THURSDAY, MAY 6, 2010 AT 3:03AM
Emerging from the obligatory disco lights and dancing models is Volkswagon's Bik.e electric bike concept. The device can fold into the size of the spare tire for easy storage. Charging inside the car, the bike has a range of 20km (12.4 miles) and tops out at 20km/h (12.4 mph)
Unfortunately, without working pedals, the bicycle would be classified as a scooter and will need licensing and insurance under the current European regulation.
The exclusion of pedals, chain and transmission gave the designers freedom to make the bicycle more compact and with a lower center of mass.
The Bik.e folding mechanism is similar to the IF Mode
with two single-sided wheel supports set on opposite sides. When folded, the space between the wheels is minimized creating a very compact storage dimension.
Volkswagen has a strong presence in China being the largest foreign car maker in the country. With a nation of over 100 million e-bicycle cyclist, many of them aspiring car-owners, the Beijing auto show is the perfect venue to show off the concept.
Other manufactures have displayed e-bike designs. Lexus has an e-bike concept
that has been making the car show rounds. Ducati
Motorcycles has put into production a pedal assist electric bicycle
Automobile manufactures are eager to show that they are concerned with energy sustainability while consumers are growing more conscious of the automobile's environmental impact. An electric bike for shorter trips coupled with an automobile could be an interesting model worth further consideration.
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