Faraday Technology

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Where’s the battery?

 

diagram showing battery located in downtube of faraday ebike

One of our signature design features is the integration of the battery into the downtube. It was important for us to maintain the classic lines and the ride quality that comes with a well-made bicycle. To successfully “hide” the battery in the frame, we needed to build one from scratch with best-in-class Panasonic cells. It’s accessible through a port in the bottom bracket. Over 10 sensors continuously monitor the battery to ensure optimal safety and performance. The result is a one of the most energy dense batteries on the market.

 

What’s that thing on the back of the bike?

electric bike controller

Nope, not part of the battery. This small, but mighty clever “controller” runs all of the electronics on the bike and is often described as the “brain.” Our proprietary algorithm is monitoring the force and cadence of your pedal strokes from the bottom bracket and communicating that to this unit, which in turn sends a signal to the motor to kick in proportionally. All that is a fancy way to say that the ride and pedal assist is super smooth and feels like a natural extension of your body – no surging or delayed starts.

 

Why did Faraday go with a front-hub motor?

ebike front hub motor

One of the reasons a Faraday stands out is because it’s hard to spot the electronics. Our motor is no different. We’ve picked a 250W motor that is sleek and weighs in under 4 lbs. A geared hub motor, like ours, is quiet and provides excellent torque for quick acceleration – especially when paired with our 26” wheels. By keeping the power on the front wheel rather than in the pedals or gears of the bike, we’re able to maintain that natural biking sensation that’s elusive to a lot of the electric bikes out there. Separating the motor from the drivetrain also cuts down on the wear and tear on the chain and gears making it the better choice for ease of use and lower maintenance. It’s an ideal choice for commuting or daily around town riding.

 

What kind of range can I get with my Faraday?

For electric bikes there’s a direct trade off between range and weight. It was an intentional design choice for us to keep our bikes as light as possible so that you could still do things like carry them up stairs or put them on a bike rack without a problem. Also, according to national survey data we found that 50% of all trips are under 3 miles, yet only 2% of those are currently completed by bike. We designed our bikes to hit the sweet spot between providing the needed range while also keeping the weight down and the frame uncluttered. That said, plenty of people have longer commutes or want to take an all day ride. Our auxiliary battery, coming soon, will double our bike’s range to 40 miles.

 

What type of hills can a Faraday handle?

Keep in mind that Faraday’s were designed for and tested on the notoriously hilly streets of San Francisco. To achieve this we kept the weight down and use a 250W geared front hub motor that has all the torque you need. Combined with our 8 gears that come standard on any Faraday, you can flatten just about any hill.

 

Can I switch between modes to go faster or slower?

intuitive mode selector for a faraday electric bike

Yes! We use a straightforward and intuitive “mode selector.” There aren’t 6 assist levels and a bunch of numbers to distract you, just “standard” assist for easy gliding and “boost” mode for when you really want to flatten a hill or pull away from the pack at a stop light. Want to get some extra-exercise in? Just flip the switch to “off” and pedal to your heart’s content. It’s intuitive and easy to use – just like a bike should be. An small “e-ink” display that doesn’t draw any power but is “always on” shows you how much battery you have left.

 

Why do electric bikes cost as much as they do?

You can find eBikes that cost between $800 and $10,000. There’s obviously going to be a huge range in quality, technology, and customer support across those different price points. We think our starting price of $2499 for a Porteur S or Cortland S is a great value. We only use top-notch components to make a reliable and high quality ride. Our electronics are guaranteed for two years and the steel frame is guaranteed for life. Virtually every part on our bikes, including the electronics and firmware, are custom built for the job.

Think of a Faraday as an investment in a form of transportation that you’ll actually look forward to using. Car ownership is estimated at $9,000/year. A metro pass in most cities is around a $100/month. We offer a 0% financing plan that gets the cost of owning a Faraday down to $3.50/day for two years.

 

How would you compare your bikes to the others?

Faraday started as part of a competition to create the “ultimate utility bicycle.” For us, this meant creating a versatile bike that’s lightweight enough to carry up a flight or stairs or put on a bike rack but has features like smooth pedal assist and cargo capacity to potentially take the place of how you use a car. This design challenge required us to develop something from scratch without using anything “off the shelf”. We think the result is an unmatched ride quality that stands out from the competition. Watch the video above to see how riders new to Faraday reacted to their first ride.

 

Do your bikes recharge while you’re braking?

No, we do not. Nor do most modern electric bicycles. Why? The main reason is that it’s just no fun. It kills all the joy eBikes bring to zipping around a city effortlessly uphill and downhill. The second (more technical) reason is that on a bicycle “regen” recovers very very little energy back to the battery. The amount of recoverable energy is dependent on mass and velocity. Regen on cars works because of their high mass and high velocity. Comparatively, bicycles have extremely low mass and relatively low velocity, so the recoverable energy available ends up being very low. Add these two together and it’s a high-cost low reward result.

 

What is the total life of a battery?

The total life cycle of our battery in about 2 years or 500 complete cycles. The battery is rated to deliver 70% of initial capacity after 500 complete charge/discharge cycles. This means that you can safely continue to use the battery beyond this period, but we’d recommend a new battery for optimal performance and range. Our batteries can be swapped out easily by your local shop, we have an instruction video and manual available explaining how to do it.

 

What do I need to do for long-term battery care?

Not much – the battery largely takes care of itself. All lithium-ion batteries discharge over time. If you store a battery too long without charging it, the cell voltage can drop to a “sleep” state which can be harmful to the battery. To avoid this, it is best to practice the following:

  • Never put a bike with a depleted battery into storage
  • Charge a Faraday for at least one hour every three months
  • For six months of storage or longer, charge the battery to 80% for the best result
  • Don’t store a Faraday for longer than one year – they want to be ridden!