Acer rides into ebike space with lightweight ebii urban commuter
Consumer electronics giant Acer isn't the first name that comes to mind when you think of electric micro-mobility, but that could change as the company reveals an upcoming "AI-driven" commuter ebike called the ebii.
"The all-new Acer ebii delivers on our commitment to sustainability via technology and creative design, further driven by the desire to enhance user’s mobility and experiences," said the company's Jerry Kao. "As urban commuters search for convenient, safe, and greener options, the Acer ebii’s AI assistance and innovative safety features empower them to go farther, faster."
The ebike doesn't come with a mechanical gearset but the intelligent vehicle control box features AI-powered brains that can automatically adjust assistance from the motor according to route conditions and rider preferences. There's even talk of the system adapting to individual riders over time for a more personalized experience.
The ebii can be paired with a smartphone running the ebiiGO app over Bluetooth to tap into control features, battery status, recommended routes, theft detection and GPS positioning. The app can also power on the ebike without needing a key and be used to choose from three ebiiRide modes.
The control box is also home to the ebike's 110-km (68-mile) battery designed by Acer subsidiary MPS Energy, which can be removed for charging indoors or to serve as a mobile powerbank for gadgetry. Recharge time to 460-Wh capacity is reported to take just 2.5 hours.
Interestingly, Acer says that the 250-W motor can be configured as a front-wheel drive, mounted at the bracket or installed in the rear wheel. Whichever option is plumped for, you're looking at a low-maintenance carbon belt drive setup, 40 Nm (29.5 lb.ft) of torque and pedal assist up to 25 km/h in Europe or 20 mph in the US.
The minimalist aluminum-alloy frame is fronted by a semi-transparent headlight which, along with the tail-light, can automatically power on as day starts to turn into night, plus there's extra strip lighting under the control box for increased visibility in traffic. A radar sensor mounted under the saddle will warn of vehicles approaching from behind, and there's a crash detection feature too.
The urban commuter boasts a single-sided fork and rides on 20-inch wheels wrapped in 2.2-inch airless tires with multi-layer foam inserts designed to "recreate the feeling of moving through the wind." The tires are also made using closed-loop recyclable materials for a more eco-friendly approach to end of service life. Stopping power is provided by hydraulic disc brakes with 160-mm rotors.
The mid-step frame is available in one size only that supports rider heights ranging from 1.45 to 1.85 m (4.75 - 6 ft), and all in, the ebii tips the scales at a relatively light 16 kg (35 lb).
Acer hasn't revealed exactly when its first ebike will be released or how much it will cost, only that both will vary according to region. A double-leg kickstand is included, but fenders and a rear rack are optional extras. The video below has more.
Product page: ebii
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At 6'4", I know that any bicycle hyped as one size fits all is an accident waiting to happen should I try it out. Suffice it to say I won't be waiting for Acer's pricing or production date, although I would like to know how the pedaling is managed relative to the bicycle speed if there are no mechanical gearsets? Just things schematics might show - but hey, a great idea for women and refugees from war torn countries or countries with famines.
And please note that it DOES have a mechanical gearset…the belt drive. Oh unless you mean the lack of a gearbox, but that just means that it’s a single speed bike… yippee.