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The Electrifying History of the Electric Bike: Who Invented It?

The electric bicycle, commonly known as an e-bike, has transformed the way we think about cycling. Sleek, efficient, and an eco-friendly alternative to motor vehicles, e-bikes have surged in popularity over the past few decades. But who exactly laid the groundwork for this revolutionary mode of transportation?

The invention of the electric bicycle is not attributed to a single individual. Instead, it's a technological advancement that has evolved over time with the contributions of many inventors. The very first patents that resemble an electric bike date back to the late 19th century.

The earliest known patent for a motorized bicycle was filed by Ogden Bolton Jr. in 1895. Bolton's invention featured a hub motor in the rear wheel and did not include any gears. Another significant patent was granted to Hosea W. Libbey of Boston in 1897, who devised an electric bicycle that was powered by a double electric motor.

The progression of electric bikes continued throughout the 20th century, with new patents filed for innovations in motor design and battery technology. It was not until the 1990s, however, that electric bicycles began gaining mainstream attention. This was due to advancements in battery technology such as the introduction of nickel-cadmium, and later, lithium-ion batteries, which made e-bikes more practical for everyday use.

Today, electric bicycles are a culmination of over a century of innovation and creativity. While we cannot pinpoint a single inventor, we can honor the many brilliant minds that have contributed to the development of the modern electric bike. Thriving in cities and countrysides alike, e-bikes represent a synergy of human ingenuity and the pursuit of sustainable transportation.

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