The Volkswagen Bik.e

Volkswagen stakes claim to be the world’s leading sustainable automobile manufacturer by devising alternative transportation. The new VW Bik.e was unveiled last week at Auto China, the Beijing car show. This all electric “peddle-less” bicycle folds up to the size of a spare tire and packs in the trunk.

“We think far beyond the car as such with a focus on mobility in general,” said Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, VW Research and development chief. “You can take mobility along with you, for example to reach particular locations in town or to remain mobile in your leisure time when you have to park your car somewhere.”

The Bik.e has a range of only 12.5 miles with a top speed of 12.5 MPH.  So it’s not really a bike for biking. What’s cool though is that the Bik.e folds up into a tight easily accessible package. Stories published on line at Fastcompany, Good and Green Auto Blog didn’t provide details on the specific charging options. A trunk mounted docking station would be nice so it’s ready to roll at a moment’s notice.

There’s no word yet on price or availability. But it couldn’t be cheap. We’ll have to wait and see. Personally I’d like to see a peddle-powered version that stows into the same compartment. Could come in handy as an alternative to a long walk from parking to the final destination. One consumer on agrees. Mykal Cave said a more eco-friendly option would be a conventional bike he’d power on his own. “If you think about it that way, you’re actually causing harm to the environment because your replacing a bike that needs no electricity with one that does,” Cave said. “And unless you’re plugging this into a grid that uses solar panels or wind turbines, that electricity is probably coming from burning coal or some other fossil fuel.”

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.