Electric bicycles have become indispensable on German roads. They are enjoying growing popularity, especially in big cities, but motorized bicycles are also suitable for riding in the great outdoors, particularly in hilly regions.
However, e-bikes and pedelecs could have had their day in the medium term. The reason: hydrogen.
Already commonplace in parts of China
In major Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Changzhou, stations with Youon hydrogen bicycles are part of everyday life.
The bikes called Y200 reach a maximum speed of 23 km/h and have a range of up to 70 kilometers, similar to their electronic cousins.
There are also hydrogen bicycles in Germany, but they are not yet available to the public. In China, on the other hand, Youon is already working on his Y600, which can also be folded up.
Lots of pros, some cons, but one big catch
Hydrogen bikes are equal to their electronic counterparts in terms of speed and range. In addition, there is an extremely fast loading time. E-bikes and pedelecs usually take several hours, hydrogen can be refueled in a few minutes.
In addition, hydrogen does not produce greenhouse gases.
However, there are also disadvantages.
Although hydrogen is an extremely common element, it does not exist naturally and has to be extracted from water – and that in turn requires energy. In addition, precious metals are needed as catalysts in fuel cells.
Apart from costs and effort, the infrastructure is of course also missing. Appropriate filling stations would be a prerequisite for widespread use.
However, this does not stop the French manufacturer Pragma Industries from producing hydrogen bicycles for the masses. In France you will be able to buy the bikes from October.
Our colleague Dennis Ziesecke let the providers VanMoof and Cowboy compete against each other. Who does better in Hamburg’s urban jungle?
Hydrogen bicycles sound like science fiction, they already exist in China and France is also daring to step into the future. Do you think this technology could replace e-bikes and pedelecs? Or is the production of the batteries still too expensive and resource-rich at the moment? Feel free to write it to us in the comments and speculate about it.