Smart's ebike electric bicycle is now available to order across Europe, before the first bikes hit retailers in late May, going on sale in the U.S. soon after.
The bike reinforces the brand's stance on urban mobility, providing consumers with another option for city commutes beyond the regular ForTwo and the ForTwo Electric Drive, now in its third generation.
The ebike is defined as a pedelec, or Pedal Electric Cycle, and technically, with its combination of electric power and person power, it's a hybrid vehicle.
It's powered by a 423 Wh lithium-ion battery, feeding a 200 watt BionX electric motor in the rear wheel hub. A four-way adjustable switch lets the rider decide how much their pedalling will be assisted by the electric motor, and power from the rider's legs is transmitted via a carbon drive belt, which requires no oil, so cuts down on maintenance.
Smart says that there's enough power for up to 62 miles of range, depending on how much assistance the rider selects and the individual riding style, but as with electric cars this should be more than up to a city commute.
Unlike an electric car, the battery can be charged off the bike, so if there's no power socket where you lock up the bike, you can remove the battery and charge it via a regular plug socket. As you'd expect, some energy can be recuperated by braking, when the motor becomes a generator.
The ebike uses disc brakes front and rear, and features 26-inch wheels. The bike weighs 57 pounds. That's more than your typical bike, but electric assistance will make light work of hills.
A BionX control panel shows details like battery charge status, distance measurements, time measurements and average speed, and the bike's LED lights can also be switched on and off via the panel. An optional smartphone cradle and USB input lets you plug your smartphone into the bike, for navigation and other options.
U.K. pricing starts around $4,000 including local taxes, but U.S. pricing should be a few hundred dollars lower. There's no set date for U.S. sales, but it should be available soon.