Rüsselsheim/Geneva. Opel is presenting a stylish and environmentally-friendly urban design concept at the Geneva Motor show: the RAD e bike. It is fun and responds to customer needs to be mobile when car use is restricted or not possible. The RAD e is also a reminder of Opel’s early industrial period of manufacturing bicycles. In that sense, the designers developed a study that is both historically relevant and offers a vision of the future.
The RAD e is aimed primarily at urban people at a time when e-bikes are predicted to play an increasing role in future integrated urban transport concepts.
It follows Opel’s design philosophy “sculptural artistry meets German precision” and incorporates boomerang design cues that also appear in the award-winning Ampera and the RAK e experimental electric vehicle. The RAD e name takes its inspiration from “Rad” -the German word for bicycle and wheel.
The RAD e is the first e-bike concept to be designed around automotive manufacturing mass production methods. Instead of exotic light-weight materials, the Opel designers opted for a hollow pressed-steel frame which is also light weight, strong, flexible and easy to make. In Opel’s 150th anniversary year, it is particularly appropriate that the designers took their inspiration from the Opel’s 1928 Motoclub 500 motorbike which also had pressed-steel frame elements. At the time, the Motoclub was revolutionary because its steel components were pressed, cutting the production time from previously 14 to just four hours. Thus Opel makes a historical link to its pioneering spirit of the past which is still relevant for its innovations of the future.
The RAD e’s pedelec propulsion system is based on a state-of-the art 250 watt electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. In a maximum time of two-and-a-half hours, the battery can be fully charged. The e-bike can also be transported on Opel’s unique FlexFix bicycle carrier and be charged while driving.
Delivering at least 40 Nm of instant torque, the bike feels agile and fun to ride. The motor gives the rider support when pedaling. At an average speed of 20 kilometers an hour and depending on the electric assist and terrain, the e-bike achieves an electrically supported range of between 60 and 145 kilometers.
The same smartphone-based control unit that made its debut with the RAK e battery powered experimental car last year is now used with the RAD e. The control unit is a user-friendly solution that unlocks the electric engine, provides real-time data on range, speed and exact location.