Ever get range anxiety on your e-bike? Or feel that limited range is stopping you from buying one? Well, times are changing. Batteries – and range – are set to dramatically increase in the next few years, and nowhere is that more clear than with the Delfast bike, which has a claimed range of 236 miles. (380km) That should get you where you want to go.
Delfast are courier company based in Kiev, Ukraine, specialising in quick delivery of online purchases. Their quest to find the perfect delivery vehicle for their operations has led them to experiment with e-bikes, and ultimately build their own. They’ve been so happy with its performance that they’re crowdfunding a production run of the bikes on Kickstarter, with the price of the bikes set at $2,449 to $3,829.
So how do Delfast achieve the huge range? Basically, by speccing a huge battery. Where standard e-bikes have batteries in the 300-1000Wh range, the 48V Delfast system has a whopping 3072Wh battery hidden away in the centre of the frame. That’s enough for the claimed 236 miles on one charge; even if it doesn’t get you that far, you’re certainly going to be able to go a long way.
You might be looking at the bike (and the video) and thinking that the Delfast is more of a motorbike than it is an e-bike. Certainly there’s a lot of footage of the bike running off the throttle rather than pedal assist, and the bike has a maximum assist speed of 55km/h. Delfast told us that the bike will also be available set up to meet both US and EU regulations, and that they are planning to sell it in the UK subject to a successful kickstarter. They also suggested it could be registered as a motorcycle in the UK and used in its no-limits mode, although it would need type approval for that.
There’s plenty going on with the bike. It’s a full suspension mountain bike at heart, with a rear hub motor providing the drive. The motor system has a centrally-mounted display, but there’s also a Bluetooth link to a smartphone app for more detailed information and other features such as smart locking. The bike features built-in lighting and also indicators front and rear. There are two USB chargers built into the bike too for keeping your devices topped up on the go.
The Kickstarter will feature three models. The Top model ($2,989) is the one featured here, with the biggest battery and the longest range. Oddly it’s not the most expensive, with the Sport model ($3,829) a good bit dearer. The Sport is more of a motorbike build, with a top speed in excess of 80km/h. The Lite model ($2,449) is a slimmed-down build with a smaller battery and shorter range. It’ll still do a claimed 112 miles (180km) though.
The Kickstarter for the bikes is scheduled to begin on September 20.