General Motors said it plans to bring two new electric bikes to market next year — one folding and one compact — as the automaker makes a broader push into electrification and other ideas that try to move beyond its traditional business model of producing and selling gas-power vehicles.
The automaker didn’t have a lot of information to share about the e-bikes or its ultimate plans. For instance, Hannah Parish, director of General Motors Urban Mobility Solutions, wouldn’t say if GM plans to launch a bike-sharing service as a result of these two new products. “I can’t say anything is on or off the table at this point,” she added.
Here’s what is on the menu. The bikes will be “smart” and “connected” and somehow inspired by GM’s OnStar, the company’s subscription-
GM electric bicycles
GM has announced plans for two electric bicycle designs, one folding and one compact.
Despite unveiling photos, the company has been fairly mum on detailed technical specifications. But much can be gleaned from the images GM released.
Eschewing the standard hub motor, an easier design choice, GM opted for a mid-drive electric motor. The motor uses a chain drive over a toothed belt, likely a cost-saving measure.
The mid-drive motor appears to integrate with an internally geared rear hub. That would help reduce maintenance concerns on the GM electric bicycles.
The battery is mounted just above the motor, yet still low on the bike, which should keep the center 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.
Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes can also be spotted.
LED lighting, USB device charging and some type of telemetry system, often found in electric mopeds and scooters, round out the feature list.
GM wants you to name their electric bicycles
Naming contests seem to be all-the-rage these days, and GM is embracing the trend.
The company is running a contest that will allow the public to submit suggestions for the name of GM’s new e-bike brand.
The winner whose submission is selected will receive a prize of $10,000, while nine other runner-ups will each receive $1,000.
Submissions can be made at www.ebikebrandchallenge.com .
Entries will be accepted until November 26. The winning submissions will be announced January 31, 2019.