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Smart ebike launching in 2012, Daimler confirms

Daimler-owned city car brand Smart is to launch an electric bike next year, it confirmed August 16.

The producer of the iconic Smart Fortwo will make its first venture on two wheels during the first half of 2012 in cooperation with German electric bike manufacturer Grace, Daimler said.

The electrically-assisted Smart ebike will initially be marketed in Europe and North America and is billed as "typically smart," with designers choosing to accentuate the electric additions to the bike instead of attempting to obfuscate them.

Although the bike can be powered by muscle alone, pressing a button brings a 250-watt electric motor to life, with a choice of four power levels to help propel the bike forward.

Daimler says that the 400 Wh lithium-ion battery is one of the most powerful used for bikes and can last for over 100 kilometers, depending on the power level selected and the manner of cycling.

Although the battery can be recharged using an outlet, riding also provides charge, and brake energy from the Magura MT4 disc brakes is recuperated when the rider slows down.

Daimler says that a near-series version of the smart ebike will be on display at the Eurobike show in Friedrichshafen (August 31- September 3, 2011) and at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which runs September 15-25 in Frankfurt, Germany.