Folding e-bike Commuter Concept Set for Production

Gabriel Wartofsky hopes his pedal-assist electric folder will help reveal what he calls “the hidden magic” of commuting by bicycle to the American public … and, after two years of trying, it seems like his innovative design is finally ready for prime-time production.

The pre-production prototype of Wartofsky’s e-bike (below) remains true to the original concept art (above) with a low step-through design, innovative flip-n’-fold articulation, and higher-quality pedals, hand controls, and seat than we’re used to seeing on electric bikes (even those from big OEMs like Yamaha, Mercedes-Benz, and the artsy Euro bikes).

Another “better than we’re used to seeing” feature in Wartofsky’s bike is the artfully “hidden” li-ion battery pack, capable of providing up to 250W of pedal-assisting current over a 15-40 mile range (depending on how much pedaling v. assisting is going on). Take a look up there – you can hardly see it! Because of the hidden battery and subtle motor, this is the first ebike that doesn’t shout “ELECTRIC BIKE!” at passers-by, which (like Buick’s eAssist not being called “hybrid”) may actually help to attract potential buyers who don’t want to stand out from the crowd quite that much.

Wartofsky’s project is part of the larger “Conscious Commuter” project, which hopes to “shape the future of urban mobility by solving the ‘first and last mile’ commute problem” by providing an easy, fun, and efficient way to travel that “first” and “last” mile from home to train/bus and bus/train to office. The storage/charging kiosks Wartofsky envisions (below) certainly look good enough to make believers out of casual cyclists, I think, and Wartofsky seems to be converted, himself. “It’s inherently compatible with other modes of transportation, so it facilitates car pooling, public transit and even travel by air,” he explains, adding that “electric (pedal-assist) ensures you won’t sweat in business attire and a chainless drive eliminates the risk of damaging clothing.”

Here’s hoping the last hurdles have been, um … hurdled (sorry), and Wartofsky’s vision comes to a city near you rather sooner than later.

Source | Photos: Conscious Commuter, via TechVehi.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.