The smart ebike (from Daimler) is going into series production. A near-series version of the smart ebike will be on display at the Eurobike show in Friedrichshafen (31 August - 3 September 2011) and at the Frankfurt Motor Show (13 - 25 September 2011).
The smart ebike is being developed and built in cooperation with the e-bike manufacturer GRACE, based near Berlin. The ebike will be launched in the first half of 2012 and will initially be marketed by dealers in Europe and North America.
According to the association of the two-wheeler industry (ZIV) sales figures in Germany alone rose from 70,000 in 2007 to 200,000 in 2010. In 2018 the ZIV predicts that e-bikes will make up 15% of all bicycle sales in Germany. In Europe in 2007 approximately 200,000 people opted for an electric bicycle; according to the ZIV by 2009 this figure had risen to 500,000. In 2010 around 700,000 e-bikes were sold throughout Europe—up 40% compared with the previous year.
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 as with a normal bicycle. Muscle power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a belt drive. An integrated three-speed gear hub provides for comfortable gear changing.
The rider of the smart ebike decides how much power he or she wants the 250 watt electric motor to deliver to support muscle power 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 charge of the 400 Wh Li-ion battery can last for more than 100 kilometers.
The battery pack is located 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; braking energy is recuperated.