Kia Debuts 2 Electric Bikes in Geneva
The Soul EV wasn’t the only EV on display by Kia at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
Kia displayed to two electric bikes – KEBs.
Why electric bicycles? Well… bikes belong to Kia’s heritage since 1944, when 70 years ago Kia produced them on mass scale.
“Back to the Basics
Exactly 70 years ago, Kia manufactured its first bicycle parts in Korea—who would’ve thought? Though we’ve come a long way since, we decided it was time to go back to the basics, but with a twist. Kia unveiled two prototypes (City model for urban use, and MTB for tougher terrain) of the Kia Electric Bicycle (KEB) concept to select media in Geneva. The KEB, designed and engineered by Kia’s Namyang R&D Center in Korea, has an innovative metal frame, propelled by a 250 Watt electric motor and weighing in around 20 kg. The KEB is designed for commuters, promising up to 40 km on a single charge, with a four-hour recharge time.”
“The City is intended as a universal design with its step-through frame, rear-mounted battery, 28-inch wheels and mud-flaps for the broadest appeal. The MTB has RockShox 100 mm front forks, a mid-mounted battery and 26-inch wheels fitted with all-terrain tyres – creating a sporty and youthful image.”
Two models were on display, both of which meet EU requirements for ‘pedelec.’ The bikes have 250 W of power and can go with electric drive up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph). Like in the Soul EV, the battery is lithium-ion polymer – who knows, maybe even from the same supplier SK Innovation. The frame, electric motor and power pack for both bikes were manufactured in Korea. Final assembly took place in Germany
“The rear-wheel drive KEB is propelled by a 250 watt electric motor producing a generous 45 Nm of torque, and powered by a 36 volt, 10 amp lithium-ion polymer battery pack which is easily detached for recharging. The City model will appeal to commuters thanks to a range of around 40 km on a single charge and a recharging time of four hours.”
One of the widely described elements in press release is the monocoque metal frame:
“Designed and engineered by Kia’s Namyang Research & Development Centre in Korea, the KEB features an innovative monocoque metal frame which looks like a carbon fibre frame, but is produced by an advanced metal stamping technology and a robotic automated welding process – resulting in automotive-industry standards of quality control.”
“Advanced metal stamping technology is a new production method specially developed at the Namyang R&D Centre for manufacturing the KEB’s frame. After pressing a metal sheet each side of the frame, the frame undergoes a robotic automated welding process ensuring uniform quality. This is in contrast to the frame of a more conventional bicycle, which is often manufactured by hydroforming, increasing the complexity and cost of production.”
“Using these production methods has allowed Kia a greater degree of design freedom, with distinctive surfacing details and a unique structural design. A greater choice of metals can also be used during production, with metal stamping allowing the frame to be made up of aluminium, high-tensile steel and stainless steel.”