GM creates a global e-bike, looks for branding help with contest

GM compact e-bike

General Motors is already shaping up to be second only to Tesla in blasting past the 200,000-vehicle ceiling for the federal EV tax credit; and it has plans to produce 20 new fully electric vehicles by 2023.

Part of that EV-savvy strategy, apparently—or a parallel one, perhaps—involves e-bikes intended for “consumers around the globe.” Friday, the company showed first pictures of two e-bikes it’s developed—one folding and one compact—and that they’ll be available for sale in 2019.

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“We blended electrification engineering know-how, design talents and automotive-grade testing with great minds from the bike industry to create our eBikes,” said Hannah Parish, GM’s director of Urban Mobility Solutions.

GM folding e-bike

So far GM has very little information about the bike, and nothing on the specs, how many it might build, or who those bike industry partners are. But it promises “a proprietary drive system that is small and powerful,” and notes that the bikes were “born from the same design clay as cars, by the same award-winning designers.” It’s also suggested that the bikes might take advantage of GM’s OnStar connectivity—or at least OnStar’s telemetry expertise—as a “last mile” solution for trips that start in a personal car or with ride-hailing, for example.

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The automaker points out that by 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population is anticipated to live in cities.

GM folding e-bike

GM also hasn’t disclosed how it’s going to sell, or otherwise offer, the e-bikes. Will they be included as accessories with electric vehicles like the Bolt EV; sold as part of a standalone business; or offered through its Maven car-sharing and ride-hailing operation?

In the meantime, it’s looking for help with branding the bikes. Those interested in submitting ideas can go here until 10 a.m. EST on November 26. Challenge winners will receive $10,000, and runner-up submissions get $1,000.

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