Electric mobility is spreading to all corners of the world, and is now reaching important areas of society. The existence of vehicles with this technology is no longer limited to urban rides or sports competitions, but military forces from different countries are also appealing to innovation.
In Australia, soldiers are testing the use of high-powered electric bicycles for military functions, focusing on silent scouting missions.
Troops from the Queensland Mounted Infantry Light Horse Regiment are testing these high-powered vehicles, although few would consider them bicycles, considering they can reach high speeds.
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Some have functional pedals, but are capable of exceeding 80 kilometers per hour during acceleration-only operation. Those high levels are made possible by an impressive 6.2 kW motor. Electric bikes can be pedal-powered by a 9-speed gearbox built around the bottom bracket, where many would traditionally hold a mid-drive motor.
The precise description of the electric bike has not been officially released by the Australian military, but features indicate that it is the B-52 range from Australian company Stealth Electric Bikes.
They weigh 51 kg, carry 2 kWh batteries and rated for ranges up to 100 km on a single charge, but at slower speeds. At a power output of 50 km / h, they produce only 65 dB of sound. That’s well below the audible signature of a gasoline-powered motocross bike. They can be more easily mounted on a truck or other military vehicle, and even pedaled backwards if the battery runs out of power.
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Thomas Ovey, a corporal with the Queensland Mounted Infantry noted that “the footprint is minimized due to less power, less noise and it’s not kicking up a lot of dust that could be seen by enemy forces. It’s much more efficient than a standard motorcycle. They’ll call us in, we’ll get the motorcycles out, head over there and get the information.”
“We cover larger territory much faster and it saves time instead of waiting for troops to come to us when they’ve found something. It’s easier to get the electric bikes out and back,” he added.
It is worth noting that the use of these vehicles by military forces is expanding, since New Zealand and Norway’s armies have already carried out tests. In addition, mainly in Europe, police forces have relied on this technology for their security work.
Written by I Jhonattan González