If you're at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show basking in the glory of stunning concepts like the Ford Evos, then you might catch a glimpse of a futuristic e-bicycle from Ford.

Even though Ford is following behind other automakers – Smart, for example – the Dearborn automaker says the E-Bike Concept is the future of electric bicycles. The Ford E-Bike features an aluminum and carbon fiber frame that weighs in at 5.5 pounds, a carbon fiber Giant SLR stem, Selle Italia SLR XC saddle, Mavic Elipse wheels, Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub and Shimano Rapidfire shifters.

Here's where the E-Bike Concept varies from a conventional bicycle: it's powered by a front-wheel, hub-mounted motor that cranks out 350 watts and features a 9.3 amp-hour lithium-ion battery. Ford lists top speed at 15.5 miles per hour and says the E-Bike offers an impressive range of up to 53 miles.

Ford has made no indication on whether this two-wheeled concept will be given the production green light, but considering all the other firms that now offer electric bicycles, we'd venture to guess that Ford will join the e-bike action soon.
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Ford Rides into E-Bike Market with Stunning Concept

E-Bike Concept demonstrates how Ford's design language can translate to a bicycle
The concept pairs cutting-edge sensor technology from the world of Formula One with top-of-the-range bicycle components
Promising a range of up to 85km on a full charge, Ford E-Bike Concept could be an innovative solution for urban mobility

FRANKFURT, Germany, Sept. 19, 2011 – Alongside the exciting line-up of new vehicle and technology introductions on its stand at Frankfurt Motor Show, Ford is also unveiling a rather surprising addition to its range – an E-Bike.

Designed to show how the company's design language can translate to a bicycle, the Ford E-Bike Concept also demonstrates the spectrum of Ford's electric mobility competence. Ford has no plans to produce the E-Bike but will continue studying the concept along with other future mobility solutions.

"The E-Bike market is growing very, very rapidly, with some 30 million units sold globally last year," said Axel Wilke, director, vehicle personalisation, Ford Customer Service Division Europe. "We see E-Bikes as an important element of urban electric mobility. More and more people are using E‑Bikes for short distance commuting and they are becoming comfortable with the concept of electric mobility."

Cross-Gender Design
Developed by a Ford Design team led by Executive Design Director Martin Smith, in partnership with cyber-Wear, the German brand behind Ford's popular Lifestyle Collection products, the Ford E-Bike Concept has been created from the ground up to appeal to both men and women.

At the heart of the design is a trapezoidal frame profile. Constructed from aluminium and carbon, the frame combines outstanding strength with a weight of just 2.5kg. The wheels, with a six-spoke V-design, appear to float around the frame, while the drive system is hidden from view, creating a clean, minimalist appearance.

Cutting-Edge Technology
Providing the power is a drive system consisting of a motor in the front wheel hub, a lithium-ion battery concealed in the frame, promising a range of up to 85km on a full charge, an integrated controller and patented magnetostriction sensor technology from the world of Formula One.

Magneotostrictive materials are used to convert magnetic energy into kinetic energy, and vice versa. In Formula One, these sensors help handle high engine revolutions in combination with intense thermal strains. They need no physical contact with other parts of the engine, are temperature-independent and are completely maintenance-free.

In the Ford E-Bike, the first application of this technology in the bicycle industry, the sensors read the revolutions in the inner bearing and relay this information to the control unit within a hundredth of a second. The control unit then instantly activates or deactivates the electric motor, providing a seamless integration of the power of the legs with the power of the motor.

A handlebar-mounted display provides trip information and allows the rider to select from three support modes – Economy, Comfort and Sport.

Range-Topping Bicycle Components
The drive system is complemented by top-of-the-range bicycle components, including a Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub and a 2012 Shimano Rapidfire shifter. In place of a traditional chain is a Carbon Belt Drive System, making for a cleaner, lighter and more immediate transfer of energy.

"With its cutting edge design, cross-gender appeal, robust build quality and high performance drive package, we believe the Ford E-Bike Concept would be the perfect addition to the e‑mobility solutions we will offer," added Wilke.

Technical Specifications
Drive Unit:
Front wheel hub motor
Max. nominal power: 350W
Electricity: 36V – 250W
Supports up to 25km/h (to EN 15194)
Clutch with freewheel function
Gearbox: Planet gears
Integral sensor technology

Battery:
Cell type: Lithium-ion accumulator
Electricity: 340Wh, 36V, 9.3Ah
Charging cycles: 1000 cycles at 80% residual capacity
BMS (Battery Management System): protects against deep discharge and self-discharge Charge times: 80% after 2 hours, 100% after 3-4 hours (at room temperature)
Range: Up to 85km (depending on drive power and support mode selected)
Temperature range: -20°C to +60°C

Extremely small unit to connect battery (remains on bike) to normal mains network.
Intelligent electronics to prevent overcharging, undervolting, overheating and shortcircuit; in particular, sleep function prevents deep charging and necessity for recalibration with charger connected

Controller display functions:
Background lighting with light sensor system
Energy-saving automatic sleep mode
Diagnosis function with fault code display
Support modes: Economy, Comfort, Sport
Displays: Range, Battery capacity, Speed, Time, Distance, Maximum speed, Average speed, Total distance, Service reminder, System diagnosis, Support modes
iPhone Smartphone app control function planned

Bicycle Components:
Wheels: Mavic Elipse Aluminum black (modified with Ford Design crossing)
Tyres: Continental Ultra Sport black
Pedals: Wellgo LU-C27G, silver/black
Handlebars: Downhill Aluminum black, custom made
Stem: Giant SLR Carbon 110mm
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR XC
Brakes: Avid Elixir 5, full hydraulic, 185mm, white

# # #

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.fordmotorcompany.com.

Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 51 individual markets and employs approximately 66,000 employees. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford of Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 22 manufacturing facilities, including joint ventures. The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why do I get the feeling that they are trying to mock electric vehicles instead of actually build useful ones? When did Ford become a bicycle company? Ford seems to be trying to avoid EVs. Yes, I know they have an EV coming out out . . . but they pretty much out-sourced it all to Magna. I wouldn't be surprised if Magna started just building their own EVs with some other maker up in Canada.
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        So they used a supplier to build components. No other car company does that, right?
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          Magna is doing so much of the design that Ford will suffer because it . . . Magna is building up experience with EVs at Ford's expense. When Ford realizes that they really need EVs to compete they will find that they lack the internal talent to do a good job.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Spec, i wholeheartedly agree with you here and i don't think it's just Ford doing this. Why the hell do companies big and small come out with bizarre EV crap non-stop.. thereby reinforcing the image that electric drive is for nerds, weirdos, and hippies?
      • 3 Years Ago
      This looks like a classic case of a product being designed too much by "artistic" designers and too little by engineers. Sure it looks sexy and futuristic, but it's made with aluminum and carbon, which are hard, brittle materials, liable to crack if you hit a pothole too hard. And the shape? The diamond shaped frame has been the standard in bicycle frames for over 100 years for a good reason. You don't get much better strength than from triangles. Such a narrow connection between seat and headset will have flex that will both feel strange to ride and likely fatigue the aluminum over time. And that little tiny nub holding the bottom bracket? When people stand on their pedals, that's where all their weight goes. I can easily imagine situations where that would shear off. I'd like to know how it works with a rack and fenders, since these are essential for commuting (which I assume is its intended purpose). It should be possible to put attachment points on the seat "tube", though it would screw up their nice clean lines. And the clearance between the rear wheel and stays looks far too small to fit a fender. The front might have clearance, but that weird shock absorber might make that a little difficult. Mavic ellipse wheels are made for track racing (ie perfectly smooth surface), not commuting on cracked tarmac. Like the frame, good luck having them last very long in real conditions. And lastly, having all that complicated electronics means that you most likely will only be able to get a Ford workshop with specialised software and engineers trained in that to repair the thing. By contrast, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Peugot have all been making bicycles for years, and they look nothing like this. (OK, admittedly Peugot's B1K concept was perhaps even more ridiculous than this, but they aren't actually trying to sel that to people.)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice looking concept that'll most likely get different if produced, including the wheels that were also on Smart eBike Concept and are now standard bicycle wheels. Carbon Belt Drive is nice as is the temperature range of -20 to +60 C. I wish there was more purpose-built vehicles from Ford - electric of course. Ford Edge (HySeries) seemed like a good crossover, too bad the whole fuel cell technology was too much too soon.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      350 watts? You may make it up a hill 3 mph faster... what a hoot ;) 15.5mph is pretty pathetic.. that is what a average bicyclist can muster on flat ground. 53 miles from a 9.3AH battery seems unrealistic by a factor of 2x, assuming this is a 36v battery we are speaking of.. I had a 250w kit with skinny tires that did about 17mph when i got into ebikes.. it did about ~23 miles on a 10ah 36v battery with the throttle down 100% and pedaling the entire time. Not that 100% throttle did much for you in the first place.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        But the bike does look nice, dontcha think? looks like it would be expensive though. For you who are interested in building your own ebike, you should check out the ampedbikes or ebikekit websites for conversion kits. And if you truly like to geek out on things and have time on your hands, check out the endless-sphere forums.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 3 Years Ago
      It is a EV so of course Ford will not mass produce it. Ford will only hand build EV's so they can show everyone how expensive they are compared to ICE and then talk about limited range compared to ICE. Mm, mm thats good greenwash!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        throwback: Look at the price of the vehicles you name. It may not be a plot, but they are way, way more expensive than the petrol or diesel versions, so much so that there is no saving to be had by the purchaser due to lower fuel costs if the extra buying cost is taken into account.
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        I guess the Transit Connect EV does not count, nor the Focus electric.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          No . . . they really don't count. The Transit Connect is a glider that is converted into an EV by Smith Electric. The Focus electric is a 'Ford' but it has largely been designed by auto-parts supplier Magna. Until you actually start developing EVs from the ground up, you are only partially in the game. Designing from the ground up matters since you really want to shape the chassis dependent on where you put the batteries.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          Transit Connect is put built by Azure Dynamics, after they get the glider from Ford who builds the glider in Turkey.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford is making an effort, at least. But woe, woe! If only there was another e-bike out there, that was cheaper, faster, and could go further....but....where, o, where, could we find such a thing, and more importantly, who to build it? (2Wheel - I don't think it would be possible for me to smile any harder right now, without the sides of my smile meeting in the back of my head, causing the upper 2/3rds to topple off)
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Lol... well dude, plenty of people are selling complete ebikes for around $1000.. you can find them at walmart, best buy, or local ebike shops.. they ain't flyin' off the shelves though here in North America.. Am actually considering opening an eBike shop in Colorado Springs, CO though. If you want to see my bikes on youtube, do a search for 'MAC motor on 15S'... i'm neptronix.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Great job man!
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      good looking bike. done as a pr stunt to make you the sheep forget that their cars are heavy wasteful primitive and not electric.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        And the happy thought of the day is brought to you by Dan 'Buzz Killington' Fredrikson. In other news, by Dan: 'Jesus's miracles just a cry for attention' 'Chevy Volt starves brown skinned children and is a plot by Bush to do just that' 'cure for cancer developed by Merck was done purely for profit motives. As such, cancer patients should refuse all treatment.'
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