No plug-in infrastructure for charging is necessary, lighter weight and range availability on demand.
Presented on the 30th of May 2013, at the 20th Congress of “Le club des Villes et Territoires Cyclables” in Nice, ALTER BIKE (brand Gitane) is a real revolutionary innovation in electric bicycles. A partnership of three French firms – Cycleurope, Pragma Industries and Ventec – have developed this new bicycle concept with the target of being a highly ecological and economical means of powered transport.
Nice (France), the 30th of May 2013
In line with the enthusiasm observed these past years around cycling and especially around high added value products such as electric bicycles, ALTER BIKE is the first industrialized bicycle in its category to use a hydrogen fuel cell, thus solving two major user constraints as underlined:
- Ease of operation, thanks to the instant replacement of ready-to-use energy cartridges thus eliminating any plug-in socket requirement and therefore no recharging time.
- Due to this new technology, the range flexibility of the electric bike adapts to the user requirements in a clever way. Each fuel cartridge conditions the distance and therefore the user takes the necessary quantity depending on the daily trip.
This breakthrough has been developed and adapted to bikes, thanks to the association of the three French enterprises:
- Cycleurope, designer, manufacturer and distributor of bicycles, the firm is a European leader on the electric bicycle market;
- Pragma Industries, innovative company that develops a new concept of hydrogen fuel cells particularly suitable for portable applications and electric mobility;
- Ventec, a firm specialized in the conception and the production of BMS (Battery Management System) for lithium batteries. Ventec is the leader in this field in France.
The ALTER BIKE innovation relies on a group of 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.
Jérôme Valentin, CEO of Cycleurope Industries France comments “We welcome the partnership with Pragma Industries and Ventec, as it complements our technological expertise and know-how in the bike industry. This innovative platform opens immense opportunities in the fast growing field of electric bikes, which is one of the key strategic segments we have chosen to invest in.”
Pierre Forté, CEO of Pragma Industries states “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“.
“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.”
The objective is to market the Alter Bike early 2014 aiming at public organizations and in 2016 towards the general public.
Cycleurope is amongst the top European manufacturer of bicycles. It produces more than one million of bicycles, through its 3 units of production in Europe. The firm owns 11 brands (Bianchi, Gitane, Definitive, Puch, DBS, Monark, Crescent, Kildemoes, Everton, Legnano) and has the license for the brand Peugeot. Cycleurope also markets and sells its own range of parts & accessories under the brands Spectra and Tec.
In France, the company Cycleurope is based in Romilly (Aube) with its R&D center, its laboratory and its production facility. This site is the competence center for electric bicycles for Cycleurope Group.
Cycleurope Group is present in more than 50 countries in the World with subsidiaries across Europe, in Japan, and in the USA.
About Pragma Industries
Pragma Industries has designed of a new fuel cell architecture suitable for high-throughput production. Additionally, the technology created and developed allows a two-fold manufacturing cost reduction and a 50% weight decrease.
Created in 2004 and located in Bidart (64), Pragma Industries offers efficient and competitive solutions for two target markets: Research/Education and Industry for portable and e-mobility applications. All these solutions are produced in France, in the company’s manufacturing facilities.
Ventec is an alliance of competences in the electric vehicle industrial field and the hardware and software design for the management of Lithium batteries. Leveraging on its broad and proven expertise, Ventec ensures the performance and the safety of the lithium battery management whatever the application; Electric cars, light and heavy electric quadricycles, Electric tricycles and scooters, Electric bicycles and autonomous street lights.