Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Ford sees folding e-bikes as the future of transport

Anticipates growing demand for foldable e-bikes which can be used in combination with car, bus, or train travel

Ford believes that folding e-bikes will become a key aspect of urban travel in the near future. Describing the firm as ‘very serious’ about bikes, Ford’s vice president for research and advanced engineering, Dr Ken Washington, said he felt there was a market for e-bikes which can be taken on public transport in particular.

At the Detroit North American International Auto Show this week, Washington, together with Techstars Mobility managing director Ted Serbinski, gave a presentation about Ford’s mobility solutions entitled “Finding New Ways To Move You”.

Stuck in traffic? Ford wants you to assemble a bike from parts of your car

The firm’s main focus, at present, is on two areas: bikes and flexible use and ownership of vehicles. Asked by Clean Technica afterwards how serious Ford was about the former, Washington replied simply: “We are very serious about bicycles.”

We’ve previously reported on two of Ford’s folding e-bikes and how they form part of the company’s Smart Mobility Plan, a vision of moving people around and through cities in the future.

Washington believes that conventional bikes are not a solution for everyone, requiring a certain level of fitness and also a certain amount of exertion which some might not want just before arriving at work. He therefore believes that there will be growing demand for foldable e-bikes which can be combined with car, bus, or train travel.

Washington said that Ford is at the stage of looking for partners and business models to make its e-bikes and an associated app publicly available. Tom Thompson, a Ford engineer, did however tell Tech Insider that the firm was basically still in ‘experiment mode.’

“We are still putting the whole product together and experimenting with features, trying to figure out what customers want and figuring out what the business case looks like, and what market we are going to go after,” he said.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Add new comment


gazza_d | 8 years ago
1 like

of course they, could not just throw a Brommie in the back could they. Just waiting for the Team Sky photoshoot

pd500 | 8 years ago

Certainly part of the answer but design and durability are key. I've tried a few types of e-bikes and the ones with the motor mounted on the bottom bracket seem the best (pedal assist).

CXR94Di2 | 8 years ago

I tried the electric assist bikes in Copenhagen recently. I can see their appeal for less fit people. Anything that gets more on bikes and less in cars

arfa | 8 years ago
1 like

Spot on from Ford but their prototypes are fugly. Brompton are working on an ebike and I am sure they'll clean up.
As an aside I had a colleague who moved out to the country and wanted to put an electric engine on his Brompton to ride in from the station (he used a moped previously). I convinced him to give it a try without and he binned the idea within a few days use. He enjoys the Brompton so much he now pretty much goes everywhere on it.

Stef Marazzi | 8 years ago

People have been doing this more and more over the last few years, but its not been quantified I imagine. Loads of people in Bath and Bristol park their cars around the outskirts (in park and rides and quiet side-streets) and cycle the remaining few miles to work, its a great way to fit in a cycle workout and keep your base mileage up, without getting stressed out sat in solid car traffic. I've been doing it for four years now and love it.

Latest Comments