Swedish furniture maker IKEA has grown to include solar panels in select stores, and now it is adding electric bikes to its maze-like aisles as well. Two IKEA stores in Vienna, Austria will begin selling the FOLKVÄNLIG electric bicycle at a cost of €749, or about $1,023 dollars at today’s exchange rate.
The FOLKVÄNLIG is being offered in both male and female flavors, with an aluminum frame weighing about 60 pounds and a range of about 37 to 45 miles of pedal-assisted power between charges of the lithium-ion battery pack. Charging takes about five hours, but the 250 watt motor is hooked to a Shimano transmission with six different driving modes. IKEA Family members also get a €100 discount, making this IKEA e-bike that much more affordable. The question is, will it come in a flat-pack box?
While just a pilot program for now, people have proven willing to drop far more than a $1,000 on stuff they really don’t need at IKEA. The Swedish company has gone further than most in its efforts to go green, including installing a number of electric car stations at stores across the world. This e-bike is honestly one of the more useful things the Swedish company makes (says the guy who has at least a dozen IKEA pieces in his home at any one time). Should it prove successful, maybe IKEA will work some of its furniture know-how into a folding e-bike design for the cramped apartments of many major metros.
The IKEA FOLKVÄNLIG already has one of their unpronounceable names, and they’re even offering a two-year warranty so I’d say they’re already halfway there.