Electric vehicles, such as the new Kia Soul EV, are becoming more common, and this year, debuting alongside the Soul EV, are two new Kia electric bicycles, the KEB City and KEB Mountain Bike.
Interestingly, Kia, a South Korean automaker, started out as a a bicycle manufacturer, in 1944. It took about three decades for Kia to expand enough to get into the automobile market with its first vehicle. Now, four decades later, Kia is making the move from conventional vehicles to electric vehicles, starting with the Kia Soul EV. At the same time, Kia is returning to its roots, with the debut of two new electric bicycles, the KEB City and KEB Mountain Bike.
The two KEBs (Kia Electric Bicycle) are human-electric hybrids, that is, they can be powered by pedaling or by the 250 W electric motor. The electric motor is powered by a 36 V rechargeable battery to a top speed of 15.5 mph and a maximum range of 25 miles per 4-hour charge. In a nice move by Kia, the battery is removable. Altogether, the bikes weigh in around 44 lb, which is at least twice as heavy as conventional bicycles, but removing the battery for tooling around on your own power was a great idea.
No actual production date has been set for these two electric bicycles, but seeing that Kia developed special processes and equipment for stamping and welding these bicycles in particular, it seems that at least limited production of the KEB City and KEB Mountain Bike is a distinct possibility. Now all I want is a Kia Soul EV with a dual bike rack and an onboard fast-charger for two electric bicycles. Can Kia make that happen?
Image © Kia Motors Corporation