Frankfurt Motor Show 2011: Ford E-Bike

Just two wheels, handlebars, no roof … why, that’s not a car, that’s a bicycle!

Actually, the real shocker wasn’t seeing an electric bicycle turn up at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2011 – Husqvarna, the motorcycle brand owned by BMW, had already rolled one out there (although it looked a lot more like a dirt bike than a bicycle, truth be told). What was shocking was that this vehicle came from Ford. So is Ford now in the e-bike business? Not exactly.

Ford E-Bike Concept

image via Ford

“Designed to show how the company’s design language can translate to a bicycle, the Ford E-Bike Concept also demonstrates the spectrum of Ford’s electric mobility competence,” the company said. “Ford has no plans to produce the E-Bike but will continue studying the concept along with other future mobility solutions.”

About the bike: Ford highlighted the “cross-gendeer” trapezoidal design created in-house by Ford Design, with collaboration from the German company cyber-Wear. The concept is made of aluminum and carbon, weighs in at about 5.5 lbs., and is powered by “a drive system consisting of a motor in the front wheel hub (and) a lithium-ion battery concealed in the frame.”

Ford said “an integrated controller and patented magnetostriction sensor technology” used on the bike are borrowed from Formula One – “the first application of this technology in the bicycle industry” – providing a “seamless integration of the power of the legs with the power of the motor.”

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.