smart ebike with 4-level electric boost and regenerative braking


October 2, 2010

smart has announced a pedal-powered bicycle with electric assist named e-bike

smart has announced a pedal-powered bicycle with electric assist named e-bike

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If you were wondering about the other two-wheeled vehicle pictured with the smart escooter at the Paris Motor Show, then read on. The company has also announced a pedal-powered bicycle with electric assist named ebike which shares regenerative braking technology and similar smartphone integration with its cousin. When the ebike reaches a certain speed, the hub motor cuts out and the bike is driven by leg-work only.

Unlike some other pedelec (pedal electric cycle) vehicles available at the moment, the electric drive on smart's e-bike is not activated via a throttle grip on the handlebars. The 250W brushless direct current wheel hub motor activates as soon as the rider starts to pedal and provides four levels of electric support, controlled by a button on the handlebar. Depending on the motorized support level chosen, smart says that the ebike has an effective range of between 30 and 90 km (18.6 and 55.9 miles) per charge.

Of course the actual range depends on the amount of leg work employed by the rider. For much of the time, the ebike would be providing electric support to the user's pedaling but when the vehicle reaches a speed of 25kph (15.53mph), the electric assist cuts out and the it becomes a purely muscle-powered vehicle. Because of this, smart says that it can be used without the need for a driving licence (although local regulations may alter this fact).

The ebike is powered by a 36-volt/9.6Ah Lithium-ion battery pack which is concealed within the frame paneling above the crankcase. It can be charged from a household mains socket and is said to take just two to three hours to fully charge.

Just like the escooter, the ebike features regenerative braking technology at the rear hub-motor, with conventional braking itself being provided courtesy of hydraulic disc brakes at the front and rear.

Also like its cousin, the ebike will integrate with smartphones via a smart drive kit app. When placed in a special mount, the phone automatically activates the electric drive and becomes an information and control center for the vehicle. A trip computer interface advises the rider of battery status, current and average speed and also includes a heart-rate monitor and navigation system. There's even a GPS tracking function to help users locate a parked e-bike.

The rider can, of course, access other smartphone functions such as playing tunes from the phone's music library or going online to access a favorite radio station and so on. As an anti-theft measure, removing the smartphone effectively locks the drive.

For those occasions when four-wheeled transport is more practical, further development of the app could see integration with the car2go mobility concept being included.

Designed and built in cooperation with GRACE and weighing just 22kg (48.5 pounds), the ebike benefits from strong, lightweight aluminum profiles making up its frame, which also hide all of the wiring. smart says that the profiles are strong enough to support the lightweight wheel at the rear without the need for supporting struts.

Both 26-inch wheels feature six double spokes which the company says "enhance ride comfort thanks to good intrinsic damping, and can also cope well with rough road surfaces." A belt pulley and toothed belt replace the traditional chain and cog setup and the front full LED headlight is fitted into the handlebar, which is claimed to have the same effect as active curve illumination on cars. The rear LED lamp is mounted on the underside of the rider's saddle.

Be sure to flick through the gallery for some on the floor shots of the ebike at the Paris Motor Show.

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Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

Really. You would have thought they could have pushed the envelope a bit more with all their resources???

I have had a Bionx 250HT for over two years and my battery STILL gets better performance than this one hopes to do. And if it cuts out at 25, that will only be down hills with this lump!!

My ebike also folds in two so I can get it in my lift at home. (A montague folding bike). Mine also has a detachable battery so when removed mine looks just like a normal MB and I can charge it up at work as I bring the battery in side with me.

Mine is also 18 punds lighter, so I can carry it down stairs at train stations etc. and is still classed as a bike so I can go in the bike lanes.

Mine also has a distance meter etc. which is water proof. unlike an iphone.

Basically.....this is not moving it on at all!!!

Have a look at my machine here. IMO it is still the best ebike solution out there.



P.S I also have 4 levels of electric boost (25, 50, 100, 300%) and regen braking.

P.P.S Why is BIONX still not really known? It is the answer to all of our mobility problems!! Trust me, I know as I sold my Nissan 350Z 6 months after getting the BIONX as I just didn\'t use the car anymore!!!!

I even wrote a book about it...and I have now sold over 100 copies of it on ebay.... :)


if you have a spare battery, you could swap this and charge up the exhausted one.The problem with all these electric bikes, is their enormous expense compared to a push bike. I like the replacement of the chain of the tooth belt, quieter and a lot less messy.


great idea !

Facebook User

Wow, couch potatoes will love that. The US is the fat lazy ass capitol of the planet. I use my bike (Surly Pugsley w/ 2.35x28 Big Apples on 29er SnowCat offset wheels) all year to do local errands and I use my legs to power it.


