Smart eBike Ride: Electric Bike The Best Vehicle Smart Makes?

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After testing the 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, we were given the opportunity to try out another of Smart's electric vehicles.

Unlike the city car however, this vehicle has only half the number of seats, and half the numer of wheels. It's also, technically speaking, a hybrid--using an electric motor on the rear wheel, and... your legs.

It is of course the eBike, Smart's pedal-electric bicycle. And it could be the most convincing vehicle Smart makes.

Perfect fit

On the face of it, the eBike is a perfect fit for the Smart brand, far more so than other car companies which offer branded mountain bikes, skiis, and other assorted corporate-logo'd 'lifestyle' junk.

After all, Smart started with the express purpose of revolutionizing urban transportation, by making parking easier and reducing running costs.

Bicycles may not be a revolution, but they're hard to beat as tools for cutting rapidly across a crowded city.

The bicycle, improved

The main issue with bicycles, to those of us who prefer our transport to have four wheels and a roof, is that you get hot and sweaty when it's dry, and hot, sweaty and wet when it rains.

The eBike won't stop you getting wet when it rains, but thanks to four levels of electric assistance, a large proportion of the physical exertion is removed from every journey.

In fact, it makes all but the toughest inclines a relative pleasure to ascend. You still need to pedal, but the electric motor adds to your own efforts to make the whole process much easier.

It also feels a little more sophisticated than your average bike, with a silent, maintenance-free carbon belt drive between pedals and rear hub, a small LCD display to track your progress, assistance and speed, and built-in front and rear LED lights for safety.

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