European automakers aren’t averse to producing vehicles of the two-wheeled, pedal-powered variety. BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz all offer a range of bicycles, with most also adding electric bikes to their line ups in recent years. Peugeot is no exception and recently previewed its latest ebike, the AE21 Hybrid, at the “Who’s Next” show in Paris.
Peugeot actually began manufacturing bikes in 1882 and only branched out into internal combustion engine-powered automobiles in 1890 after dabbling with a three-wheeled steam-powered car the previous year. The car and bike divisions were split in 1926, with Cycles Peugeot building up an impressive racing heritage thanks to the sponsoring of various events and riders. In 2011, Peugeot revealed plans to revamp and relaunch the Cycles Peugeot brand in a partnership with Cycleurope.
Set to join Peugeot’s Allure line, the AE21 is a compact ebike aimed at urban commuters with a design that integrates a lithium-ion battery into the bike’s aluminum Clever Case frame. This also provides space at the center of the bike for a laptop bag and ABUS Bordo folding lock. To allow the bike to be stored against a wall, the bike also features folding handlebars and pedals.
While the bike previewed at the “Who’s Next” show last week had the electric motor located in the front wheel, a Peugeot representative told us that when the bike is commercially launched in September at the Salon Du Cycle in Paris there will be two versions: one with the wheel hub motor and another with a belt-drive motor. Both will also be offered with two, as yet undisclosed, battery capacities. The battery can be recharged while still on the bike, or removed so it can be recharged inside while the bike waits outside.
Pricing for the AE21 is yet to be announced.