A newly developed wheel converts any bicycle into an electric vehicle. Ben Gruber reports.
STORY: Right off the bat, Michael Burtov says that he and his team at tech startup GeoOrbital, did not re-invent the wheel. But - in a sense - they did. This bicycle wheel has all the major components of an electric vehicle - a 500 watt motor, battery and a suit of electronics - all arranged to fit perfectly into the radial of a wheel made out of high density foam to avoid a flat. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL BURTOV, CEO & FOUNDER, GEOORBITAL, SAYING: "What the unique thing about this wheel is that we rearranged it. We kind of re-imagined how we put these things together." (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL BURTOV, CEO & FOUNDER, GEOORBITAL, SAYING: "Were as normally you would have a battery in one place and motor in another place and a wheel in a third place, and then you would have all of the electronics sprinkled all over the place, we just put it in one package." That package makes up an electric wheel that can be attached to virtually any bicycle - transforming it into an electric bike that can accelerate to 20 miles per hour in 6 seconds. With no pedaling the wheel has a range of 20 miles but averages 50 miles with a bit of help from the rider. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL BURTOV, CEO & FOUNDER, GEOORBITAL, SAYING: "It's not a more efficient system it's just a more practical and applicable system. It's a system that to the user as a product is more efficient." ….more efficient because it takes just 60 seconds and no tools to install. After two years and five prototypes, the company recently completed a Kickstarter campaign raising 1.2 million dollars at a record setting pace. The first orders are scheduled for delivery in February of next year.