It comes in two types of frames, ‘comfort’ and ‘active’ that cover a variety riding styles. Each includes a central electric motor, transmission, and battery that are all located behind the seat tube. The layout favours optimal distribution on the aluminium frame and provides ideal stability and handling. The piaggio electric motor in the ‘Wi-bike’ assists up to a maximum speed of 25km, and distributes power through three assistance modes that riders can choose, depending on the route they follow city, hill, and standard. Thanks to the motor, the electric bike helps in stop-and-go situations and adjusts according to different gradients. The lithium-ion battery onboard has a life of 120km in eco-mode, and adds the option of charging smartphones through a USB port on the display.
All flavours of the Wi-Bike are built around a 6061 aluminium frame, with the Comfort models available with or without an upper crossbar, and the Active models having a low or high upper crossbar. Sitting between the pedals is a proprietary 250 W electric power unit, and models feature either belt drive with electronically-assisted automatic transmission or a more traditional nine-speed chain drive setup. At the base of the down tube, under the saddle, is an IP65-rated waterproof, removable 418 Wh Li-ion battery pack by Samsung that offers between 60 and 120km of motor-assist range, depending on rider style, travel conditions and mode of operation, for every 3.5 hours on charge.
Ride information is displayed on a waterproof, backlit Bluetooth LE-enabled LCD instrument panel, which can connect wirelessly to its cradle thanks to NFC technology. This panel is home to a USB port for charging a smartphone battery or for loading in system software updates. The control system allows riders who choose between three assist modes. The City mode makes the most of the motor's 50Nm of torque to provide a boost as the bike moves off, useful for getting ahead in stop and go city traffic. The Hill mode adapts to the incline, providing more power as the slope increases, and the standard mode adds motor assist proportional to rider effort.
The Wi-Bikes feature Shimano hydraulic disc braking, 180mm disc to the front and 160mm to the rear, Continental 28-inch tires and integrated front and rear lights.
The bike's dashboard control unit, batteries and electric motor can only function if connected and communicating with one another. This allows the rider to effectively secure the vehicle when parked by simply removing the display module, rendering the Wi-Bike unusable. There's a GPS/GSM module integrated in the battery pack so users can keep track of their ride's location. Owners will also receive an alert via a dedicated companion app running on a Bluetooth LE-paired smartphone, and the bike's position will be shown in real-time on a map. The app also shows current charge status, offers navigation functionality, collects route data and stats, and allows users to share trip details, ride performance and fitness targets with friends via social media.
Prices should be revealed sometime soon.
Piaggio displayed their next endeavour in two wheel transportation the ’Wi-bike’ electric powered bicycle which focuses on the ideal daily commute.
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