Home > Biking

No Battery Required: French E-Bike Recharges Like a Prius

Meant for urban riding, the Pi-Pop e-bike recharges its 'super-capacitor' when moving on flat ground, downhill, or when riders pump the brakes.

pi-pop e-bikeSay hello to the Pi-Pop e-bike, which says goodbye to rechargeable batteries; (photo/Pi-Pop)
Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

What if an e-bike didn’t need a battery? An innovative e-bike from France offers assisted pedaling — without a power source.

Instead of a battery, the cutting-edge bicycle from Pi-Pop uses a supercapacitor, which stores energy as the rider pedals. This new use of the technology is the brainchild of French entrepreneur Adrien Lelièvre, who wanted to create an alternative to conventional e-bikes.

While e-bikes offer motorized transportation without consuming fossil fuels, their lithium batteries still require resource-intensive production. Extraction processes for lithium have large environmental and human costs.

Pi-Pop claims several advantages for its supercapacitor, including a longer battery life than lithium. It’s also made from carbon, conducting polymer, aluminum foils, and pulp: all recyclable materials. That’s why the Pi-Pop “really is a symbol of sobriety,” Lelièvre told EuroNews.

“Always wanting more, meaning wanting to go faster, adding more energy … this is a dead end,” he said.

Pi-Pop E-Bike: Details

Supercapacitors are not new technology. They’re already common in photovoltaic systems, digital cameras, and in some hybrid or electric vehicles. Some observers believe that supercapacitors will become more common in electric vehicles, Car Magazine reported.

In the case of the Pi-Pop, the supercapacitor allows riders to get the advantages of a motor without worrying about recharging it. That doesn’t mean it has the power of many lithium-powered e-bikes, however. The Pi-Pop website stresses that its bike isn’t meant for mountainous areas. It stores a relatively small amount of energy, with pedal assistance only available for about 1,500 feet of a 10% incline before running out of juice.

With a top speed of about 16 mph, it’s slower than many lithium-powered alternatives. However, the supercapacitor will last for 10-15 years compared to the 5-6 years of lithium batteries, the company claimed.

This aluminum bike also isn’t light, weighing nearly 48 pounds.


  • Weight: 21.7 kg (single frame size)
  • Color: White
  • Frame: Aluminum, Standard city, Men and Women, suitable for people measuring 1.55m to 1.85m (height-adjustable stem and saddle)
  • Dimensions: 200 x 120 x 70 cm (L x H x W with handlebars in use position)
  • Assistance: 24/7 up to 25 km/h
  • Wheels: Mach1 rims, 28″ double wall, Velox mounting
  • Pneumatic: Michelin World Tour VTC urban 700×35 (37-622)
  • Motor/Regenerator: Aikema Electric Drive Systems AKM100SX
  • Fork: ZOOM 141D telescopic fork
  • Disc brakes: TEKTRO MD-M280 disc brake. Disc Ø180 mm
  • Shifter: Shimano RevoShift 7-speed
  • Cassette: 12-28 teeth, single chainring 42 teeth
  • Saddle: SELLE ROYAL Ellipse Relaxed. 3D SkinGel padding
  • Derailleur: Shimano Tourney RD-TY300D 7-speed
  • Mudguard: Yes

Pi-Pop E-Bike: Pricing & Availability

The Pi-Pop e-bike, currently in its third generation, is assembled in Orléans, France. This newest model became available on Dec. 1 and costs 2,450 euros, or about $2,650.

However, Pi-Pop only produces 100 of the bikes each month, with plans to scale monthly production to 1,000 bikes by 2024. The company doesn’t make deliveries, so Americans will have to wait and see if this innovative e-bike technology will eventually make its way across the Atlantic.

Visit the company website to learn more.

QuietKat Pivot Pro Hitch

E-Bikes Are Flippin' Heavy: QuietKat Pivot Pro Offers a Transport Solution

Loading your e-bike up to head off to an adventure can be a pain, literally. The QuietKat Pivot Pro Hitch Rack might be your solution. Read more…

Subscribe Now

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!

Join Our GearJunkie Newsletter

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!