The Frankfurt Motor Show is a huge event for new cars and concepts, so Ford went one step further and used the show to unveil its new bike concept. No, not a motorcycle bike, but a bicycle.
Known for its four-wheeled vehicles, Ford thought it would be nice to add an electric bike to the mix (hence the aptly called E-Bike moniker) after noticing the abundance of scooter and bicycles in urban settings. As more and more urban dwellers seek alternate forms of transportation, Ford isn’t wasting any time on what could be the next big trend in the industry.
According to Axel Wilke, Director, Vehicle Personalization, Ford Customer Service Division Europe, the E-bike market is growing extremely fast with an estimated 30 million of them sold last year throughout the world. The E-Bike concept was created from the ground up by a Ford Design team led by Executive Design Director Martin Smith and cyber-Wear, the German brand behind the Ford Lifestyle Collection products. Developed to appeal to both men and women, the E-Bike builds on Ford’s design language to create a modern yet sleek bicycle. It also combines cutting-edge sensor technology from Formula One with the highest quality bicycle components, resulting in a more than stellar concept.
The trapezoidal frame is the heart of the E-Bike’s design and is made out of aluminum and carbon, which makes for a strong, but lightweight, frame. The electric drive system is hidden from view so that nothing looks cluttered, leaving a very clean and minimalist look. Its six-spoke V-design wheels further the sleek appearance.
The hidden drive system consists of a motor in the front wheel hub and a lithium-ion battery concealed in the frame. On a full charge the range is said to be 85 km on a full charge. It also features an integrated controller and patented magnetostriction sensor technology, which convert magnetic energy into kinetic energy, and vice versa. These sensors read the revolutions in the inner bearing and relay this information to the control unit within a hundredth of a second. Then, control unit starts or stops the electric motor, thus providing a seamless integration of the power of the legs with the power of the motor. And like a dashboard on a car, the E-bike has a handlebar-mounted display provides trip information and allows for the rider to select either Economy, Comfort and Sport support modes.
While the E-Bike Concept sounds pretty cool, we’ll all just have to wait if Ford actually produces it’s first electric bike since the company has no plans on producing the concept, but will continue to “study” it as it looks to other possible mobility solutions for the future.
Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.