Monday, 2 september 2019 | Redacción CEU
When imagining a future on wheels, the first images that come to our minds are based on really "smart" cars which are capable of driving without our help, taking us to our destination in the blink of an eye, getting rid of traffic jams in ingenious ways and, even, rising a few centimeters from the ground. Only a few could imagine that this automotive future may be on two wheels and pedals. However, is this vision less accurate? Electric bicycles are an economical, practical and eco-friendly alternative. In these characteristics lies most of their charm. Therefore, together with eScooters, they are beginning to position themselves as a proposal with great projection within the world of urban mobility.
More and more people are betting on other alternatives to cars such as eScooters and electric bikes. Especially, this last option is becoming a trend in some countries. For example, this is the case of Germany where 39,200 cargo-bikes –bicycles that can transport small goods and up to two children– were sold last year. This figure is particularly remarkable if we consider that, despite the fact that the government approved incentives of up to €4,000 for the replacement of conventional cars for electric cars, the number of electric vehicles sold was only 36,062. In fact, cities like Berlin, in large part encouraged by this new context (where cargo bicycles become even a status symbol), are betting on offering aids for the purchase of these bicycles.
Brands with pedals
Car manufacturers have also noticed this growing interest in bicycles. Nowadays, it is no longer necessary to use a car to move from home to work. This type of alternatives is also clean, sustainable and accessible. These are more than enough reasons for car firms to opt for the design of this type of two-wheel and three-wheel models.
One of the latest brands which has surprised us is Harley-Davidson. After years of positioning itself as a brand that could be identified by the noise, potency and dimensions of their models, the firm is beginning to turn towards electrification. The presentation of the LiveWire, an electric motorcycle, has already served as a declaration of intent. A purpose that was reaffirmed with the presentation of other electrical prototypes throughout the year. Now, the company has just launched two models of electric bikes for children: IronE12 (for children between 3 and 5 years old) and IronE16 (for children between 5 and 7 years old). They are models without pedals, with a 60-minute range, that have been designed for kids to acquire the necessary balance to stay on two wheels.
The company's interest in electric bicycles has also been confirmed thanks to the disclosure of work being carried out on three models of electric bicycles. In some way, Harley Davidson could find in electrification and new mobility a way out of the fall that it experienced due to the tariff war, at the beginning of the year.