We have good news for fresh air-loving, exercise-hating eco warriors. Smart has finally decided to make its ebike electric bicycle concept a reality. The company, which also makes the Smart Electric Drive electric car, has started taking pre-orders for the £2,495, two-wheeled commuter vehicle.
The jury might still be out on electric cars, but we’re huge fans of electric bicycles, so we’re pretty stoked at this news. We’re not particularly stoked at the price, though — particularly as entry-level electric cycles now cost as little as £500.
That said, the ebike justifies its price tag with its stunning looks. It is the deserving recipient of a red dot design award in the ‘best of the best’ category, and is worlds apart from most rival electric cycles, which tend to be very utilitarian or a bit flimsy-looking.
The ebike is powered by a relatively large 423Wh battery pack which uses the same lithium-ion technology as its Smart Electric Drive cousin. Lithium-ion technology not only gives it a very respectable 62 mile range, it also means the ebike’s power cell can be recharged a greater number of times over its lifespan than the old school lead-acid batteries used by some of its rivals.
The battery is well integrated into the chassis of the ebike, but can be removed and recharged separately if bringing the bike into the home or office is inconvenient.
The Smart ebike uses a 200-watt BionX electric motor integrated into the rear wheel hub. The unit switches on as soon as the rider starts pedalling, providing instant assistance. A removable BionX control panel allows the rider to select one of four power levels, with the highest power level providing the most assistance, and the lowest level the least. The control panel also contains a USB port, through which it’s possible to recharge your smart phone on the go.
On the whole, we really like the look of this thing. It’s pricey, but it’s a very tempting alternative to sitting in traffic or squeezing yourself into a packed train every morning. Head over to Smart’s Web site to pre-order one for yourself, then come brag about it on our Facebook page.