September 21, 2011
While automakers work on innovative and fuel efficient technologies for future cars, Ford is unveiling a new concept for an electric bicycle. The Ford E-Bike is designed to show how the company’s designs can translate to a bicycle. The concept bike targets a growing market for electric bicycles among commuters concerned about the environment and gas prices. Ford’s e-bike was recently unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and features a front-hub mounted motor and a lithium ion battery with a range of about 52 miles and a speed of up to 15 miles per hour. The e-bike is made of aluminum and carbon and weighs only 5 pounds.
The electric bike features cutting edge sensor technology from the world of Formula One which converts magnetic energy into kinetic energy. Sensors change shape when a magnetic field is applied and allow the wheel to detect when it is turning and apply power depending on how hard the biker pedals. The setup can even be tweaked by an app on an Android phone which fits on the bike dash. The app also shows users speed and distance as well as service reminders.
A Ford spokesperson says the e-bike market is growing tremendously with about 30 million bikes sold worldwide last year. Axel Wilke says “We see E-Bikes as an important element of urban electric mobility. More and more people are using E‑Bikes for short distance commuting and they are becoming comfortable with the concept of electric mobility.”