Feb. 14 (UPI) — General Motors, the largest automaker in the United States, on Thursday unveiled its new electric bicycle that will be released first in a few European markets.
The ARĪV e-bike brand includes a compact bike, the Meld, and a folding bike, the Merge, GM said in a statement. It will first launch in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, where electric bikes are popular. GM has begun taking pre-orders for the bikes, which cost between $3,100 and $3,800.
GM announced the eBikeBrandChallenge in November, a $10,000 grand prize contest to find a name for the new bike. The winner was ARĪV.
“The crowdsourcing campaign allowed us to bring consumers into the development of our brand,” Hannah Parish, ARĪV director, said. “Combine that with our products and our blend of bike and automotive talent, and the result is a unique brand DNA.”
GM did not specify in the statement when, or if, the bicycles will be sold in the United States.
Engineers who worked on Chevrolet’s Bolt electric car helped develop the eBike brand.
The Meld and Merge have a lithium-ion battery that can charge in 3.5 hours and produce nearly 40 miles of motor-assisted riding in a single charge. They also have LED safety lights and over-sized braking motors. GM facilities in Michigan and Canada designed and engineered the bicycles.
Each new model was designed to be compact and allow for more convenient storage, GM said.
Both ARĪV bikes have a walk mode that allows riders to engage a motor and walk up inclines more easily. They can also be connected to an eBike app through to measure speed, distance, battery level and distance.