How much do you think the Vello Bike self-charging claim is for real?

Dan Salas

New Member
The Vello bike folks are making quite an outrageous claim on their bike's ability to re-charge to 100% while riding, therefore theoretically will never need to be connected to an outlet. With exception to a few quick write-ups, I've not read any third-party posting that substantiates these claims. Are you aware of any? Here's their Indigogo information:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/...elf-charging-folding-e-bike-bicycle#/comments

Thanks,
Dan
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
What they are basically claiming is perpetual motion exists, but it does not.

I do like the folding aspect of the bike though, very clever design.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
If you shut off the motor and put it in regen mode, enough pedaling would eventually charge the battery. The question would be how many hours of pedaling would be needed to replenish the battery after a half hour of powered riding.

I'm going to guess at eight t0 twelve hours. That would imply 4-6 % recharging efficiency.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Ahh, but @harryS, the promo info indicates that this magical bike with perpetual motion regen is only valid for uphill power use, not continuous. I still think it's beyond a little stretch of reality but a clever sales pitch nonetheless :D
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
Ahh, but @harryS, the promo info indicates that this magical bike with perpetual motion regen is only valid for uphill power use, not continuous. I still think it's beyond a little stretch of reality but a clever sales pitch nonetheless :D
Exactly.
Besides, ebike that "never needs charging" (because of regen) doesn't make practical sense other than exercising machine. In the end, you will spend more physical energy on charging it and then using in e-mode, than if you were just pedaling a regular bike. Regen efficiency is low, and ebike is heavier than comparable mechanical models, so the net result will be negative.
 

daytriker

New Member
No one is claiming perpetual motion with this bike. That would infer that no energy needs to be generated. The claim is straight forward in that the riders & subsequent motion of the bicycle is assisting the recharge process. Their material also states that in Turbo mode you will need to charge the battery but if you live in an area where you cover mostly flat roads & a lower assist level with the re-gen feature should be able to offer almost unlimited assisted riding. - It's a brilliant idea.
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
The Vello bike folks are making quite an outrageous claim on their bike's ability to re-charge to 100% while riding, therefore theoretically will never need to be connected to an outlet. With exception to a few quick write-ups, I've not read any third-party posting that substantiates these claims. Are you aware of any? Here's their Indigogo information:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/...elf-charging-folding-e-bike-bicycle#/comments

Thanks,
Dan
You are going to need one heck of a steep down hill run, to get any decent amount of re-charging, and a very long hill at that. It might give you an extra 5% of battery boost, but probably not enough to get you back up the same hill you came down. (unless you use most of your own leg power). Remember those exercise bikes at the science museum, where you got on them and pedaled, to generate enough electricity to turn on the light bulb ? Well if you don't or haven't, suggest you give it a try, and see how hard it is to light up just a little 40 watt incandescent bulb, and then keep it on for a few minutes. Then you'll understand how much of a joke the concept of 're-gen' is on any 'e-bike', and how worthless it is in terms of adding more 'charge' back to the battery. Re-gen works great on a 4000 lb vehicle, when you have the massive weight and gravity, working for you. But on a 40 lb bike not so much. lol. Of course this would be on Indiegogo, and lets see if the firm lasts longer than 18 months.
 

daytriker

New Member
Well, they must be doing something right as they have surpassed your 18 month threshold many months ago. Generally, I would agree with your statement that the amount of recovery from re-gen on a typical E Bike is not worth the added complexity, weight, expense or amount of energy regained. I actually recommend against buying Direct Drive Motors with re-gen for these very reasons on my website. However this motor is something new & does not have the typical parasitic drag of a regen system. You might have a change of opinion by watching this video. -
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Unless I'm wrong, these vello guys did not invent that motor. The motor has been commercially available on its own for a while, probably for two years now. Is it being used by Bosch or had its plans stolen by the Chinese?

The guy who runs Grin, Justin Le, one of the smarter entrepeneurs in ebikes, has done a lot of work in regen and only claims about 10% recovery out of regenerative braking in hilly areas.

