General Motors wheels out its first commuter-focused e-bikes
After teasing its first line of e-bikes in November last year, General Motors has today gone for the full reveal, showing off a pair of compact two-wheelers powered by an in-house purpose built electric motor.
GM is offering its Meld and Merge e-bikes under the spinoff brand ARĪV, which is the result of a crowdsourced naming competition that offered a US$10,000 reward for the winning suggestion. The name might be different but GM says the bikes lean very much on expertise gained through its electric car efforts, to be spearheaded by the recently revealed Cadillac crossover EV.
Both bikes are based on a simple frame, with a curved tube running from the seat tube to the head tube as a single unit and splitting into seat stays and wheel forks at either end. A mid-drive electric motor and battery are positioned underneath, offering 64 km (40 mi) of range and four levels of pedal-assisted power up to 25 km/h (15 mph).
Rechargeable LEDs feature both at the front and back of the bikes, which also come equipped with a USB port and the excellent Quad Lock mount for securing smartphones to the handlebars. Here, the handset can be used to display the companion ARĪV smartphone app that presents useful tidbits like speed, battery levels and distance traveled.
Both the Meld and Merge were cooked up with commuters in mind and are therefore compact, though the Merge takes things one step further with a folding joint in the middle that splits it in two. The bikes also come with "Walk" mode, which engages the motor to lighten the load when pushing them uphill.
General Motors is launching the bikes in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands to begin with, citing heightened interest in e-bikes in those locales. The pricing for the Meld and Merge in the Netherlands and Belgium is €2,800 (US$3,160) and €3,400 (US$3,840), respectively. German customers will pay a little less, with the Meld priced at €2,750 (US$3,100) and the Merge at €3,350 (US$3,780). Both can be pre-ordered via bikeexchange.com, with shipping to kick off in the second quarter of 2019.
Source: General Motors