Electrifying the Bicycle - Pi Mobility
In 2000, electric car industry veteran and Pi Mobility founder Marcus Hays set out to make a better and more environmentally friendly electric bike. The result was a vehicle 20-30 times more efficient than a conventional motorcycle.
The key to making a product more sustainable is simply making it last longer. Electric bikes are traditionally made of thermoplastics, resulting in reliability issues in general, and dangerous cracks in particular. Using a solitary arch of recycled aluminum, Hays and team significantly increased the durability of their bike while dramatically reducing the amount of electricity required to produce it.
Part of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program, which supports clean technology innovators, Pi Mobility used the Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping to produce a data-rich 3D digital prototype. Through the prototype, the company quickly realized how it could save $335,000 by adjusting its design, and calculated that over the next few years it would easily save seven figures, get to market much quicker than the competition, and attain profitability a full year ahead of schedule.