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Opel, Smart See Big Opportunities with eBikes

Millions being added each year.

by on Mar.09, 2012

The Opel RADe electric bike is one of several battery eBikes introduced by major automakers.

Opel is returning to its roots.  The German brothers that gave the General Motors subsidiary its name started out making sewing machines but soon expanded into a more lucrative business building bicycles.  In fact, founding brother Adam Opel didn’t even live long enough to see the company add automobiles to its product portfolio.

Cars have long been the heart of Opel’s business, but the maker plans to add the new RADe to its line-up, hoping to take advantage of booming demand for electric bikes.  The new model, which went on display this week at the Geneva Motor Show can yield up to 90 miles range per charge at speeds up to 25 mph, Opel officials noted.

Insight!

While cars still dominate the annual Geneva event, Opel wasn’t the only automaker showing off a battery-based bike.  Daimler AG’s Smart brand rolled out a black-and-green model developed by the European tuner house Brabus – better known for the high-performance versions of Mercedes-Benz products it has developed over the years.

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Smart Powers Up with Brabus Battery Car and Bike

Brabus adds a little bunch to Smart's battery line-up.

by on Mar.06, 2012

A "heart of green" for the Smart Brabus battery car.

We’re still a good two years away from finally seeing an all-new Smart car – with the Daimler microcar division planning to partner with the Renault/Daimler Alliance for its replacement.  But the fruit of another partnership is making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show today.

European tuner Brabus, best known for some high-performance takes on Mercedes-Benz products, is weighing in with an earth-friendly green version of the Smart ED.

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For those who aren’t convinced that a battery car really can deliver a sporty ride the Smart Brabus electric drive will even feature a special external audio system to give it a sports car-like sound.

The modified ED makes 60 kilowatts — or 80 horsepower — and 100 lb-ft of torque from its lithium-ion battery pack and single electric motor.  And Brabus has shod the green-and black 2-seater with 17-inch alloy wheels to make sure that power gets to the pavement.

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