I can\'t understand what designers of these \"new\" ebikes are thinking. For a useful bike, I need attachment points for lights, racks and fenders. I can\'t park at work next to an outlet so I need a removeable battery pack. The electronics need to be waterproof for all weather (it rains, you know!). I\'m not sticking my iPhone out there. Right now I use a good old-fashioned ebike (Electrec) that meets my needs.

For those people who don\'t understand the point of ebikes at all, let me clarify that they don\'t replace regular bikes, they replace cars. I use a regular bike for recreation. I use my ebike for commuting to work instead of a car. The ebike makes a bike commute that would otherwise be too time-consuming, tiring and sweaty now a possibility. I don\'t want to get folks off bikes - I want them out of cars!

Robert Schell

Designed by designers who evidently have not used a bike for many years. Looks nice though!

30 to 90 km is just pure BS from a


I am not defending it, but, it is nearly up to state of the art in most departments so I must take exception to those who were there before. At least its trying...and we need all the free advertising we can get if we are to get the herd to follow.

Issues: aluminum is good today failed tomorrow and no warning. Those single trailing arms are begging to prove it. Who forgets to add the connects for fenders etc and forgets that perhaps \"under the saddle\" is not at all a smart rear lamp solution (coats, racks...) Yes, belt is nice, but it reduced this to an e-fixie (one speed transmission) thus degrading battery performance. Again I will rue the influx of designers into what is best left to hands on and d.i.y. engineer/tinkers.

Lastly, Mr Schell, thank you for pointing out the true niche. Why is this so hard to understand. We want to replace cars, not switch bikes. My train of thought here is a little different, a little less minimalistic, but i want to \"deconstruct\" the car and offer the most possible advantages (and overcome users\' all to reasonable reticence to switch) in a human hybrid. Multi passenger, trunk space, stable at standstill, enclosed and safe in traffic. I find historical explorations, but alas mass I.C.E., oil and highway interests and \"the American way\" left them in a cloud of burnt rubber. I\'d love to (low kinetic human hybrid)


P.S. forgot the cellphone? sorry, you do not have access to the motor feature. happy uphill pedaling in one speed...what is wrong with simple keylocks and if you are paranoid an alarm system for when they freeze hack the lock? Maybe I should patent a cryolock?


Battery issues aside as pointed out in the first comment, I really do think this is a good looking machine indeed. The smart-phone feature is the icing on the cake for me.

Facebook User

The integration of the iPhone on the ebike is a fantastic idea. Yes, inclement weather forbidding, the design will need to be improved to protect the smart drive kit app. I am sure this is something the designers will consider for enhancement or as an accessory. It\'s a stylish bike, no doubt, minimalist design and therefore lacks the fittings like a rack for stowage.


The race to electrify bikes is like the wildwest. Ride free or drive

Facebook User

This under-performing concept bike is deficient in so many ways ... i shan\'t repeat what\'s been said. I will, however, address the economics of such devices by presenting my own history with my eZee bike:

My goal was to see if i really needed a car. In fact, I have two cars, which did cost me about $10,000 USD per year to own (ie, depreciate) and operate. I obtained the newest eZee model: the Ti .. (yes, for \'titanium\' frame). 350 watt (continueous) - 700 watt (burst) geared brushless motor (on FRONT wheel!); 14Ahr LiPo battery, rear rack; 700 lumen LED headlight; LED tail light (on rear of rack, NOT under seat!); Cycle-Analyst bike computer (; F/R hydraulic discs; 8 speed freewheel; twist-grip throttle; .. and yes : Expensive! .. over $6000. BUT: it is such a total solution for me that i took both cars off the road .. cancelled registrations, they sit in the barn, saving me $10,000 PER YEAR! I can still get to Paris from Boston in the same amount of time (occasional travel by taxi to airport 20 mins away). Shopping? yea, a small two-wheel enclosed trailer ($80, WalMart) with 100 lb capacity does the trick. And get exercise! In USA, btw, such bikes can have max powered speed up to 20 mph, unlike europe, where 15 is legal limit (or will be, when the EU\'s new rules must soon apply to all EU nations). I get about 30 miles per charge, where a full charge costs about $0.13 USD .. that\'s 13 cents! .. a mileage equivalent to what an efficient car might get for a $4.50 gallon of gasoline. For the person who wants a bit of non-obligatory exercise, who has a \'quick mind\' and experienced in biking and can confidently navigate traffic this has been a remarkably beneficial enjoyable and profitable experience. i see no reason to ever need a car and in fact am happy to toast my decision while i am gazing at the cars in the barn which are now Increasing in value.

My point: there can be many facets to the matter of the \'economies\' of ebiking ..


what tkj is true . People calculate the depreciation cost of the car, the maintenance cost, licence, insurance. I prefer e-ride to subwaystation, carry the e-bike around, and e-ride back to office. At least no traffic jam, no need to walk under hot sun.

Ennovate Gadgets

The first thing I will do when I buy it is hack it to remove the speed limit...

Eric Stob
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