With a very sturdy folded steel frame and elegant simple design, the Mosquito or Mücke electric bike is one good-looking machine. Its 48V lithium batteries only cost a few (European) cents to charge up and will give a range of about 60km (37 miles). The 0.8kW motor produces a top speed of around 50km/h (31mph) and the bike also has a removable center pole for instant accessibility.

Germany seems to be the place to be if you have an electric bike design to show off. Earlier this year I presented an overview of the Elmoto. Just recently I covered the YikeBike, not German built but unleashed to the world at this year's Eurobike 2009 trade fair in Friedrichshafen.

New kid on the block

Now, two students from the University of Art and Design in Halle Germany, Tom Mudra and Hans-Tobias Schicktanz, are currently working on bringing their e-bike creation to the marketplace by April next year.

The Mosquito design process started in April of this year with the aim of creating, as Mudra told Gizmag: "a lightweight and attractive e-bike suitable for urban places in a new and simple design." By July, the 35kg prototype was ready and the pair presented it to fellow students at a University exhibition.

The frame is constructed from chrome-molybdenum steel, a material highly regarded for its high temperature tensile strength and excellent corrosion resistance. According to Mudra, the thick frame and stocky build also have a positive "psychological effect", giving the rider an improved sense of safety and road presence.

The materials used to cover the batteries and electronics on the bike can be customized depending on individual need, with options such as carbon fiber and wood being amongst those available. Having a detachable center pole means that even getting on and off the bike is customizable. This simple feature also makes the one model accessible to everyone, young or old, male or female.

As most maintainable parts are readily available from conventional bike stores, keeping the bike in pristine working order should be relatively simple and inexpensive.

The when and the how much

The students intend to build a new website when the first production models are ready for sale next April, at an estimated cost of €4000 depending on materials used. Initially at least, Mosquitos will be available only in Europe.

If you would like see more designs by Mudra and Schicktanz or would like to express an interest in purchasing a Mosquito when it first takes flight, head over the their design website for more details.