be replaced?
The Electrom has regenerative braking. Once the rider has become habituated to taking advantage of this feature by anticipating the need to stop and using the regenerative brakes in time for them to absorb the majority of the kinetic energy carried by the vehicle, the use of the hydraulic disk brakes is greatly reduced and this saves a lot of wear on brake pads. Of course the nature of the riding has an effect as well: stop-and-go city riding will consume  brake pads faster than long rides on open roads. Testing has shown that with the use of high quality brake pads, the Electrom will require a brake pad change every every 1500 kilometers or so. Changing the pads is a simple procedure that takes about 10 minutes per wheel

How will you resolve warranty repairs?
Electrom is a startup company, and to be able to sell vehicles for a reasonable price the Electrom will be sold directly to customers. It will be sold on-line as a self-assembled kit. This means that the end user will assemble their own Electrom. The mechanical and electrical components are all standard ‘off the shelf items’ will come out of the box with much of the detailed assembly already done so the final build should not be difficult or very time-consuming. We estimate between ten to fifteen hours, depending on mechanical aptitude. Early Electrom buyers will have to replace parts themselves, both parts under guarantee and regular wear items like brake pads and tires. However, we will provide excellent service documentation and fast delivery of spares. If you are unable to do simple repairs yourselves then you should probably wait to buy an Electrom until there is an established support network.

How safe is the Electrom for use on main roads, secondary roads and highways?
The Electrom has proven to be very safe. Because the Electrom is equipped with lights, signal and mirrors one is able to effectively communicate with drivers. The mirrors are especially helpful on highway trips, as one can see large trucks approaching from behind and anticipate their passing. Also, because the Electrom rider is situated at the same height as the driver in a standard passenger vehicles, eye contact with drivers is easy to achieve. This makes city driving much safer than on many lower-slung recumbent bicycle designs. While the Electrom is very narrow, it presents a big visual image. As a result, we have found that car drivers leave lots of room when passing.

Why isn’t the Electrom Fully Enclosed for weather protection?
We would have loved to give the Electrom full coverage, but the issue was that the more surface area there is, the more effect that cross-winds have on the bike. If it was not a two-wheeler this would be less of an issue, but it was important to use to keep the Electrom on two wheels. It makes for better aerodynamics and allows for true bicycle handling which is especially advantageous on fast corners where the bike can lean into the corner.  The fairing does great job of protecting the rider’s legs, so all that is needed is a decent jacket. A helmet with a visor also helps tremendously.

Do you have a question not answered here? please email us.

 

Learning to Ride the Electrom

Electrom LEV

 

Find Us at

1234 Topaz Ave
Victoria BC

Contact

info(at)electrom.ca
250 858 9794