Electric bikes usually take many hours to charge. The Schwinn Tailwind - launched today at Interbike - charges in 30 minutes

Schwinn launches fast-charge Toshiba-powered e-bike

Schwinn has incorporated Toshiba’s new Super Charge ion Battery (SCiB) technology into the Schwinn Tailwind, a brand new electric bike formally unveiled today in Las Vegas.

Toshiba’s SCiB power technology will enable Tailwind owners to recharge their eBike in 30 minutes through a standard electrical outlet (or as little as five to seven minutes through a commercial charger). By comparison, it takes four hours or longer to fully recharge the battery of virtually any other eBike in use today through a standard electrical outlet.

Tailwind owners can also expect to get 2,000 recharge lifecycles with the eBike versus the industry standard of 1,000 charges before needing to replace the battery. Tailwind riders will find that they can ride 25 to 30 miles per charge (depending upon such factors as temperature, rider weight and terrain). The Tailwind also comes with a 20,000-mile or two-year limited warranty.

"We are very pleased to supply our first SCiB product to such a well-known and respected company as Schwinn Bicycles and its parent company, Dorel Industries," said Shoshi Kawatsu, General Manager, Super Charge Battery Div. of Toshiba’s Transmission Distribution & Industrial System Company (big business card, huh?)

According to the Electric Bikes Worldwide Report, 2008 Update, 20.8 million eBikes were sold worldwide in 2007, a total expected to show only modest worldwide growth in 2009 to 21.6 million units.

US eBike sales are projected to hit 220,000 units in 2009, a two-year increase of 83 percent from 2007 US eBike sales of 120,000 units. Projections for Europe are even more robust, with eBike sales in Europe expected to hit 750,000 units in 2009 a three-fold increase versus 2007 sales of 250,000 eBikes in Europe.

Each Schwinn electric bike can be ridden in either motor-assist mode or as a conventional bike.

"We believe the convergence of environmental concerns, economic factors and proven health benefits are making everyday bike-riding a reality for more and more Americans," said Bruno Maier, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Cannondale Sports Group.

"Industry research and our own data tell us that electric bikes are a dramatically growing phenomenon within the US, and we intend to be a serious contender within the eBike category, particularly in this country."

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