General Motors has joined the long conga line of car companies looking to enter the bike business as car sales retreat.
And who would complain if the designs are as attractive and clever as its first attempt.
First up it has developed two e-bikes—one folding and one compact—to introduce to the market this year.
“We blended electrification engineering know-how, design talents and automotive-grade testing with great minds from the bike industry to create our e-bikes,” said Hannah Parish, GM’s director of Urban Mobility Solutions.
"We believe in the growth of e-bikes. We believe in the possibility of the future of e-bikes, so we made one,” she said.
So far GM has very little information about the bike or who those bike industry partners are. But it promises “a proprietary drive system that is small and powerful,” and notes that the bikes were “born from the same design clay as cars, by the same award-winning designers.”
GM has opted for a mid-drive electric motor that appears to integrate with an internally geared rear hub.
The battery is mounted just above the motor, yet still low on the bike, which should keep the centre of gravity comfortably low.
The folding e-bike sports a handle integrated into the stem, which allows the user to carry it when in a folded position.
The automaker points out that by 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population is anticipated to live in cities and new modes of mobility will be required.