Published on May 18th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Smart E-Bike Commercial Is Pretty Clever (VIDEO)

May 18th, 2014 by  

If you’ve read my stuff for long, you know that I’m pretty critical of most electric vehicle commercials. I can’t say I love everything about the video below, but it’s a pretty darn good one, imho. It makes the Smart E-Bike look cool. It shows its many benefits in clever ways and quickly enough that you don’t get bored and end with a sort of “Wow” feeling. Quite good. Thanks to Thomas Gerke for passing it along.

I certainly wouldn’t mind having a Smart E-Bike. 😀

Here’s a bit more info from a Gas2 article on the electric bike:

The production version of the pedal/electric Smart bicycle quietly debuted at this year’s Detroit Auto Show carrying a $2950 price tag. Along with the price, the bikes carried a features list full of clever, high-end components aimed at making the bikes both more durable, and more convenient, for its end-users.

First shown as a concept back in 2011, the Smart bicycle that bowed at NAIAS this year stays visually true to the original. For durability, the traditional bicycle chain is replaced with a durable belt drive system that can’t rust, won’t bind up/get thrown, and which (perhaps, most importantly) won’t tear up your pants if they happen to wander too close to the bike’s drive. An LED headlight, sturdy and aerodynamic front forks, and high-quality disc brakes mounted to wire rims with high-end Continental bicycle tires round out the “bike” hardware.

In addition to being a high-quality bike, though, the Smart bicycle is also an EV. Powered by an easily-removable battery (so you can charge it in your home or office) and a rear-mounted “Smart Drive” electric motor that’s visually similar to the Copenhagen Wheel. So equipped, the bike can be pedaled, pedal-assisted (where the electric motor boosts the rider’s own power), or pure EV modes.

smart e bike

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , ,

About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Doug

    I don’t understand why the builders of these bikes put I so much excess range. I ride my mountain bike at the maximum 30 miles – and that’s very rare. Most of my trips are more like 7-10 miles.

    Why not a less expensive option, with modest range? I really would like a lightweight electric bike to assist with small inclines and 10-15 knot headwinds on my short commute.

    • Benjamin Nead

      I read you 5 by 5, Doug. Perhaps it’s because their are two prevailing philosophies as to what an e-bike should be.

      One school subscribes to the idea that an e-bike should be an electric motorcycle and that the pedals are sort of perfunctory decoration. Top speeds are high and ranges are impressive. With this, though, you get big battery packs and associated electronics that add both weight and cost.
      You also essentially lose all the subtleties of non-assisted bicycle in the process. I appreciate what the folks who make these are trying to do. But, yeah, it’s not for me . . .

      The other school of thought dictates starting with a relatively lightweight bike, adding a minimal (250 to 350W) hub and just enough batteries to give a power assist against hills and wind for just a few miles. One way to go about this is buy a kit for around $400 to $600 and convert an existing mountain or urban hybrid bike to the task. You typically get a geared Chinese-made hub, a controller and battery pack that (it is hoped) integrate smoothly. You still have to deal with multiple packages that may or may not adapt to any given donor bike and the extra weight/complexity may not make it it worth it if you, like me, simply wants a little extra “oomph” going up a hill or encountering a headwind. But this sort of thing is the current mainstream and available today . . .

      Where the lightweight e-bike (2nd school of thought) is to evolve next is, hopefully, the all-in-one hubs (Copenhagen/Flykly, as described in my first post here) . . . battery/controller/motor in a single package, wireless smartphone user interface mounted on the handlebars. The ability to swap everything out as simply as removing the rear wheel on a conventional bike . . .

      There are obvious weight saving and convenience factors that can be made with this approach. Price-wise, it’s only going to be a few hundred dollars more than the current generation Chinese kit installed on a donor bike. But, until the products actually get here (now estimated to be towards the end of 2014,) it’s difficult to say if they’ll work as advertised. If they do, though, it’s going to be a game changer.

  • Benjamin Nead

    $3K is still a bit much for an e-bike, but I do like the way Smart has presented it in their commercial . . . and it is a nice looking ride.

    Still waiting for the glacial paced rollout of the Copenhagen wheel and it’s competitor, the Flykly. Initial forecasts from last December stated that both would be shipping by now. Latest news, though, is that both should be in the hands of folks who backed their early fundraising campaigns by the end of 2014.

    • Ha, I thought the Copenhagen Wheel fell through. Good to hear it hasn’t.

      • Benjamin Nead

        Here’s what I know, Zach. Superpedestrian (Copenhagen Wheel’s developer) has been keeping a low profile, but posted this upbeat message on their web site at the beginning on May . . .

        So, while it was originally envisioned that they would be delivering their first orders right about now, it appears that late 2014 is the new target date. If you happen to be in Boston on Fridays, Superpedestrain is offering test rides of the Copenhagen Wheel at their facility.

        Meanwhile, the Copenhagen Wheel’s main rival in the all-in-one
        e-hub sweepstakes, Flykly, also seemed (dare I say it?) asleep at the wheel through much of early 2014, But a bevy of recent press releases has also been forthcoming from their team.

        Flykly has abandoned their original design (striking similar to the Copenhagen Wheel and close enough for some to raise copyright infringement allegations,) joined forces with yet another all-in-one hub builder, the Italian concern, ZeHuS, and re-crafted just about everything into a new design. They are also announcing public test rides. Details in several successive posts here . . .

        So, if optimistic press releases are to be believed, it appears that all-in-one e-hubs are simply a little late to the party at this point and not completely down for the count. That both main entities are offering public test rides tends to confirm that it’s not just vaporware.

        Perhaps a CleanTechnica correspondent located nearer to these metro testing areas than I could take rides, compare the products and craft a report?

Back to Top ↑