NICE, France – It operates without long battery charging times and plug-in socket requirements. Just replace the ready-to-use energy cartridges which can be suited to individual range needs. The hydrogen fuel cell e-bike which is launched today by Cycleurope and two partner companies, is truly remarkable.
It is called Alter Bike. Cycleurope is launching it under the brand name Gitane. The bike maker calls it: "A new concept of electric bicycles which relieves the user from most of the constraints of electric mobility: No plug-in infrastructure for charging is necessary, lighter weight and range availability on demand."
The Alter Bike is presented at the 20th Congress of "Le Club des Villes et Territoires Cyclables", which is held today in Nice. Alter Bike is developed in a partnership between three French firms – Cycleurope, Pragma Industries and Ventec. Pragma Industries is specialized in developing hydrogen fuel cells particularly suitable for portable applications and electric mobility. Ventec is a leading French company in the production of Battery Management Systems (BMS) for lithium batteries.
New breed of hydrogen fuel cells
The three companies developed the world's first industrialized bicycle to use a hydrogen fuel cell. "Highly environmental friendly and highly economical are the main features of this new means of powered transport," says the press release issued by the three companies, which furthers with: "The Alter bike is making use of several technological solutions including a new breed of hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen chemical storage in recyclable canisters, as well as hybrid electronic architecture balancing power needs between the Li-ion battery and the hydrogen fuel cell."
Immense opportunities for electric bikes
Jérôme Valentin, CEO of Cycleurope Industries France said at the presentation of the Alter Bike: "The partnership with Pragma Industries and Ventec complements our technological expertise and know-how in the bike industry. This innovative platform opens immense opportunities in the fast growing area of electric bikes, which is one of the key strategic segments we have chosen to invest in."
Patented open-cathode fuel cell technology
Pierre Forté, CEO of Pragma Industries stated: "Pragma is proud to work with Cycleurope and Ventec to design the first product that will integrate our patented open-cathode fuel cell technology. As our fuel cell is specifically designed for mass manufacturing, coupled with recyclable fuel cartridges, it brings a great added value to the industrial strategy of our partners".
Combination of fuel cell and lithium battery
"We believe that the combination of a fuel cell and a lithium battery provides the best of both technologies: power and range and this bike is true proof," said Cedric Loubiat technical director of Ventec. "With the collaboration of Cycleurope and Pragma companies, we have designed and assembled in a record time this complex and extremely innovative prototype."
Alter Bike sales
Cycleurope president Tony Grimaldi told Bike Europe that the Alter Bike will be primarily focused on the use at public rental bike schemes. This year it will make its debut at several pilot projects in France. In 2016 the plan is to sell the Gitane Alter Bike to the general public.