Toronto, ON –The smart ebike is going into series production and is celebrating its Canadian premiere at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto . A pioneer of local emission-free electric mobility, smart is further expanding its e-product portfolio with this step. The smart ebike is being developed and built in cooperation with the renowned e-bike manufacturer GRACE, based near Berlin, and will be officially launched in the first half of 2012 in North America and Europe.
smart CEO Dr. Annette Winkler says "The smart ebike is a true smart – but on two wheels. It's not just an extremely well designed bicycle that is sure to draw admiring glances in the city – it's also really practical and simple to ride. Anyone can zip through town on it with or without exerting themselves – depending on their fitness level and as the mood takes them. And it's even easier to find a parking space than with the smart fortwo."
Power-assisted mobility on two wheels has been growing in popularity around the world. According to the association of the two-wheeler industry (ZIV), sales figures in Germany rose from 70,000 in 2007 to 200,000 in 2010. By 2018, the ZIV predicts that e-bikes will make up 15 percent of all bicycle sales in Germany. Overall sales are booming as well across Europe. In 2007, approximately 200,000 people opted for an electric bicycle throughout Europe, and according to the ZIV, this figure has steadily risen. In 2009, e-bike sales across Europe surpassed 500,000, and by 2010 they reached approximately 700,000, which represents an increase of 40 percent.
With its unconventional design in line with the style of the brand, versatile functions appropriate for city use and high technology standards that are demonstrated by the extremely efficient high-performance drive package, the smart ebike will be exceptionally well-positioned in the market.
Annette Winkler says, "We at smart have been gathering experience of electric drives and the mobility needs of city dwellers around the world for years. The smart ebike is the logical product of this experience and complements the smart fortwo extremely well. We listened to what people wanted from a perfect city bike and then came up with some clever solutions such as the integrated USB port for smartphones or energy recuperation during braking.”
Distinctive design with the characteristic smart signature
Created by smart designers, the smart ebike boasts a clear design idiom and an independent appearance. It noticeably breaks from conventional bicycle design through the attractive integration of the components of the electric drive. The main components such as the frame, battery housing, handlebars, lights and mudguards have been designed and developed specifically for smart.
The two-material and two-colour concept is also typically smart. The plastic battery housing forms a striking contrast to the aluminium frame of the smart ebike, and the dynamic look is rounded out by 26 inch wheels and LED technology used for the front headlamp and rear lights.
Efficient and powerful electric drive
smart's high technological standards are manifested in the extremely efficient and high-performance drive package. As a pedelec (Pedal Electric Cycle) the smart ebike is strictly speaking a hybrid vehicle: the electric motor – a maintenance-free and brushless rear-wheel hub motor from BionX – switches on as soon as the rider starts pedaling. Muscle power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a durable and quiet belt drive, and an integrated three-speed gear hub provides comfortable gear changing.
The strengths of the ebike include its agile performance: the rider of the smart ebike decides how much power he or she wants the 250 watt electric motor to deliver by pressing a button on the handlebar. There is a choice of four power levels, with the fourth and highest level providing maximum pushing power. Depending on the power level selected and the manner of cycling, a battery charge can last for more than 100 kilometres.
With more than 400 Wh the lithium-ion battery is one of the most powerful batteries in its respective segment, and it has been attractively integrated on the smart ebike on the lower bar in the frame triangle under a plastic housing. The portable battery can be charged either at a normal socket or while riding, with the latter offering advantages in terms of cost and environmental impact. The wheel hub motor also becomes a generator when the rider brakes, recuperated and storing braking energy in the smart ebike's lithium-ion battery.
High-quality components guarantee dynamic, safe and fun cycling. For example, MT4 disc brakes from Magura are fitted at the front and rear. The fully integrated brakes interrupt the power supply to the motor during braking, stop its propulsion power and reverse the polarity so that it becomes a generator for recuperation of braking energy.
The smart ebike also features state-of-the-art infotainment: a USB interface is a standard feature and enables various mobile end devices to be connected with the help of a versatile cradle. There are even plans to develop a special app for the iPhone which would allow smart ebike riders to use their iPhone as an information centre to call up such useful information as charging status or battery range.
Simple operation and highly functional
Straightforward operation, a low weight, excellent ergonomics and a practical stowage space concept all contribute to making the smart ebike fun to ride. As a pedelec, the smart ebike combines the comfort of a motorized two-wheeler with the easy handling of a bicycle.
Charge management is just as simple: the battery can either be charged right on the ebike or it can be easily removed for charging at an indoor socket and then reinserted.
Thanks to different variants for the handlebars and seatpost, the smart ebike can be adjusted to fit riders of different heights – a simple and efficient solution that is typically smart. A rear rack and further stowage options will be offered, and highly functional bags in the smart design tailored to the rack system are currently being developed.
Expert partner from the two-wheeler industry
smart is developing and producing the new smart ebike in close cooperation with the e-bike manufacturer GRACE based near Berlin. The smart ebike is therefore "Made in Germany", and will be produced to the highest standards.