Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

E-Bike Battery Charged by EGO Yard Maintenance Battery

An EGO e-bike is being charged by an EGO lawn equipment charger. (Courtesy photo).

Russ Lanoie

When we considered purchasing e-Bikes this past summer, I pondered whether a maker of cordless electric yard tools could produce their own e-Bikes so that expensive batteries could be shared. This would help eliminate having to have yet another brand of battery systems like most of us who own different brands of power hand and yard tools have accumulated in recent years. These run the gamut from the electric chain saw down to the electric tooth brush. It would also mean that we could take along spare batteries that we already have when we go places that are away from plug-in power (campers call it Shore Power) but want to recharge or swap bike batteries without having to run a generator.

But then I realized that I could use the batteries from our new EGO Zero-Turn riding mower and our other EGO yard maintenance tools to recharge bike batteries using the inexpensive inverter that couples to any of the batteries. The 110 volt charger that comes with the bike could simply plug into the inverter as a form of portable power.

So, on one camping trip to a state park without electrical hookup, we tried this scenario on our new Cannondale level 2 e-bikes and found it to work without a hitch. It is a bit of wiring spaghetti but not all that complicated. As shown in the photo, the battery slides onto the inverter, the e-bike battery charger plugs into the inverter just as it would a wall socket, and the output wire plugs into the bike battery without even having to remove it from the bike. The draw from the bike battery charger is well within the capability of the inverter, and we now have several batteries to provide power since four substantial batteries (10 amp-hours, or Ah) came with the mower, and we also have a couple of 5Ah batteries for our string trimmer, hedge trimmer, leaf and debris blowers and tiller/cultivator.

Whether or not we could actually connect all of this range-extending hardware together when we are riding is a curious consideration, but it is unlikely that we would ever ride long enough to require such a marriage. Just knowing that we could carry at least one spare battery with the inverter and bike battery charger is comforting. I have not priced a spare Cannondale battery but now really have no reason to!

And wouldn’t you know it, EGO is about to bring out their own bike powered by their interchangeable fleet of batteries. It is considered more of a scooter that will go 28 miles per hour, but because it does not have pedals, it will likely be banned from many of the trails that electric assisted pedal-powered bikes are permitted to use. Still, it is a step in the right direction and may in fact point the way for e-bikes to be powered by lawn mower, string trimmer, or leaf blower batteries.

Russ Lanoie is a contributing writer and distributor for G.E.T. Lanoie is a long-time solar proponent in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and operated his Alternative Systems business in the 1970s—80s selling solar hot water systems, composting toilets and Window Quilts®. He lives in a passive solar home which has had Daystar solar hot water for forty years and 11kW of PVs on his barn since 2015. www.RuralHomeTech.com.

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