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Voltitude V1: Pedal-Assist Electric Bicycle to Enter Production in March


volitudeVoltitude SA, the Swiss company that grabbed out attention last year with a concept bike has now started production of the Voltitude, a fold-up pedal-assist electric bicycle or pedelec.

The bike, now called the Voltitude V1, has had its shaped slightly changed, but still retains the distinctive Easyfold feature which enables it to be unfolded or folded in about a second, giving it the name “Swiss Army Bike”.

 As the creators of the Voltitude V1 thought that riders would mostly use the maximum motor assistance, they decided not to add any user-defined assistance, but rather stick to simplicity.

Thus, with its incorporated 7-speed rear-wheel transmission allowing the rider to change gears at any time including when not moving, riding the bike becomes an easy switch on and ride activity.

Powered by an electric motor of 250 W, this also has a torque sensor added on, thus, providing motor assistance till the electronically-determined 25 km/h (16 mph), in order to adhere to EU regulations. Their 11.6 Ah, 36 V lithium-ion battery ought to be sufficient for a 40 km or 25 mile range, also dependent on how much effort the rider wants to apply.

Included in the package is a 110/240V external charger that recharges the battery to 80 percent in about four hours or to 100 percent in six hours, according to the Swiss company. These calculations apply when a 240 V power supply is used, even though they will also add the correct power cord for your specific region.

The Voltitude V1 has a wheelbase measuring 1,087 mm and also has adjustable heights for the seats and handlebar, thus providing a ride similar to that which can be had in a conventional bicycle. The bike also has a low center of gravity thanks to the scooter-type tyres which have greater grip as well as the unique position of the battery and electric motor. The hydraulic brakes are made by Shimano and the bodywork comes in blue, red, Swiss flag or white colours with corresponding rear and front reflectors for increasing visibility.

Unfolded, the bike’s dimensions are 1,400×1,100×500 mm, that is, 55 x 43 x 20 in, and can bear a weight of a maximum of 100 kg (220 lb) for a height range of 148 to 192 cm (4.8 to 6.3 ft). With the folding pedals and handlebars, the unit can be folded to a package of dimensions 700 x 950 x 250 mm (27.5 x 37.4 x 10 in) whereas using the standard pedals and handlebars increases the width 500 mm or 10 in. With the battery pack, the bike weighs 27.5 kg (60.6 lb) while without it, it comes at 25 kg (55 lb).

The Swiss company made sure to emphasize on recyclable materials in its construction. Instead of using materials that are difficult to recycle, they used aluminium for the forks and wheels and the frame and the recyclable Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) for the bodywork. Key parts like the Li-ion battery can be taken back to Voltitude for recycling when no longer useful.

Voltitude is also developing an exclusive Carbonesium V1 model weighing 23 kg (50.7 lb) without the battery and 25.5 kg (56.2 lb) with the battery pack inclusive. The reductions in the weight are attributable to a main frame made of aluminium and magnesium, rear and front levers made of carbon fiber with forks of magnesium. This model will have a 40 mm front suspension and will only come in black.

The V1 will go on sale at CHF4,990 (approx. US$5,465), and will be expected to start shipping come March ending, 2013. The link below can be used to place international orders, while if you’re in Switzerland, you can get one at specific dealers. The Carbonesium model of the Voltitude V1 will sell at CHF7,990 (approx. US$8,760) retail.

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