Published on August 19th, 2011 | by Jo Borrás
Mercedes Announces a Smarter Smart for the Bike Lane
There was more than one new product announcement at Mercedes’ captive Smart brand this week, but even though this one rides the (literal?) coattails of its new-and-improved Electric Drive brother, it may still be the smartest Smart yet!
I first rode one of Mercedes’ early electric bikes over a decade ago in South Florida, thanks to an owner who had (apparently) not seen the thing’s pricetag. It was a pedal-assist bike, and the way the electric motor “kicked on” to boost your forward progress (it gave you a boost once you were going about 10 kph, to prevent upsetting slow-speed balance) was more than a bit unsettling. I handed it back to its owner before the “you broke it, you bought it” inevitability was able to manifest itself and kept on keepin’ on, as it were, driving along in my … what did I drive back then? A Suzuki Swift (aka Geo Metro)?
Something like that.
A decade later, though, I find that I’m commuting in downtown Chicago more often than not and a pedal-helper Smart electric bicycle suddenly seems like a much better fit. It’ll ride the train with me. It’ll beat city busses. I can drag it into the building without having to try to park it.
Promising stuff, in other words – and I doubt it carries the Smart ED’s laughable $40,000 (plus!) pricetag.
All Chicago needs now is a few Bike Fixtations and we’ll be set!
Check out the gallery, below, for a few shots of the Smart electric bike playing nice with its recently Tesla-fied kin … and a professionally-dressed woman who seems way too happy to be out of the Smart car and on to 2 wheels (a sentiment I’m sure many who’ve driven a Smart can appreciate).
Source | Photos: Smart, via Gizmag.