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Kia Unveils Two Electric Bikes at 2014 Geneva Motor Show

South Korean auto manufacturer Kia looks set to return to its bicycle-manufacturing heritage with a cutting-edge and environmentally friendly twist.

The company showed of two prototype electric hybrid bikes at the Geneva Motor Show, boasting 40 km range.  Both models, City and MTB,  were already given a brand name, Kia Electric Bicycle (KEB).  Both bikes are of the "pedelec" variety, meaning they can be pedaled and powered electrically.  One is intended for city riding and the other for off-road and the name indicates.

The two prototype KEB models were made using a frame, electric motor and power pack manufactured in Korea, together with brake and gear components from Shimano in Japan. Final assembly was carried out in Germany.

Media and public reactions to the all-new Kia Electric Bicycle will be monitored closely by Kia Motors Corporation, 70 years after it first manufactured bicycles in Korea during 1944.

The company went on to become Korea's first mass producer of bicycles before growing into one of the world's largest automotive manufacturers.

The rear-wheel drive KEB is propelled by a 250 watt electric motor producing a generous 45 Nm of torque, and powered by a 36 volt, 10 amp lithium-ion polymer battery pack which is easily detached for recharging. The City model will appeal to commuters thanks to a range of around 40 km on a single charge and a recharging time of four hours.

Designed and engineered by Kia's Namyang Research & Development Centre in Korea, the KEB features an innovative monocoque metal frame which looks like a carbon fibre frame, but is produced by an advanced metal stamping technology and a robotic automated welding process - resulting in automotive-industry standards of quality control.

Advanced metal stamping technology is a new production method specially developed at the Namyang R&D Centre for manufacturing the KEB's frame. After pressing a metal sheet each side of the frame, the frame undergoes a robotic automated welding process ensuring uniform quality. This is in contrast to the frame of a more conventional bicycle, which is often manufactured by hydroforming, increasing the complexity and cost of production.

Both models weigh around 20 kg (44 lb), have a top speed of 25 kph (15.5 mph), a 40 km (25 mile) range and brake and gear componentry from Shimano.

Kia Unveils Two Electric Bikes at 2014 Geneva Motor Show Reviewed by Brandon on 1:31 AM Rating: 5

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