During the 2 months of fighting between Ukraine and Russia, the Ukrainian armed forces and foreign mercenaries that volunteered to help Ukraine were able to discover a number of interesting uses for electric bikes. With the help of these vehicles, not only are the sniper units able to move more rapidly in combat situations, but the medical troops can also quickly travel through dangerous fighting zones to rescue people. Due to their light weight and portable volume, the e-bikes can be easily transported via boats or trucks. The Ukrainian government and international community should do all they can to increase the deployment of these vehicles to the battlefront.
Mamuka Mamulashvili, a commander of the Georgian national legion who is stationed at East Ukraine, said in a recent interview with "The War Zone" that his troops had recently received a batch of electric bikes from the Ukrainian brand, Eleek. According the commander, these e-bikes have been very helpful to his sniper teams.
The Eleek Atom electric bike is 180 cm long, 75 cm wide, and 110 cm high. Its weight is 70 kg, and its highest speed is 90 km/h. After 5 hours of power charging, the e-bike can travel up to 150 km. It features a USB socket and 220 V electric sockets that allow military officers and soldiers to charge their electronic devices. With such features, there is no need for soldiers to carry spare batteries or portable chargers.
The Eleek Atom electric motorcycle is also very quiet. For sniper teams that need to travel across battlefronts to watch and detect enemies, this feature is very fitting. It can preserve the physical strength of the team, and allow the team to finish a surprise raid tactic and retreat within 5~10 minutes.
Mamulashvili also praised the small volume and low heat emission of the e-bikes. Although the Russian armed forces' drones use thermal imaging systems, the e-bikes are often mistaken as noises to these drones, and are thus ignored by the Russians. This factor is the key to many of the Ukrainian force’s successful attacks.
In addition, when the Russians use electrical equipment to interfere with the Ukrainians' communication signals, the electric bikes will also allow couriers to travel through different routes to personally deliver their messages, which is one of the most ancient ways of communication. Moreover, the e-bikes can quickly bring simple medical relief to wounded soldiers at different sites, in order to lower the mortality rate.
Knowing the tactical values of electric motorcycles, the Ukrainian motorcycle trading firm, Sunoco Trading & Ryder, has started a fundraising campaign that would allow it to donate more electric bikes to the Ukrainian army and foreign mercenaries.
Armed forces have a long history of using and relying on traditional motorcycles. However, with the advancements in electronic motorcycle technology, the tactical flexibility of e-bikes have increased. Thus, the US's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been developing stealth electric bikes in recent years. These electric motorcycles must be quiet, and their range must be longer than that of existing motorcycles. The earliest prototype was put to test in 2016, but it is still being developed.
In Taiwan, motorcycles and electric vehicles have also been the key focuses of numerous development projects. The recorded experiences and case studies from the Ukraine battleground may prove to be useful for future developments.
(Photo credit: Eleek)