Is this electric bike kit as good as the CNET article and the Youtube clip make it sound like?
I think in principle, this is a great idea. Though it’s not entirely original. For instance, the Copenhagen Wheel, offered virtually the same thing, rear-hub with motor, battery, and controller. Including torque sensor, and 3 speed internal gears. DK-City, a Taiwan based electric bike manufacturer also has the Revo kit. Front hub, with all in 1, motor, battery, and controller, and wireless digital display.
In reality this concept is not practical. Batteries and controllers do need to be replaced from time to time. So having them in the hub means extra work, and extra complication. I’m not sure whether the baterry and controller are part of the stator or rotor. In other words, whether they are stationary, or revolve around the axel. If they do revolve around the axel, then obviously this will increase the likelihood the breakdown of the battery and controller.
My guess is, this sort of wheel, even if the designer manages to get it into production, it will not get much traction in the ebike industry.
I do love the idea of the tracking chip though (again, not an original idea). I think it should be added to every bicycle, be it electric bike or regular push bike. Bike theft is a nuisance , and a burden to the cycling community, so anything we can do to minimize it, will be great for cycling.