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BMW Cruise electric-assist bicycle.
BMW Cruise electric-assist bicycle.

BMW's Enters Into E-Bike Race

BMW tests the market in Germany for an electric-assist bicycle powered by Bosch e-drive system, joining smart, which now sells an e-bike in Europe.

If Daimler's smart division can offer an electric-assist bicycle, then, darn it, so can the folks at Bavarian Motor Works, aka BMW, and now they have. The Cruise initially will be sold in Germany and limited to 1,000 units, the mountain-bike cross-style is the latest effort by the Munich-based carmaker to offer branded product in the two-wheeled vehicle market.

During the London Olympics last year, they debuted a pair of electric two-wheelers: a C Evolution motor scooter and a folding e-bike concept called the i . The C is slated for production by Vectrix in Poland around 2014-2015 time frame. The i doesn't appear to have a production date and may remain a concept, depending on the success of the new, more conventional e-bike, which is powered by a Bosch drive system that provides torque depending on the amount of effort expended by the rider. Three power modes will be available: Eco Tour, Sport and Speed Sport. Range on a single charge is said to be up to 80 km, but that depends on terrain and how much peddling the rider does.

European regulations limited the actual power output to 250W and a top speed of 25 km/h. Like the C Evolution, the new e-bike will, most likely, be produced under contract by one of Europe's many bicycle manufacturers. It will be a BMW product in name only, and probably carry a BMW price premium. A non-electric version goes for around €900 in Europe or around US$1,100.

Posted By: Bill Moore [18-Mar-2013]