The London-based battery company will launch the alu-framed bike in spring next year. It's claimed the bike will weigh in at 23 kilos, at least 17 kilos lighter than existing lead-acid powered electric bikes. Laptops and the like are powered by lithium-batteries.

Sakura to produce Europe’s first lithium-powered electric bike

Sakura Battery Company has developed its own Advanced Lithium Battery System (ALBS).

Company director Dan Hornby said:

“Whilst the sale of electric bikes has been growing rapidly over last few years, sales have been held back by the sheer weight of the batteries needed to get an acceptable range. We have been working to solve this problem for more than two years.

"The Lithium battery technology was fairly easy; most laptops use similar batteries. The battery management system and the electronic controller were the difficult parts to crack. Unlike the normal lead acid battery pack in a standard electric bike, which contains two or three 12 volt batteries, the ALBS system has between seven and ten 3.7 volt batteries. Each battery in the system has to be charged individually, they also need individual monitoring during discharge. This makes for some very complex control circuits."

Lithium batteries means much lower weights for bikes, increased range and a longer life for the battery pack.

Targeted to sell at around £900, Sakura’s ALBS-powered bike will compete head on with top of the range offerings from other manufacturers using heavy steel frames and lead acid batteries.

Hornby offers an upgrade path: "Electric bikes with existing lead acid battery packs can be replaced with ALBS with the proviso that the system works in a different voltage to lead acid batteries, the range advantage of a bike purpose built to take the ALBS system will be lost."

“This is a here and now product and we see it as a breakthrough for the electric vehicle market. Production fuel cell technology remains years away and as more and more manufactures follow our lead volumes will increase, it will be possible to reduce costs, bring prices down, and make ALBS the industry standard.”

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