Ford Creates E-Bike Concept

If you ever have the opportunity, go to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, and visit Greenfield Village.

If you ever have the opportunity, go to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, and visit Greenfield Village. Among the wonderful buildings that you’ll see there are (1) a factory where Henry Ford built his then-nascent business, (2) the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop, and (3) Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park facility.

Which brings us to a development that combines the three: Ford has developed the E-Bike Concept, which it introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

While the company says it has “no plans to produce the E-Bike,” Axel Wilke, director, vehicle personalization, Ford Customer Service Div. Europe, actually makes a compelling case for such a product: “The E-Bike market is growing very, very rapidly, with some 30 million units sold globally last year .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."

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The bike was designed by Ford Executive Design Director Martin Smith and his team working with cyber-Wear, a German lifestyle product company.

The frame is a combination of aluminum and carbon-fiber components; it weighs just 2.5 kg. Contained within the frame is a 340Wh, 36V, 9.3Ah lithium-ion battery that’s used to power a 350-W motor located in the front wheel hub. The combination provides a range of up to 85 km.

There are magnetostrictive materials used to smooth the integration of the power of the rider with the power of the electric motor. (This is a regular bike, too, featuring equipment like a Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub and a 2012 Shimano Rapidfire shifter.) Sensors read the revolutions of the inner bearing, then this information is sent to the control unit on the bike within 0.01 second, activating or deactivating the motor as required.

A concept, for certain. But a compelling one, nonetheless.