Saturday, August 20, 2011
2012 Smart ebike revealed
A division of Daimler AG, Smart makes some of the coolest small cars on the planet – we quite love their ForTwo cabriolet. And now, Smart are doing the, er..., smart thing and getting into producing bikes. The German company will have the Smart ebike on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month and will go into production early next year. The bike will be launched in Europe and in the US in 2012, followed by other regions later.
‘The Smart ebike is a true Smart – but on two wheels. It is an extremely well designed bicycle that is sure to draw admiring glances in the city. It's also really practical and easy to ride. Anyone can zip through town on it with or without exerting themselves – depending on their fitness level and as their mood takes them. And it's even easier to find a parking space than with the Smart ForTwo,’ says Smart CEO, Dr Annette Winkler.
So why are we featuring a battery-powered bicycle here on Faster and Faster? Umm... because Suzuki aren’t talking about the 2012 GSX-R1000 just yet. But seriously, these things might be the future of two-wheeled transport. In Germany, 200,000 electric bikes were sold in 2010, up from 70,000 units in 2007. Across Europe, 200,000 electric bicycles were sold in 2007, which went up to a massive 700,000 units in 2010. ‘We, at Smart, have been gathering experience of electric drives and the mobility needs of city dwellers around the world for years. The Smart ebike is the product of this experience and compliments the Smart ForTwo extremely well. We listened to what people wanted from the perfect city bike and then came up with some clever solutions such as the integrated USB port for smartphones and energy recuperation during braking,’ says Dr Annette Winkler, whose idea of what makes the perfect city bike probably doesn’t include a Ducati 1198SP fitted with a full-noise Termignoni exhaust system.
The Smart ebike is fitted with an aluminium frame, rides on 26-inch wheels and is powered by a maintenance-free brushless rear-wheel hub motor from BionX, which produces 250 watts. The motor feeds off the bike’s 400Wh lithium-ion battery pack and, depending on the level of assistance selected, you can travel up to 100km on one full charge.
And, yes, ‘assistance’ is what you get from the ebike’s electric motor. The Smart ebike is, officially, a PedElec – a pedal-operated electric cycle – and it’s a hybrid, which means it uses a combination of your muscle power and its electric motor’s wattage to get going.
If the above details aren’t interesting enough for you, get this – the Smart ebike is fitted with an LED headlamp and taillamp and via USB connectivity, allows you to hook up your iWhatever to the bike.
‘In EU countries, neither a driving licence nor a licence plate is required as the electric motor of a pedelec only assists propulsion up to a speed of 15mph. This is also a clear advantage in terms of safety,’ says a press release from Smart. If this is the future of bikes, we’ll stick with the past...
2WD AC Schnitzer AJS Akrapovic all-wheel-drive Alpinestars AMG Aprilia Ariel Audi Avinton Bajaj Barry Sheene Benelli Bianchi Bimota BMW Bosch Brammo Brembo Britten BSA Buell Bultaco Cagiva Campagna Can-Am Carver Casey Stoner Caterham Chinese bikes Classics Concept Bike Confederate CRandS Custom-built Dainese Derbi Diesel Ducati Eddie Lawson EICMA 2008 EICMA 2009 EICMA 2012 EICMA 2013 EICMA 2014 EICMA 2015 EICMA 2016 Electric Ferrari Fischer flying machines Freddie Spencer Giacomo Agostini Gilera Harley-Davidson Helmets Henderson Hero Motocorp Hesketh Honda Horex Husqvarna Hybrid Hyosung Ilmor Indian Intermot 2012 Intermot 2014 Intermot 2016 Interviews Isle of Man TT Jawa Jay Leno Jeremy Burgess Kawasaki Kevin Schwantz KTM Lamborghini Lambretta Laverda Lazareth Lotus Mahindra Malaguti Markus Hofmann McLaren Mercedes-Benz Mick Doohan Midual Millepercento Mission Motors Mondial Morbidelli Morgan Moriwaki Moto Guzzi Moto Morini Moto2 Moto3 MotoCzysz MotoGP MotoGP-2007 MotoGP-2008 MotoGP-2009 MotoGP-2010 Motorcycle Design Motus MTT MV Agusta MZ News Nissan Norton NSU Peraves Petronas Peugeot Photography Piaggio Porsche Quad Renard Renault Riding Impressions Roehr Ronax Ronin Rotary Royal Enfield Scooters Segway Shootouts Short Films Skills Specials stunt riding Supercharged Suter Suzuki Toyota Travel trike Triumph Turbo TVS Two-stroke Ural V10 V12 V4 V6 V8 Valentino Rossi Velocette Vespa Victory Vincent Volkswagen Voxan Vyrus Wakan Wayne Gardner Wayne Rainey Wunderlich Yamaha Yoshimura Zagato