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VW wants to put their electric bicycle “bik.e” in your trunk
by Kathryn Robbins on April 30, 2010
The bik.e is part of VW’s “Think Blue” campaign that takes from the automaker’s past. Instead of their 1960’s slogan of “Think Small” that pushed the VW Beetle, “Think Blue” advocates “sustainable mobility.”
VW’s spin on the electric bike focuses a lot on the relationship between design and space. Unlike many electric bikes, the bik.e folds up for easy storage in a home and fits perfectly into the spare tire spot in a trunk or exterior spare wheel rack.
The bik.e can charge its battery via a car’s DC power or a traditional AC outlet. VW hasn’t said how long it takes to power up the bike, but they revealed that the current range is 12.5 miles on single charge with a top speed of 12.5 mph.
VW’s presentation at Auto China 2010 unleashed a mashup of Finding Nemo and the Chevy Volt dancers before their chief of research and development rode in on the bik.e. Dr. Urlich Hanckenberg claimed that the electric bike extended a driver’s mobility to areas that a car can’t go.
While the bik.e may look cool it doesn’t really offer a lot of mobility to owners. With its current battery system, the bike will only give riders an hour of travel at top speed. If the battery dies, the lack of pedals transforms the bike into a very awkward scooter.
The range limit also impacts emergency trips such as running out of gas. Not all gas stations are located less than six miles from your spot on the highway.
In addition, there are cheaper and greener alternatives to extend a driver’s mobility than VW’s bik.e. Simply relying on your own foot power or investing in a pedal powered folding bike adds to your level of fitness and you won’t spend a dime to charge a battery.