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Smart Electric Bike to launch in 2012

With bicycles becoming a more and more popular mode of daily transportation, both in Europe and here in the U.S., tiny-car company Smart has decided to take its eco-friendly design chops into the two-wheeler market with the Smart Electric Bike ($TBA). The company debuted a concept design for the bike at last year’s Paris Auto Show, but we’re now hearing that the bike will go into full-scale production starting in 2012. 

The sleek Smart Electric Bike houses a 250-watt electric motor (powered by a 400-Wh lithium-ion battery) in its y-shaped frame, and offers an impressive 62 miles of enhanced travel on a single battery charge. If the rider runs out of juice, the battery can be recharged by pedaling. With four different power levels to help you get up a steep hill or speed past your non-electric bike buddies, the Smart bike can go up to 40 kilometers per hour, which translates to just about 25 mph. 

Expected to launch in Europe and North America sometime in the first half of 2012, the Smart Electric Bike will also feature smartphone integration, a carbon belt drive, and assisted brakes. Smart CEO Dr. Annette Winkler says, “The smart ebike is a true smart – but on two wheels. It is an extremely well designed bicycle that is sure to draw admiring glances in the city – it’s also really practical and easy to ride. Anyone can zip through town on it with or without exerting themselves – depending on their fitness level and as their mood takes them.” 

With sales of electric bicycles booming in recent years across Europe, Smart is hoping to get in on the action with its stylish and practical offering, and maybe even bring some of the craze to North America. Would you pay a little more for a bike that was power-assisted with zero emissions?