Today's New York Times has an article about General Wes Clark promoting bicycle warfare. http://www.nytimes.com/pages/technology/index.html (registration required) He's Chairman of the board of WaveCrestLabs who make electronic motors that dynamicaly optimize performance at any rpm or load http://www.wavecrestlabs.com/technology/overview.html. The bicycle is a way to bootstrap the company into larger motors for hybrid cars. It seems to be microprocessor controlled electromagnets like a particle accelerator. I'm a bit surprised electromagnets could be much more efficient than permanent magnets.