Meanwhile, if they passed their threshold months ago, must be a pile of money out there doing something, but it's not shipping bikes yet.
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
Well it pretty much proves the laws of physics. The guy is pedaling nearly the entire time, DOING ALL THE WORK OF CHARGING, and ironically not getting any assist while he is charging, so therefore, why the heck buy the electric bike in the first place ??? Also, note how slow he is going, which very likely means he is doing a lot of work input albeit at a slow pace, so he can personally conserve his own energy, and make it the entire way. Sorry, but this is not opinion, it's simply the laws of physics. You have to think about what you are saying, and do some actual research, and at the very least, understand that if this motor was somehow doing regen better than anyone else, and required very little effort or re-charged on its own while going down hills, and then provided electric assist most of the time your were riding, they'd be selling it for a much higher price, and as people above have suggested you'd have whats historically been characterized as a perpetual motion machine. Scary that people rely on a video that is leaving so much for the user to assume. There is absolutely nothing new there, that hasn't been done before as motors can easily be used as generators. The video also portrays a mis-leading impression that he is somehow charging the battery by the few times he rotates the pedals backward. I assure you that does very very very very little in the way of charging. If you want to learn how to change the power electronics in a motor, so you can charge it while pedaling forward, just send me an email, and I'll provide the reference material for you. Its scary how gullible so many people are these days. Did they learn a thing in HS physics classes, or take any college level mechanical engineering and electrical classes ?? Or do they not teach the fundamentals anymore since I graduated from HS in 1980 ? sheesh.
 

daytriker

New Member
HarrvS, you are correct this motor was brought to market initially by another company whose name escapes me at the moment. I believe it was a Swiss Company. I am not sure where you are getting your information but they have been shipping bikes since 2016. I think you may be getting confused about a new model Vello + which may not be shipping yet. I am very familiar with Justin from Grin Technologies as he is located not far from me in Vancouver, BC. As for being one of the smartest in E bike Technology that is purely opinion based as changes in the industry are happening so quickly that I doubt very much he has time to stay up to date on everything & still run his Business. Motor & Battery efficiency are improving in leaps & bounds & much of what is on his website is already outdated.
Mike'S - Pedalling the whole time? How much of the video did you watch? Doing all the work of charging? The charge meter on the video would show otherwise. Why would you want assist when you are not pedalling? Your statements are simply negative without basis or foundation. Conserving his own energy? Wow! Can you think of any other faults with this system? It is not intended to be a Motorcycle or even a full fledged E Bike. It is simply to add assist when & where needed for example to make it easier to ride against a headwind or up a hill. Since they are based in Europe & have to meet the legally required limit of 250 watts, were you expecting them to be riding faster?
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Here is an example of a ride I took recently with 3000+ elevation gain/loss
F5DDF240-3FE8-4246-9C07-6DD7271E58FE.jpeg

I don’t use regen to aid in mileage, although it does add an incremental amount. What it is good for is as a drag brake I have a front hub motor and I use it all the time on downhills, coming to a stop and whenever I require light braking.

There is no way from my experience with regen on a bicycle that it will perform as advertised on that bike or any other like it. Unless of course as pointed out you are willing to pedal around all day with it on and go nowhere fast negating the whole reason for riding an e bike.
 

Alphbetadog

Active Member
100% completely adulterated BS!
Kinda like the old-timey tonic (snake oil) ads that made so many outlandish claims.
 

