Pictures of Vauxhall/Opel RAD e pedelec emerge
March 6, 2012
Pictures have finally emerged of the Vauxhall/Opel RAD e Concept pedelec (pedal-assist electric bicycle, in other words). "Pictures" is precisely the word, mind - these are computer renderings rather than product photos. Still, they give a good idea of what Vauxall/Opel has in mind (if nowhere else), and the accompanying press release gives one or two further points of insight.
The RAD e's 250 W electric motor we already knew about - but what appears to be new information is that this would be powered by a lithium-ion battery and deliver, according to Vauxhall/Opel's calculations at any rate, 40 Nm of instant torque. The battery would be compatible with the company's FlexFix bicycle carrying system for cars that would allow the RAD e to be charged in transit.
It's claimed that an average speed of 12.4 mph (20 km/h) should be "easily attainable" - presumably over the entirety of its electrically-propelled range of between, er, 40 and 90 miles (64 to 145 km). You've heard of ballpark figures? That's an airfield figure, though to be fair Vauxhall/Opel says this is dependent on terrain.
The RAD e's frame is intended to be made from hollow pressed-steel and its designers claim it is the first electric bicycle to be "designed around automotive manufacturing mass production methods" - of course, until this thing physically manifests itself, such claims should be regarded with some suspicion.
The bike's styling is deliberately in line with those of the RAK e electric almost-a-bike, and would share the same smartphone controller which unlocks the engine and provides real-time data on estimated range and what have you.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the concept is that Vauxhall/Opel is applying tried and tested tech (the Li-ion battery and steel frame, specifically) to what is obviously a forward-looking aesthetic. In a funny way such vague claims as to performance give hope that a physical RAD e is in the works in a meaningful sense.
Yes - we're looking at computer mock-ups of a concept, so take all of the above with a handful of sodium chloride, but at least Vauxhall/Opel isn't claiming this thing runs on unicorn farts and the power of the human spirit.