Electric bikes typically use lithium batteries: energy stored there powers the electric motor. But there is one interesting energy storage alternative called a supercapacitor,so if cars use them, can we put a supercapacitor in an e-bike too?Youtuber Tom Stanton wanted to see if supercaps have any practical use on e-bikes, and built a DIY electric motor in the process.
source/image: Tom Stanton
He built a capacitor bank using six 2.7V 400F supercaps, only equivalent to the capacity of a single AA cell. Although it worked, the total range was only around 100 m at low speed,uilt his own axial flux motor for the bike, using 3D printed formers for the coils and an aluminum rotor with embedded magnets.Watch the video from Tom Stanton:
He also found a solution to add regenerative braking to this supercapacitor setup by installing the six 2.7V 400F supercars on a different e-bike that had the feature.Supercapacitors work differently than lithium cells.
The main difference is their charge and discharge rate, which is several times faster compared to other modern batteries. This advantage, however, has an annoying downside: the amount of energy stored in these fast-charging elements is tens of times less for the same mass.