CHATSWORTH, CA (BRAIN)—The rider turns the hub forward on the right side while the electric motor turns the hub backwards on the left side. It’s not some alternative reality, it's Currie’s new $3,499 Izip Express using Evo Drive.
“It sounds like it shouldn’t work with each end of the hub going in the opposite direction, but it’s similar to how a Prius combines the power output of its electric and gas motors,” said Larry Pizzi, Currie Technologies’ president.
“It relies on the differential drive technology developed by Michael Kutter and his company Dolphin, and some tricky hub technology from Sturmey-Archer to pull it off,” he added.
Sturmey’s patented hybrid drive rear hub combines a dual input planetary drive to blend human and electric power. Dolphin’s patented pedal-electric hybrid drive system uses a transmission similar to the hybrid mechanics found in some hybrid automobiles.
“While all our bikes combine human and electric power, none are as seamless as Evo Drive. It’s hard to describe the difference in feel, but its a big difference,” Pizzi said.
Riders notice the biggest change climbing, where the Express can hold to 20 mph no matter how steep the climb. On the flat the bike can cruise at 35 mph as long as the rider keeps pedaling. To get the message Currie is launching an aggressive demo program to get the bikes into consumer’s hands and promote its dealers.