Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Innovations on Electric Bikes Promise to Increase their Market Share

The first promising new electric bike model comes from German industrial designer Christian Vollmer. This bike uses a "pedelec system", meaning it has no need for a chain. Instead, it has a toothed belt which transfers clean power from the engine to the rear wheel. Read all about it on the green design blog Inhabitat

The second model has been released by Volkswagen at the Auto China Show. Dubbed the bik.e (yes, that’s how it’s spelled), the sleek portable cycle is capable of folding down to the size of a spare tire and has range of 12.5 miles and a top speed of 12.5 mph (the fastest speed allowed by electric vehicles for passengers to go without helmets in Germany). Volkswagen has announced plans to actually roll out the bike as a “mobility enhancer” option on their autos, as the bike can be replenished by a vehicle’s DC current.

Volkswagen's electric bikes are most likely to be first commercialized in China, where they were released at the Auto China Show, and Germany, where there is already a sizable consumer market for electric bikes. No word yet on when this new VW model will be available in the United States. 

Check out the video from the Auto China Show 2010 - just be sure not to miss the undersea dancers straight of Zoolander!

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