Mercedes Gets into e-Bike Biz with SMART brand
Mercedes, under their smart car banner, is launching a pretty sophisticated looking electric bicycle. Here’s their blurb on it:
The e-bike is another idea from smart for electric mobility on two wheels with no local emissions. The pioneering ebike electric bicycle study embodies sophisticated technology, versatility and futuristic design. In a word: typical smart.
Impressively, they mention “no local emissions” which subtly recognizes that the electricity to charge it has to come from somewhere, but as we’ve learned over the years, we’re talking pennies on the dollar versus the cost and environmental impact of using a standard car.
Built to sell next to the e-scooter, which has twist throttled power on demand, the e-bike will offer four levels of automatic pedal assistance, meaning it won’t have a throttle…you’ll have to pedal at least a little bit.
Weighing in at 48.5lbs (22 kg), the smart e-Bike has a range of 18, 31, 43 or 56 miles (30, 50, 70 or 90 kilometers) depending on assistance level. . The gear ratio is automatically adjusted in two levels depending on the speed, while the maximum speed depends on the terrain and rider input. The smart features a 250 watt brushless direct current wheel hub motor that is integrated in the rear wheel. The propulsion current is stored in a compact lithium-ion battery with voltage of 36 volts and capacity of 9.6 Ah. The battery pack is housed above the crankset on the frame and is concealed behind panels on the frame. The battery can be fully charged in two to three hours.
Other highlights include a belt drive rather than a chain and complete smartphone integration to show controls, battery level, etc.
Images after the break…
Above and below: The belt drive and hydraulic disc brakes should keep everything clean and maintenance free, big selling points for this bike’s likely end user.
A full LED headlamp is integrated into the handlebar, so it turns with the steering, something Mercedes akins to the “Active Curve Illumination” now coming on high end cars.Â Aaah, yes, another example of bicycles leading the way for automotive tech, no? There’s an LED rear lamp under the saddle.
The integrated smartphone handles various functions like speed, heartrate monitor and, best of all, a starter and immobilizer…meaning you need to insert your phone in order to use the bike, which should keep lazy friends from taking a joy ride, but also making it harder to share the bike if you have to pair it. Removing the phone locks the rear wheel, helping to deter impromptu thefts. The app will have GPS tracking to help you remember where you parked your bike, something European users may find more useful for now, as well as syncing with their Car2go car sharing service so you can reserve a vehicle if the weather prevents you from riding.
We’re assuming they’re smart enough to offer various smartphone cradles and apps and not limit it to iPhone4 users.