Another two-wheeled concept unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show was Ford’s idea of an urban-focused commuter vehicles. However, this was a foray into the two wheeled bicycle for FoMoCo.
Ford claimed its new E-Bike concept pushbike “could be an innovative solution for urban mobility”.
Using a hub-mounted electric motor on the front, and a traditional pedal driven rear wheel, is this the best of both worlds?
“The e-bike market is growing very, very rapidly, with some 30 million units sold globally last year,” says Axel Wilke, director of vehicle personalization from Ford’s European service division.
Ford’s half electric – half pedal bike
“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 said it has taken inspiration from technology used in F1 in the form of “magnetostrictive” materials, which “are used to convert magnetic energy into kinetic energy, and vice versa”, with sensors able to provide “a seamless integration of the power of the legs with the power of the motor” by switching between or blending the two power sources “within a hundredth of a second”. The use of magnetic power is becoming more accepted, with the ‘mag-lev’ trains a good example of this.
The bicycle frame is constructed of lightweight aluminium and carbon fiber, weighing a feather-light 2.5 kg. The frame houses the integrated lithium-ion battery which is good for 85 km on a full charge, and takes just two hours to charge to 80 percent or four hours for a 100 percent charge.
However, don’t go rushing down to your local Ford dealership, even though Ford admits that e-bikes like this are important for the future of transport, it is not planning on bringing the E-Bike to production.