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UK: BMW i Pedelec electric bike to assist at 2012 Olympics

The future of mobility looks set to require a lot more legwork than anticipated, if recent unveilings from car manufacturers are any guide. BMW has become the latest carmaker to reveal an electric pedal cycle, following similar offerings from Smart and Audi.

The BMW i Pedelec will assist sweaty human pedalling at speeds of up to 16mph, with a quoted range of 15 to 25 miles depending on speed and gradients. Its lithium-manganese battery takes between 1.5 and four hours to recharge, varying according to the type of socket employed.

The Pedelec has been designed by BMW and is fashioned using carbon fibre and aluminium, meaning it shares its tech with F1 race cars. And equally with fishing rods.

A limited run of Pedelecs has been built, including 200 that will be used at the Olympics (for zipping between venues, as opposed to lapping the velodrome), but for now the bike is officially “just a concept”.

The Pedelec has been designed with a big hinge in the middle, folding up to allow commuters to wheel it easily onto trains and also to let it slot into the back of BMW’s upcoming i3 electric car. Special brackets will let the i3 carry a pair of Pedelecs side by side, clamped to the back of folded rear seats.

Sockets inside the i3 will even provide each Pedelec with a top-up charge, either from the i3’s own bigger battery or via the mains while the i3 itself is recharging.
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