Crowdfunder Offers Lightest Bamboo Electric Bicycle

150 Kickstarter backers offered the opportunity to own one of the world's lightest electric-assist bicycles as an incentive to help fund development of Quikbyke's first solar rental Q•pod.

​EV World, one of the longest running Internet publications devoted to the world of electric vehicles, is launching its first crowdfunding campaign to build its first Quikbyke Q•pod electric bicycle rental pop-up shop.

"It was an electric bicycle that was the catalyst for launching EV World in 1997," said EV World founder and publisher Bill Moore. "Now we've come full circle. Instead of just writing about the technology, our new spin-off has one mission: get more of us off our car seats more often and onto bicycle saddles by introducing people to the delight of riding an electric bike for 'fun, fitness, and a greener future for us all.'"

Quikbyke is a mobile rental enterprise that uses solar power to charge its electric-assist bicycles, which are seasonally repositioned: summer in temperate climate regions, winter in the tropics. To facilitate this mobility, the e-bikes are housed in repurposed, grid-independent, 20 ft shipping containers that will be located near popular vacation and cruise ship destinations.  Each Q•pod houses some 15 e-bikes that offer riders ranges up to 20 miles per charge. 

"Quikbyke gives renters a new level of personal freedom to go where they want, when they want, more quickly and with less perceived physical effort, while still getting a healthful level of exercise," Moore explains.

Quikbyke's crowdfunding campaign, which got underway on July 14, 2015, is seeking funds to construct and deploy its first Q•pod.  

One of the more unique aspects of the campaign is the opportunity for 150 backers to own a preproduction prototype of the K15 bamboo and recycled aluminum e-bike.  At just over 31 lbs, it's among the lightest electric bicycles on the planet.  

"I brought together the single-speed Greenstar EcoForce 1 bamboo bike out of Minnesota with the BIKE+ All-in-One motor by ZeHus s.r.l. of Milan, Italy, creating a one-of-a-kind e-bike. I had so many people urge me to crowd-fund more of them, that I decided to use it as the main reward for helping fund development of our first Q•pod," Moore said.  

"We aren't offering the cheapest e-bike, only the lightest, and perhaps the greenest. After all, it's hard to be more sustainable than a bicycle built from bamboo and recycled aluminum," Moore adds.  

The first 150 backers to contribute $1975.00US, will be shipped a K15 prototype and given the opportunity to participate in a product validation program that aims to see future full-scale production of the K15.   

"Two-thousand dollars is a lot of money, I realize, until you compare it to what's available.  A comparable, ZeHus motor-equipped bike made of steel is being sold in the UK for the equivalent of $3,300.00US, while a custom, limited edition version, again with the same BIKE+ motor, is being offered by Pininfarina for more than $10,000USD.  At under two grand, we are confident we can deliver the bikes - shipping extra - and have enough left to build and deploy our prototype Q•pod."

The campaign runs through  August 14, 2015. High resolution photos of the K15 and Quikbyke Q•pod available on request.