Car giant Ford reveals first e-bike

Electric bike market proves too tempting to resist for one of the largest automobile companies in the world
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At the Frankfurt Car Show Ford showed off its latest Fiesta and Focus car ranges, as well as an as yet unnamed prototype electic bike.

Designed to appeal to men and women, it features a trapezoidal frame profile, is constructed from aluminium and carbon. The six-spoke V-design wheels have been designed to appear to 'float' around the frame, while the drive system is hidden from view to create a clean look.

A lithium-ion battery is concealed in the frame – promising a range of 85km (52 miles) on a full charge – while the drive system's motor is housed in the front wheel hub.

The bike also features an integrated controller and patented magnetostriction sensor technology from the world of Formula One. The tech is used to convert magnetic energy into kinetic energy and vice-versa. in F1 the sensors help handle high engine revolutions in combination with intense thermal strains. They need no physical contact with other parts of the engine, are temperature-independent and are maintenance-free.

“The E-Bike market is growing very, very rapidly, with some 30 million units sold globally last year,” said Axel Wilke, director, vehicle personalisation, Ford Customer Service Division Europe. “We see E-Bikes as an important element of urban electric mobility. More and more people are using E‑Bikes for short distance commuting and they are becoming comfortable with the concept of electric mobility."

Ford's e-bike uses a Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub and a 2012 Shimano Rapidfire shifter. It also features a Carbon Belt Drive System.

Ford said it had no plans to produce the e-bike at present, but confessed it will continue to study the e-bike concept.

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