The march of the motor manufacturers into the bike market continues apace, with Kia using the Geneva Motorshow to unveil their intentions.
The all-new Kia Electric Bicycle (KEB) is a ‘pedelec’ electric bike – being shown in both ‘City’ (above) and ‘MTB’ (Mountain Bike) versions – which promises lively performance. The rear-wheel drive KEB is propelled by a 250 watt electric motor and powered by a 36 volt, 10 amp lithium-ion polymer battery pack which can be detached for recharging.
The City model is designed to appeal to commuters by offering them a range of around 40 km on a single charge and a recharging time of 4 hours.
The frame design draws more from the motoring heritage than classic bike frame building. The monocoque is metal, but created using automotive industry approaches to stamping and welding that produces a product designed to mirror the kind of finish normally achieved in carbon. This process allows Kia the option of making frames from aluminium, high-tensile steel or stainless steel. Certainly, this process has enabled them to creative an innovative and appealing looking frame shape on the ‘City’ model.
Both the City and MTB models feature the same drivetrain and power pack, weigh around 20 kg in total, and have a top speed of 25 kph (15.5 mph) in order to complying with EU regulations.
The City is intended as a universal design with its step-through frame, rear-mounted battery, 28-inch wheels and mud-flaps for the broadest appeal. The MTB has RockShox 100 mm front forks, a mid-mounted battery and 26-inch wheels fitted with all-terrain tyres.
With brake and gear components from Shimano, much of this bike will have a familiar feel for cyclists and the fact that assembly is carried out in Germany is likely to give further reassurance around build quality.
No mention of the normal Kia 7 year warranty though!