UK-based woodworker artist Evie Bee developed a wooden electric bicycle using a DIY frame. The bicycle, called “ElectraPlay” was fitted with a 36 V 12.5 Ah battery with a capacity of 450 Wh and is associated with a Smart Pie electric bicycle motor housing an internal controller.
Bee’s wooden bicycle design takes inspiration from café racer and scrambler motorcycles of the past, combining it with modern interpretations. It was made primarily from layers of poplar plies from sustainable sources as well as birch plies used on the outer layers. However, to give the bike more strength, the artist used stainless steel to make its dropouts. Steel has also been used in other areas of the bike, to add a bit of extra strength.
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Speaking of the design of the wooden electric bike, Bee used the poplar set to make up most of the center of the frame while the more attractive birch plywood adorns the outside of the frame. She used a CNC router to cut various sheets of plywood to make the design of the wooden electric bicycle. Using the Smart Pie electric bike motor helped her reduce the number of external parts mounted on the bike and simplify wiring.
To construct the seat frame, the artist used brass piping while she sewed and hand-sewn her own faux leather seat cover. The tires on the bike appear to be similar to those found on regular traditional bikes. Bee posted a video of herself riding the finished wooden electric bike on YouTube as well as on her website. “One of the … factors that motivated me to choose to make this bike was the desire to fulfill my dream of owning and riding my own electric bike,” she wrote in a blog.
The cabinetmaker artist has written two eBooks, available for free on her website, to share the wood bike design process with others. She is also looking to launch a crowdfunding campaign in the future to commercialize the design.