Schwinn 'revolutionary' tailwind due 2009

Hand Tight

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 19, 2008
12
0
Thought some might be interested in reports of new Schwinn e-bike using toshiba proprietary battery technology. Endgadget says:

Schwinn has been pretty big on electric bicycles for some time now, but it seems to be particularly excited about its new Tailwind bike, which it says "sets a new standard for the electric bike industry." That boasting is apparently due in large part to the bike's use of Toshiba's newfangled Super Charge ion Battery (or SCiB), which has a promised 30-minute recharge time, or about an eighth of that of competing bikes. The rest of the bike's specs also look to be up to Schwinn's usual high standards, and include a Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal geared rear hub, a brushless motor with 180 watts of continuous power or 250 watts at peak power, a rear roller brake system, double wall alloy rims, and Continental Town Ride tires, to name but a few premium features. Just don't expect any of that to come cheap, as the bike is set to retail for $3,199 when it hits shops early next year.

link to Schwinn for full lowdown
Schwinn Electric Bikes | 2009 Tailwind | Electric Bike Technology
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,208
20,372
Thanks for the information Hand Tight.

What an odd mix it seems. A Suzhou Bafang motor in place of the previously used Tongxin Nano, and claimed as two wire connection, so I assume a brush motor! As if that's not odd enough, it's a very low power type with a 180 watt rating and 250 watt peak, that's even lower powered than a Powacycle Windsor/Salisbury.

Maybe the low power is to enable that battery type to cope, but it has to be said that with lithium, length of life is more important than a quick charge, and quick charging hasn't a good record where battery life is concerned.

And then to cap it all, a premium price for a bike that seems to fit low in the market. I'm puzzled. :confused:
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The Maestro

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2008
296
0
Sounds bad! I think battery recharging time is only an issue for a tiny minority of people anyway. They seem to have forgoten than we have this big long dark thing (no I've not been looking at dodgy websites) called 'night' when we generally aren't using the bike. Sounds like another big corperate bike firm like Giant making silly decisions via commitee and just not delivering what people want. What's with the 250 watt peak power? It must have taken some quite complex electronics just to strangle the performance to that low level and they expect us to pay for this?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,208
20,372
I've dug out some information which explains just why this is so low powered.

The SCiB battery type has much smaller capacity than out Li-ion types. A typical SCiB cell has an energy density of 65 milliwatt/hour per gram, while Li-ion batteries commonly have around two and a half times that. Therefore the battery on that bike wouldn't go very far with the higher power of a Wisper or eZee bike, and might not deliver current at a high enough rate.

That's the downside, but the upside is that the battery life really is very much longer, losing only 10% of capacity over 3000 charges and a useful total life of 6000 charges. Toshiba reckon that this is long enough to last the life of many products, and at 15 times the life of many Li-ions, that would certainly be true for our bikes. Unfortunately it looks as though the price is very high at present, but it's probably cheaper than shelling out hundreds of pounds every two years. I wouldn't mind using two in parallel to give a short range with enough punch on my powerful motors, despite the weight and short term cost.
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tony18m2001

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 28, 2007
22
0
Leicester LE9, UK
Hi Flecc et al

I wonder if I can keep my Ezee Cadence running long enough on its NImH battery (thank you Flecc - still running although red battery light is coming on earlier now) till these SCiB batteries become available to all. I was just made aware of them in this article:
Electronic Product Design EPD Magazine - Electric bicycle is powered by SCiB
The lifetime sounds wonderful, but we will have to see how they parallel up for sufficient power in our hilly country.

Tony
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,208
20,372
I don't think we'll necessarily see them Tony. The next in line which is in use now is the polymer variation of Li-ion, and to follow that is lithium-iron (LiFePO4) which will cope with some 2000 charges and possibly up to 5000. Therefore these could outlive the bikes!

Some members are already using these lithium-iron packs rigged for their bikes, but reliable mass production for e-bikes still seems to be a little way off according to manufacturers who've tried them.

You can see that the SCiB batteries are a byway of one manufacturer which may or may not be successful. Think Betamax, V2000, Minidisc, DCC etc.
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WaiWonChing

Pedelecer
Nov 27, 2007
55
0
Chief eZee Operator

Schwinn obviously have not learn anything yet. I was not at the Interbike show, but got first hand reports from a couple of friends. So to cope with a very low capacity battery 24 V 4.2 Ah ? they would use a very low power motor just good for a great grandmother to cruise around the block ? And they obviously did not comprehend the volumetric energy density yet. The module that Toshiba provides 24V 4.2 Ah ( less than 100 wh) is as big as our current battery box with 370 wh, and Schwinn would still have to built a box over it and with all the connections) Never mind if it is going to survive 5000 cycles, nobody in his right sense would even start using it anyway.

W W Ching
 

wotwozere

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 6, 2008
280
1
Hi

Imagine how 5000 cycles will help the enviroment by not having to make new batteries every time, maybe bike manufacturer do not want to make last forever batteries for other reasons?

We should say what if, not just if.

thx

Bob
 

WaiWonChing

Pedelecer
Nov 27, 2007
55
0
Chief eZee Operator

Hi,

I live in the real world where people check the value of what they buy, that it they ask what they get for their money, like the energy capacity it would hold and how far it will take them, and then if they could afford to dole out a large sum of money for that extra life cycle. That even an unpleasant large looking box would put many people off.

Get real.
W W Ching
 

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