Cars, motorcycles, buses, airplanes, trucks of all kinds, dumpers included… Electric mobility has already arrived to all of them, to which there is less and less land to explore. One of those that was still pending, that of the electric water bikes, is about to be overcome with the launch, in February 2018, of Hydrofoiler XE-1. With it, experiencing the same sensations as at the controls of an electric bike, but on rivers, lakes and even in the open sea, will be possible from now on, at least in New Zealand.
Kiwis (popular way of referring to New Zealanders) are the first in the world to see the sunrise and to celebrate the New Year. Now, they will be too, but to ride a bike on water ” . It is explained by the creators of this innovative proposal, the New Zealand company Manta 5, through their website, where they already accept pre-reservations for this model. With a price of 7,495 New Zealand dollars (slightly less than 4,500 euros at the exchange rate), in February 2018 the distribution of this electric bicycle will start to sail the waters, of which a limited edition will be put into circulation only for residents of New Zealand.
“We are committed to offering a quality product before making the international leap” , argues the decision this team that has worked for six years in shaping Hydrofoiler XE-1. The starting point, more than a project to be executed, was the dream of a cycling enthusiast who, by dint of kilometers and kilometers pedaled throughout New Zealand, aspired to replicate all those experiences, but on water.
This New Zealander, Howard Willis, met Roland Alonzo, also a cycling lover, but not only that, since he was also dedicated to bicycle design. From there, everything came rolled and, what emerged as a personal aspiration is on the way to becoming a reality that will offer many the opportunity to get on an electric bike but, instead of on land or concrete, on water, even the ocean.
What this couple proposes is a water bike equipped with a 400 W electric motor and a lithium battery that offer pedaling assistance for approximately one hour for a driver weighing 85 kilos. With a battery pack that can be disassembled to facilitate recharging from any type of electrical outlet, this model comes well loaded with innovation to ensure, for example, that its parts do not suffer from contact with salt water.
Thus, in addition to incorporating cutting-edge waterproofing, the Hydrofoiler XE-1 water bike takes advantage of the best of aeronautical engineering. This explains, for example, the incorporation of carbon fiber hydrofoils that, in addition to being sufficiently strong, optimize the lifting of the vehicle and reduce drag. The same material, but reinforced with nylon, is used for the propeller. With this, what is achieved is to reinforce the ability to cope with drag at high speeds, while promoting thrust when speed is low.
As experienced cyclists, the creators of this pioneering electric bike have not forgotten that the options for its transport are also essential. For this reason, they have opted for a modular system that allows it to be inserted in the car or on its roof rack and that, in addition, also makes it easier in the event that they want to improve the components of the model.
With “less is more” among their mottos, the creators of this proposal have opted for a very simple design. For this reason, the quality of the components and the hydrodynamics predominate in a vehicle, the Hydrofoiler XE-1, with which they claim to be “breaking barriers of what people can do on the water ” and, incidentally, how far electric mobility can come.