Segway-Ninebot has relatively sensationally introduced that it is constructing a hydrogen gasoline cell sportsbike – and boy does this factor appear to be it glitched its approach out of Cyberpunk 2077, full with a extremely unbelievable steering design and a tremendous value.
Here is what we all know thus far: Segway has been taking part in with efficiency bikes just a little bit recently to go together with its lineup of low cost electrical scooters, primarily offered in China. The Apex was introduced in 2019, a barely gawky trying battery-electric “tremendous scooter” able to 125 mph (200 km/h), with full sportsbike fairings.
Now, there’s an Apex H2 coming, which can run a hydrogen-electric hybrid powertrain – gaseous hydrogen saved in tanks can be transformed into electrical power by means of a gasoline cell and fed right into a buffer battery, which can energy an electrical motor that drives the rear wheel in a roundabout way or one other – we will not see whether or not there is a chain drive or a hub motor or what certainly is occurring in these renders. Sure, that is an exhaust port in entrance of the rear wheel, however all that’ll be popping out of it’s water vapor.
Segway has put the next figures on it: 60 kW (80 hp), which ought to be an honest sufficient little bit of poke, 150 km/h (~90 mph), which is a reasonably unexciting high velocity, and a sub-4 second 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time that sounds about proper. The opposite key quantity right here is CN¥69,999 – the value, which interprets to about US$10,700 and appears insanely low cost for such a pioneering automobile.
A part of what makes this bike look so outrageously next-gen is its impolite lack of suspension forks. As an alternative, the entrance wheel seems to be prefer it’s floating on air, because of a single-sided entrance swingarm and hidden monoshock association, to match the single-sided swingarm on the again. Each wheels seem to have a big cowl over the correct aspect.
It seems to be completely wild, with the often-cumbersome steering system hidden away below the entrance fairings and the handlebars poking out of holes within the aspect of the “tank” part. It will even be a ache within the bum to engineer, as a result of that entrance swingarm not solely must deal with suspension, however steering (which may get sloppy on these sorts of designs, with their a number of linkages) and braking, which wants to suit someplace too.
Nonetheless, if it comes out trying something like these renders, this factor can be a winner from day dot, even when there’s not a ton of fueling stations round but for hydrogen autos, relying on the place you reside. It simply seems to be too rattling cool to not do nicely. Even the left hand aspect of the bike seems to be fairly good.
And it will get us to pondering: might hydrogen bikes be a factor? Batteries appear destined to reign supreme within the passenger automobile market; lithium ion cells can get the job completed fairly nicely at this level, and so they stand to enhance sooner or later. However different forms of autos won’t ever work with batteries: long-haul electrical aviation and transport, for instance, want power storage techniques that may flat out carry extra electrons, and in these markets, hydrogen seems to be prefer it may discover a place.
However what about bikes? Properly, possibly there is a case for H2 on two wheels. Electrical bikes are already stellar commuting choices, however for sports activities and pleasure driving, most riders need one thing they will both device round on all day, or replenish rapidly at a gasoline station. Battery-electric bikes, ridden exhausting, are likely to run out of juice lengthy earlier than their gasoline brethren begin flashing their reserve lights, and never everybody desires to take a seat round for an hour whereas their bike fees again up at some distant cost station.
Hydrogen has two benefits right here: it affords a lot larger power density than lithium batteries, and you’ll replenish your tank about as rapidly because the gasoline tank in your GSX-R, offered there is a hydrogen station close by. Leaving apart the truth that there’s most likely not at this level, an H2 bike ought to supply extra vary on a tank than most battery bikes on a cost, and allow you to replenish and hit the highway once more fast sensible.
Segway has not launched any tank dimension, weight or vary figures for the Apex H2. These will inform us a lot about how nicely the hydrogen tank, gasoline cell, buffer battery and diverse sundries bundle up in a motorbike body, and we’ll be capable to see how the burden is affected. These, plus an impression of how the factor is to stay with, will give us a good suggestion whether or not hydrogen has a future right here. Barring some spectacular leaps in battery efficiency, hydrogen might finally show a really useful approach of decarbonizing the sports activities and touring bike markets, leaving batteries to extra sensible day by day commuting use.
Segway says it will be launching a crowdfunding marketing campaign for these bikes, as soon as it is acquired 99 orders to get began with – that is greatest I can inform from the extremely dodgy translation device I’ve had to make use of to get info out of Segways’ Chinese language web site. Deliveries are anticipated to start in 2023. Truthfully, at lower than 11K US for a motorcycle so distinctive and putting, I can not say I am not tempted. Even when there’s nowhere I can fill it up, I kinda need it within the shed.