Foldable Electric Bike Design

Product Design | Transportation | Masters Design Project at IDC

Design a compact single person electric vehicle that allows the user to commute freely without much hassles. In the current scenario, the last mile vehicle which connects the commuter from his home/office to the public transport systems have lot of bottlenecks. The commuter likes to use his own personal vehicle to connect to the local public transport networks. But the use of bigger vehicles occupies lot of parking space and lot of hassles. The project aims to come up with a electric bike as a solution for last mile. The main feature of the electric bike will be its carriability when not in use. Hence when the commuter uses the public transport like trains, he/she can carry his personal vehicle with him thus allowing larger portability and transportability.

User Research

With increasing stress on the need to shift towards sustainable transportation, bridging the last mile (or first mile) at the start and end of the daily commute from home to work and back is one way in which we can improve personal mobility. If the last mile transportation is addressed, it will encourage people to make better use of public transport and hence rely less on cars which congest the urban roads.
A pre-research is done with research interview to study the general user behaviour when it comes to last mile transportation. The interview is done with 25 people in between the age group of 16 to 40 in Mumbai to know the bottlenecks they face in their every day last mile commute to work.

Design Brief

To design a single person last mile mobility vehicle that can be carried around when commuting in public transit systems with the following specifications.
- powered by Brushless DC electric hub motor of around 250 watts with maximum speed of around 25 kmph.
- has a range of 10 km.
- should weigh not more than 9 kg.
- should have a folded volume within 22000 space (the volume of a bigger backpack) so that it is compact enough to carry.

Ergonomics and Layout

The ergonomics of a bike posture is taken as reference for sitting posture and the layout is built around the same for the concept explorations. The carriability ergonomics and posture study is also done.

Final Concept

Concept 3 is chosen as final concept based on cariability, ease of use (as it is similar to a folding bike). A mockup prototype is built to check ergonomics, foldability and carriability of the design simulating the motor and battery weights. The project explored the packaging of the driving system and ease of carrying a bike for last mile mobility.