To help bring the concept to completion, Opel worked with design and brand consulting company KISKA, maintaining a partnership that had previously created the Opel RAK e. Following in the tradition of the Ampera and RAK e, this e-bike concept, with its pedelec drive, extends and enhances Opel’s e-mobility strategy.
The RAD e is the first e-bike designed around automotive production methods. It is made of hollow pressed-steel which is light, strong, flexible and easy to make. Other design highlights include the almost self-supporting frame, which makes the battery the heart of the bike; the dynamic flow of lines; and the fully-enclosed drive, which reduces maintenance needs to a minimum.
The RAD e’s 250 W electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery and deliver, according to Vauxhall/Opel’s calculations at any rate, 40 Nm of instant torque. The battery would be compatible with the company’s FlexFix bicycle carrying system for cars that would allow the RAD e to be charged in transit.
It’s claimed that an average speed of 12.4 mph (20 km/h) should be “easily attainable” – presumably over the entirety of its electrically-propelled range of between, er, 40 and 90 miles (64 to 145 km). The RAD e’s frame is intended to be made from hollow pressed-steel and its designers claim it is the first electric bicycle to be “designed around automotive manufacturing mass production methods” – of course, until this thing physically manifests itself, such claims should be regarded with some suspicion.
“The challenge of this project was to ensure maximum production efficiency on the one hand, while making the design as forward-looking and appealing as possible,” says Marcus Waldmann, managing partner and project manager of the RAD e project at KISKA.