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Pictures of Vauxhall/Opel RAD e pedelec emerge

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March 6, 2012

Pictures have emerged of Vauxhall/Opel's concept electric bike, the RAD e

Pictures have emerged of Vauxhall/Opel's concept electric bike, the RAD e

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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.

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
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4 Comments

right

how much will that cost, about $6000 USD?

wle

wle
7th March, 2012 @ 08:06 am PST

Ah, hmmmm. Sort of looks like a bicycle. But then, most bikes look like, well, bikes. And then the range, 40 to 60 miles. Far, far longer than my daily commute of 23 miles round trip. And the way people drive, I wouldn't want to be on a bicycle in the bicycle lanes (what lanes).

Ah well, these exercises keep people employed.

freedomsailor
7th March, 2012 @ 09:43 am PST

I find it really deflating to see these companies just strapping the same bottom bracket power unit that my $500 ebike has onto a silly elitist chassis and call it innovation.

The more these companies project ebiking as an elitist idea the worse off that ebiking is.

Seriously , if you spend more than $1000 on an ebike that does less than 50kph you are a fool.

How often can we keep reinventing the (bike) wheel?

SamD
7th March, 2012 @ 01:12 pm PST

This is going to be an exciting industry.

Hybrid Cycles
10th March, 2012 @ 10:28 am PST
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