BMW unveils i Pedelec bicycle concept


June 14, 2012

BMW has unveiled a new pedal-electric bike concept named i Pedelec, ahead of the grand opening of its first i Store in London

BMW has unveiled a new pedal-electric bike concept named i Pedelec, ahead of the grand opening of its first i Store in London

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BMW has further strengthened its commitment to an electric mobility future by announcing the opening of its first i Store on July 25. To celebrate the event, the German auto giant has developed a new folding pedal-electric bike called the i Pedelec. Like the Voltitude, the new bike can be rolled along when folded to make getting on and off trains or buses, or in and out of elevators, a little less troublesome, and benefits from a geared electric hub motor, high performance batteries and disc braking at the front and rear. BMW also says that two folded i Pedelec bikes can be comfortably squeezed into the trunk space of its forthcoming i3 EV, and that their batteries can be charged while in there.

Situated next door to its BMW and MINI Stores on Park Lane in London, UK the new i Store showroom is described as a dedicated customer-oriented access point for its future range of electric vehicles and associated support solutions. The company's Ian Robertson is reported to have said at yesterday's press preview, that the new consumer experience "gives people a perfect opportunity to learn more about electromobility and get close to our future electric and plug-in hybrid BMW i vehicles."

BMW has also taken the opportunity to detail plans to provide customers with a four-pillar support package comprising assistance services, public charging point installation, the i Wallbox home charger, and flexible mobility solutions.

Robertson also presented the i 3 Concept EV which premiered at last year’s Frankfurt International Motor Show. BMW has now confirmed that the i3 should reach the marketplace by the end of 2013, with the i8 plug-in hybrid following the year after. Both vehicles will be on show at the i Store, along with the new i Pedelec folding pedal-electric bike.

As the three-speed 42-volt electric hub motor of the bike's 16-inch rear wheel will only provide motor-assist up to 25 km/h (16 mph), after which you're on your own, BMW says that its green commute solution doesn't need to be insured or registered, and the rider is not required to obtain a license or wear a helmet. The motor delivers 20Nm (14.75 foot-pounds) of torque and can feed some juice back to the battery during braking or when riding downhill.

The i Pedelec's lithium-manganese battery pack is said to offer between 25 - 40 km (16 - 25 miles) per charge, depending on usage of rider profile. It reportedly takes four hours for a full recharge from empty via a domestic mains plug or while on charge in the trunk of the i3 EV, or 1.5 hours on a quick charge. The bike is also said to weigh less than 20 kg (44 pounds) thanks to the lightweight yet strong aluminum and carbon fiber frame.

As with the initial unveiling of the i3 and i8 vehicles last year, there's been no mention of when the new e-bike will reach the marketplace or the proposed cost, but we'll let you know as soon as we know.

In the meantime, the BMW Born Electric world tour begins this month in Rome. There'll be a brief stop in Japan and then the U.S. leg kicks off, before a return to London in 2013. The new year will also see visits to France and China.

Source: BMW via BMW Blog

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Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

Boot-storage was one of the first goals of folding bikes 40 or 50 years ago, but the problem then and now is that if this is to act as a robust last-mile solution it needs to be able to carry some cargo. If people don't need to carry stuff then why do they need to drive? I am not sure that this is more than a marketing gimmick.

Todd Edelman

The marketing picture is hilarious - If you've already driven all the way into central London and parked in front of tower bridge, at that point it's a bit late to get the bicycle out - you've already defeated the entire purpose of cycling.


Nice to see the major points already so clear in the first two comments. Perhaps we should get a little contract with those who float these silly "solutions" and vet them before they release them. But sadly, there are those who would not could not see it. Some would prefer to lug the bike, pack it perhaps in the tram aisle or under the bus, (in the trunk is just one scenario) prefer to pay for it and own it and lug it around....rather than rent or ride share it. After all, maximized corp profit is predicated on every one having one for themselves (hey family! one for each of you- then you don't have to talk and compromise useage times)

My idea of usefull? bicycle for 2, and baby makes three, room for groceries, gulf cart, etcetc...turn signals, heater in the winter, roof in the rain.

call me if you want to brainstorm on that! waltinseattle is at (and still looking for the prototype to be made.)

Walt Stawicki

BMW could have saved money and development time by using an existing bike like those in the Mobiky folding bike 16" wheeled series. Unfolded, the Mobiky has a longer wheelbase (the BMW could be subject to unintentional wheelies) and the Mobiky will also accommodate a wider range of rider heights.

Plus the Mobiky is NOT a concept; it's available now as an e-bike or in geared variations.


Lawrence Lagarde

We more bike lanes not more bikes. There are a lot more people who would rather ride bikes on short trips then you think, Ciclavia has proven that. That said a 44lb bike that will take you around for 1.5 hrs is very good for those of you who mind pedaling.

The Hoff

An electric version of the IF Mode would kill any folding bike on the market. Larger wheels, smaller fold up. Not that the Mobiky isn't a hot little contender but its wheels are too small. Lots of these small wheeled fold ups place the wheels end to end when they fold. The IF Mode just places larger wheels flat up next to each other, a much more efficient solution. Magic folding too.

John McMullen
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