Categories: TechTesla

Tesla’s Next Project: The Model B Electric Bicycle

What do you do after you have conquered the electric vehicle, space rocket, solar panel and tunneling industries? Well, apparently according to Elon Musk it’s electric bikes! The e-bike scene is getting quite crowded but that has never stopped the visionary CEO. This means you could one day be riding a Tesla-branded bicycle.

Musk’s interest in e-bikes is not a recent thing though. As far back as 2018, he had hinted that electric two-wheelers were on his creative mind in an interview with Kara Swisher. Nothing much was heard about it after that until recently when images of a futuristic-looking e-bike began circulating on the internet.

Like any Tesla product, the Model B bike, which is still a concept, is doing many things differently and packing a lot of tech.
The most conspicuous thing with this bike, designed in partnership with Kendall Toerner, is the wheel spokes that have been totally replaced with shock absorbers. While looking like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, they will ensure that you get a smooth ride. Each wheel gets an electric motor (a first for e-bikes) to make sure pedaling does not leave you exhausted.

To turn the front wheel in the direction you want to go, you would apply the right amount of pressure on the appropriate side of the handlebar, which is fixed in place, unlike all other bikes that require you to turn the handlebar itself. This may take a bit of getting used to but shouldn’t be a deal breaker for most people.

You would also be able to monitor the Model B’s metrics like battery level and follow maps using the integrated dashboard. Don’t expect it to be as large or sleek as the ones found in the cars though.
Mounted on the wheels is a sleek frame that can be folded in half for easy storage and transport.

Musk and Toerner have thought about your physical safety here, as the Model B is fitted with proximity LIDAR sensors at the front and rear. They scan your surrounding during your rides and alert you when an obstacle is getting too close for comfort. You can even let the auto-pilot control your ride with the aid of more sensors located in the bicycle frame.

Building an e-bike is not a tall order for Tesla, a company that has made a name (and a lot of money) for itself building enthusiastically accepted electric cars. There are many ways they can improve on the e-bike.
The battery is one area where Tesla could shake things up. Rather than using the run-of-the-mill 18650 battery cells (that last a few years) other makers stick into their bikes, we could see the Model B getting a more energy-dense and lighter pack that lasts a decade. Tesla could also import its regenerative braking from their cars. The electric motors too could receive a tune-up. Ultimately, Tesla can leverage on its existing manufacturing infrastructure to make it profitable to produce the bikes in the US.

While we wait for official news from Tesla on the Model B, do you wish for solar charging on the upcoming Cybertruck? Check out the next article to see what Musk himself thinks about the idea.

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