Date
November 1, 2021
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Dutch design office StudioMOM developed the LAVO bike, a compact modular transport concept powered by hydrogen.

The hydrogen-powered bicycle incorporates an Australian-developed hydrogen storage technology known as the LAVO System. Unveiled last year, it makes transport over very long distances possible without heavy batteries, particulates or CO₂ emissions.

Designed to be portable and versatile, LAVO’s sleek design features a series of modular elements, which we assume makes it easier to repair as well as upgrade the bike. “We designed it as a toolkit for a new emission-free mode of transport,” says Studio Mom. “The form language is that of a means of transport—not of a bicycle. All technical elements can be assembled like Lego blocks.”

“The concept is easily adaptable—from city bike to transport bike for small business use.”

It is powered by a canister of hydrogen to enable fast recharging that is converted into electricity as needed and has a range of about 150 kilometres. The hydrogen bike canisters, which are about the size of a sparkling water canister, are integrated inside the frame of the bike and can be recharged by a LAVO storage system in about ten minutes.

The technology is an evolution of LAVO’s proprietary energy storage system that works by converting electricity from solar panels via an electrolyser and uses the power to split water into its component parts of oxygen and hydrogen. This is then stored in the LAVO System, which contains a metal alloy to absorb hydrogen and enable safe, long-term storage.

This e-bike promises a longer battery life, meaning you can go further and faster in between charges, check out Could the new high-speed VanMoof e-bike replace cars?

The main advantage of hydrogen technology here, however, is that it is possible to increase the available energy with far less weight. The LAVO hydrogen tank weighs 1.2kg whereas, for the same power on an electric bike, it would take 6kg of additional battery. Another is the possibility to refuel fast. 

Regarding the wider impact of the project, the bicycle is a great demonstration of LAVO’s technology, which also includes a home hydrogen system with the capability to store 40 kilowatt hours – enough electricity to run an average house for two days and about three times the capacity of other home energy storage systems. 

This is where the hydrogen-powered LAVO bicycle should be situated in terms of the future, within a larger series of household items. One product already in the works is a hydrogen-powered barbeque…

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