Maxun One Is The World's First Solar Powered Bicycle

Riding Maxun OneRiding Maxun One

Yes, the Maxun One Solar Bike looks like some integrated solar technology into an electric bike design by simply slapping some big old solar panels onto a bike. Yes, it looks a little like someone got over-zealous with the size of their bike cargo rack. Don't let looks deceive you; the Maxun One is completely solar powered as well as practical. Check it out in action in the video below. 

Maxun One's website describes this bike as "one of the most remarkable vehicles on the street," saying "no one has ever seen such a thing before." They may be right on both accounts. The Maxun One employs two large solar panels, above the front and back tires, to harness the sun's energy and power the bike's motor.

Aerospace materials are used in the making of the solar panels to reduce the bike's weight. Without any heavy batteries attached, this solar powered electric bike only weighs about 35 pounds. That's lower than most electric bikes and about the same as most mountain bikes. 

Maxun OneMaxun One

The problem I see with the solar panels isn't with the weight, it's with the size. Though the Maxun website claims that the panels are "small enough to allow easy riding in traffic," they extend a good foot and a half over the front and back tires, and they are significantly wider than the bike as well. Of course, the overall dimensions of the bike are smaller than that of a car. However, I wouldn't necessarily say that maneuvering in and out of traffic, as you would on a traditional bike, on the Maxun would be "easy." 

With that said, you'd still be riding on a solar powered bicycle in traffic and that, in itself, is something special. Unlike other electric bikes, the solar power allows you to just hop on and go, instead of charging the motor's battery before hand. Of course, the downside is that the bike doesn't function so well on cloudy days, though in "low sun" conditions, the panels can still deliver up to 100 watts of power. The Maxun One also comes with a back-up battery that provides power to the bike's electronics and in cases of low sun.

View From The Solar PanelView From The Solar Panel

Speaking of power, the solar panels, harness enough energy from the sun to give the Maxun One a top speed of about 15mph. With additional pedaling, reaching 20mph should be no problem. You can check out the video below, from an on-board camera, to see the power and speed this bike can reach. 

Right now, you won't be able to find a Maxun One on the market. Designer Albert vanDalen has built and tested a prototype, but the bike isn't set for production just yet. However, you may soon see this one of a kind vehicle on the market. Of course, expect to pay a pretty penny for the chance to cruise around on your table top on wheels. 

Sources: Maxun, Tuvie, YouTube