As always, autos were the main focus of this year's Geneva Motor Show, but a smaller category of vehicle made its presence felt. Electric bikes and scooters, such as the Kia Electric Bicycle and Qoros eBIQE, had a strong showing. A third interesting design we found in the halls of the Palexpo, the FEDDZ strikes a balance between electric cargo bike and motor scooter.
There are a number of electric cargo bikes on the market, but many of them are large, cumbersome affairs that seem to place "cargo" well ahead of "bike." The FEDDZ is a slimmer, more streamlined design that does away with the extended front beds and buckets inherent in other designs, like the 2x4 cargo bike and Urban Arrow. It won't shuttle your children downtown or haul a chest of treasure home from the sea, but it packs enough room for many common items.
Germany's Emo-Bike took a look at the typical motorcycle and realized it could free up a lot of storage space by removing the gas tank. The use of an electric hub motor allowed it to pull out not only the gas tank, but also the bulky, centrally mounted gas drivetrain, while returning only a flat battery pack. That opens up 23 liters of cargo space in the heart of the FEDDZ frame, space enough for things like a motorcycle helmet; a gym bag; or a football, jersey, cleats and a water bottle, as Emo tells it. The cargo section includes two belts to secure the goods for the ride.
The 48-volt lithium-ion battery is integrated into the lower rear section of the central cargo area. It is easily unlocked, removed and carried via a fold-out handle, allowing riders the ability to charge it in a home or office. Two battery options are available to FEDDZ buyers: a 1,600-Wh ECO battery that offers up to 43.5 miles (70 km) of range on a charge and a 2,100-Wh Premium battery that spins the wheels for up to 68 miles (110 km). The ECO battery takes 5.5 hours to charge, and the Premium takes 7 hours. Both are guaranteed for 500 recharging cycles.
With its diamond-frame and mountain bike-like Manitou suspension fork, the FEDDZ could easily be mistaken for an electric bicycle. However, it lacks a pedal drivetrain and is classified as an electric motor scooter. The handlebar-mounted drive switch lets the rider control the rear hub motor's output through three modes, which free up to 15.5 mph (25 km/h) or 28 mph (45 km/h) worth of speed, depending upon model. A central display shows key info like speed, battery life and driving range. The battery also powers a Philips front-rear lighting system, and a USB port allows the rider to tap into it to charge his or her smartphone.
The FEDDZ has an aluminum frame with a 1,320-mm wheelbase. It weighs 73 lb (33 kg) before the 25-lb (11.5-kg) battery gets locked into place. Components include the Manitou suspension fork, which offers up to 80 mm (3.1 in) of travel, Magura hydraulic disc brakes and 26-in Schwalbe Crazy Bob tires. Both the seat and handlebars adjust to fine-tune fit around the rider, and anodized footrests give idle feet a place to hang out.
The FEDDZ hit the market last year and is available for €5,990 euro for the 25 and 45 models with ECO batteries and €6,990 for models with Premium batteries (US$8,340 to $9,730). The 45 km/h models require a motor scooter or car driver's license in Emo-Bike's home country of Germany, while the 25 km/h models require only Mofa approval. They both require a helmet and insurance but do not need to be registered or inspected. Regulations will vary in other countries.