General Motors has officially joined the e-bike fray! While it’s not available in the United States yet, and it’s more of a moped than a motorcycle or a bicycle, it’s definitely interesting to see one of the “big three” hop on the e-bike bandwagon. This is part of GM’s commitment to “an all-electric future.”
The bike is called the ARIV, apparently pronounced “arrive” and is launching in Europe: specifically, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, where bicycles are a hugely popular form of personal transport. The name is a result of a GM crowd-sourcing campaign, and the winner received a cash prize! What a way to advertise the upcoming launch.
The e-bikes are powered by a fully original GM electric motor designed specifically for this bike. There are two models of the ARIV: the Meld and the Merge. They are nearly the same, with a top speed of about 15mph and a range of around 40 miles, with an approximately 3-hour charge time. The difference is, the Merge folds up, so it’s easier to carry around in the back of a car, on a bus or train: this solves that “last mile” problem. And you don’t have to worry about gas leaking out of your machine!
The European prices are set at 2800 euros for the Meld and 3200 for the Merge (approximately $3200 to $3800 respectively).
In order to market these in the US, GM will have to pick their locations very carefully, and decide how to classify the vehicles (if they’re “bicycles” licensing won’t be a problem). Since the pedals assist the electric motor, the classification differentiation between a bicycle and a moped will be an interesting problem. Many states will no doubt want their motor vehicle excise taxes!
They will begin shipping around April, so keep your eyes on those bicycle-packed Amsterdam streets for GM e-bikes.