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Published on October 17th, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers


Folding E-Bike from Gabriel Wartofsky Design a Promising Addition to Green City Transit Network

October 17th, 2011 by  

Making green urban transit system work effectively demands the launch of a smart network containing a set of transit hubs and options that seamlessly blend automobile, rail, bike, foot, and other modes.

One component of such a green transit network might be a folding e-bike, such as the ones being developed by Gabriel Wartofsky Design (GWD).

This e-bike prototype features a 250-watt hub motor that provides up to 15 mph electric assist from a hidden lithium-ion battery pack. The bike is capable of going 10 to 15 miles before charging is necessary. Another GWD prototype is in development that will feature a larger 350-watt motor and a battery pack with a 15 to 40 mile range.

Both e-bikes feature 2-inch-diameter steel tubing, a low step-over height frame, airless tires surrounding 20-inch wheels, a chainless shaft drive system, an adjustable handlebar, and increased pedal crank clearance.

“It’s inherently compatible with other modes of transportation, so it facilitates car-pooling, public transit and even travel by air,” says Wartofsky. “Electric assist ensures you won’t sweat in business attire and a chainless drive eliminates the risk of damaging clothing.”

In an optimum setting, such an e-bike could be picked up and dropped off at facilities that provide charging capabilities — an option more cities are starting to consider.

Wartofsky believes that such e-bike intersects are ideally located near bus stops or rail links for seamless transport integration, making it easy for commuters to hire short-distance transport solutions using items like RFID smart cards, like those already being used at bike rental stations in many major cities internationally.

While such bikes may be individually owned, Wartofsky’s previous design work suggests that such bikes might be best suited to become part of an urban transit network via existing bike-sharing programs.

Although Wartofsky has not released a price for his folding e-bike, when it becomes available early next year, Kickstarter backers were offered a pre-launch price of US$1,395 with a full two-year warranty.

The following You Tube video reveals the inspiration behind, and demonstrates the folding action of, the folding e-bike:

Photo: Gabriel Wartofsky Design 

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About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

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