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.
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.