This week is Green Transport Week 2013 (14th -23rd June) and so far it’s got to be said that Electric Bicycles are only a very small part of the bicycle market – only 25,000 were sold in the UK last year, which represents just 1% of all bicycles sold. But conceivably a new entry into the eBike market might begin to change the picture. Smart, the subsidiary of Mercedes and famed for their small cars, have just brought out an Electric Bicycle of their own – the Smart Electric Bike.
The new Smart Electric Bike is clearly aimed at those looking to find a new way to manage the practical task of commuting and of course doing so in style. Thus the Smart Electric Bike not only looks slick, but also seeks to deliver the rider to work effortlessly and indeed cleanly, being equipped with an oil free belt drive, instead of the usual oily chain. It uses the well established BionX motor which is well known for it’s silent and powerful operation – plus it can return some charge to the battery using regenerative braking. Range on a fully charged battery is claimed to be 70 miles which of course depends on terrain and the amount of pedalling effort the rider puts in, but with the comparatively large 423kwh battery 30+ miles without needing to recharge is clearly a possibility – and being a bike that just needs a plug point, recharging at work or home is easy, and indeed cheap.
Of course this is not the cheapest eBike on the market (although a very attractive Hire Purchase arrangement is available @ £59 pcm for 36 months) – but it is clearly the result of a very considered design process and carrying as it does the Smart (and thus Mercedes) name it might get more people into the joys (and practical advantages) of electric cycling.
Have a look at the Smart Electric Bike here for more info: http://uk.smart.com/products-ebike/12bfd2a1-2244-566e-ac98-c890cbee8d09