daytriker

New Member
IRA were you using a typical Direct Drive front hub motor with regen capability? If so, this is old outdated technology. Bionix which is considered to be one of the best in this type of power generator & having the most advanced controllers on the market had to apply for a Government loan in order to catch up with the new systems coming out. I suspect they are using a similar system to what you have. Formula 1, Formula E, Tesla & others have already started using K.E.R.S. systems & it is my belief that the Vello may be using a smaller similar version. It is a window into what is to come from Bosch, Panasonic, Sony & possibly Bafang or other Chinese manufacturers. As for Snake Oil, I cannot see these guys duping the most prestigous Engineering Award out of Europe - The Red Dot Award for excellence and the Formula 1 guys would not waste their time, money or effort on an idea that doesn't work. Would I buy their system? Probably not since I can build a better performing system that I don't mind plugging in.
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
HarrvS, you are correct this motor was brought to market initially by another company whose name escapes me at the moment. I believe it was a Swiss Company. I am not sure where you are getting your information but they have been shipping bikes since 2016. I think you may be getting confused about a new model Vello + which may not be shipping yet. I am very familiar with Justin from Grin Technologies as he is located not far from me in Vancouver, BC. As for being one of the smartest in E bike Technology that is purely opinion based as changes in the industry are happening so quickly that I doubt very much he has time to stay up to date on everything & still run his Business. Motor & Battery efficiency are improving in leaps & bounds & much of what is on his website is already outdated.
Mike'S - Pedalling the whole time? How much of the video did you watch? Doing all the work of charging? The charge meter on the video would show otherwise. Why would you want assist when you are not pedalling? Your statements are simply negative without basis or foundation. Conserving his own energy? Wow! Can you think of any other faults with this system? It is not intended to be a Motorcycle or even a full fledged E Bike. It is simply to add assist when & where needed for example to make it easier to ride against a headwind or up a hill. Since they are based in Europe & have to meet the legally required limit of 250 watts, were you expecting them to be riding faster?[/QU

Here is an example of a ride I took recently with 3000+ elevation gain/loss
View attachment 19199
I don’t use regen to aid in mileage, although it does add an incremental amount. What it is good for is as a drag brake I have a front hub motor and I use it all the time on downhills, coming to a stop and whenever I require light braking.

There is no way from my experience with regen on a bicycle that it will perform as advertised on that bike or any other like it. Unless of course as pointed out you are willing to pedal around all day with it on and go nowhere fast negating the whole reason for riding an e bike.

Amen !
 

ebike Richard

New Member
IRA were you using a typical Direct Drive front hub motor with regen capability? If so, this is old outdated technology. Bionix which is considered to be one of the best in this type of power generator & having the most advanced controllers on the market had to apply for a Government loan in order to catch up with the new systems coming out. I suspect they are using a similar system to what you have. Formula 1, Formula E, Tesla & others have already started using K.E.R.S. systems & it is my belief that the Vello may be using a smaller similar version. It is a window into what is to come from Bosch, Panasonic, Sony & possibly Bafang or other Chinese manufacturers. As for Snake Oil, I cannot see these guys duping the most prestigous Engineering Award out of Europe - The Red Dot Award for excellence and the Formula 1 guys would not waste their time, money or effort on an idea that doesn't work. Would I buy their system? Probably not since I can build a better performing system that I don't mind plugging in.


The Vello is scheduled to come out sometime in February. I'll be very curious what Court comes up with when he evaluates the bike!

-Richard
 

Heisenberg

New Member
What they are basically claiming is perpetual motion exists, but it does not.

I do like the folding aspect of the bike though, very clever design.
My unit on a 10 mile ride on bike trails just about breaks even on the charge
It is full of over passes . The regen puts a 1 mph drag on level ground, and turns off on slight slopes. The power assist is a knee saver for seniors. As battery technology increases the next generation will be far superior to currents unit.
 

jondron

New Member
Absolutely real - in eco mode, my Vello Bike+ can easily come home with more charge than it had when I left. Of course, nothing comes for free: it takes a bit more effort to pedal on the flat, and it reduces the speed going downhill if you backpedal (up to 25kph - after that, both motor and charging cut out). In eco mode the motor assists when starting, and when going up a hill (it has a sensor so it knows). The assistance is not great, and hardly noticeable on anything steeper than 10%, but it helps to even out the ride. Good gears would be cheaper and just as effective, I think. In ebike or turbo mode it behaves more like a conventional e-bike, very smooth assistance, wonderful against a bit of wind or on a shallow gradient, but still not fantastic for going up steeper hills, though it does help more. In ebike mode I reckon I get about 20-40km range, depending on hills. The hills really eat up power, and there's not much of it. I have a 2km slope of about 15-20% going up from my house and it is not unusual for that to eat 30% of the battery, sometimes more on a hot day. If it weren't for the appalling app, this would be great.