|Photo by Freeimages.com/Carrie Sutton|
Dan Hyde, The Daily Telegraph, August 20, 2015
Brompton chief executive says company working on folding model of electric bike that will 'get rid of sweat and lycra' involved in commuting to work.
Electric bicycles promise to transform the daily commute and could become a common sight on city roads as early as next year, the boss of Britain's largest bike manufacturer has predicted.
Will Butler-Adams, the chief executive of Brompton Bicycle, said the company is working on a folding model that will "get rid of the sweat and lycra" involved in commuting to work or social engagements.
The company has announced plans to move to a new factory in Greenford, London, allowing it to double production to 100,000 bicycles a year - and build the new "pedelec" model.
Pedelecs capture the kinetic energy generated in cycling and store it in a battery. When the bike reaches an incline, a sensor detects the slowing pedal speed and a small motor propels the bike forwards.
Under EU rules, pedelecs can travel no faster than 15mph. They are popular in Holland, Switzerland, Germany and other European countries, but have yet to take off in Britain, where they are seen as too impractical for commuting and storage in cities.
Mr Butler-Adams anticipates that the new Brompton folding pedelec, which he hopes to put on sale next year, will provide a major breakthrough among those tired of packing into buses and trains twice a day.
"In the UK we have something of a fixation on cycling for exercise, rather than as a means of transport," he told The Telegraph. "But we will get rid of the sweat and lycra and it will catch on.
"This is about making urban living more enjoyable and helping people realise they don't have to go down nasty little holes and squash into underground trains every day."
Brompton is working with Williams Advanced Engineering to transfer to bicylces the technology that helps its Formula 1 cars accelerate out of corners.
This article was written by Dan Hyde Consumer Affairs Editor from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.