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GM’s new EV only costs $3400 but there’s a small catch

The catch is it’s an electric bicycle.

GM has now joined a number of other automotive companies that have jumped into the rapidly growing electric bicycle industry.

GM introduces ARĪV electric bicycle

GM announced a $10,000 contest last November to crowdsource a name for its upcoming electric bicycle.

Today the automaker announced the winning name: ARĪV

The new ARĪV will come in two models. Both went on pre-sale today.

The ARĪV Meld is a compact electric bicycle while the ARĪV Merge is the folding version.

According to Hannah Parish, ARĪV director:

“The crowdsourcing campaign allowed us to bring consumers into the development of our brand. Combine that with our products and our blend of bike and automotive talent, and the result is a unique brand DNA.”

The ARĪV eBikes were engineered and designed in GM facilities in Michigan and Oshawa, Ontario. However, GM is limiting the initial pre-order period to customers in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands “due to the popularity of lithium-ion battery-powered eBikes in those markets.”

The e-bikes are expected to be available in more markets in the future.

The ARĪV Meld is priced at €2,800 In Belgium and the Netherlands, where the folding ARĪV Merge costs €3,400. In Germany, the ARĪV Meld is €2,750 and the ARĪV Merge is €3,350. The e-bikes are scheduled to begin shipping to customers in Q2 of 2019.

ARĪV Meld and Merge tech specs

The ARĪV electric bicycles will be produced with performance that meets Europe’s strict electric bicycle regulations.

That means a top speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) and no hand throttle. These are pedal-assist e-bikes only, though GM says there will be four different levels of pedal-assist to choose from.

In the lowest power mode, the ARĪV battery should be sufficient for 64 km (40 mi) of range. GM claims it should take 3.5 hours to recharge on a standard household outlet.

The mid-drive motor developed in-house by GM is marketed as 250 W, though like most motors in this class, “250 W” is largely in name only.

The e-bikes have integrated LED lights that are powered by the main battery. Hydraulic disc brakes are also included for added stopping power.

According to GM:

“ARĪV used GM’s automotive-grade capabilities to set high standards in eBike engineering. GM’s extensive experience with electric vehicle motor software and controls greatly influenced the proprietary GM motor that was built from the ground up specifically for ARĪV eBikes. The motor delivers top-of-segment power and torque for its size.”

GM also developed a smartphone app in which users can connect their bike using the ARĪV’s built in Bluetooth.

The app can serve as a display and report riding metrics such as speed, distance, remaining battery level, motor assist level, distance traveled and more. Additional features are planned for the app including a mode that will use a proprietary algorithm to help riders navigate to their destination with the least pedal effort possible.

What do you think about GM’s new e-bike. Should other automotive manufacturers join the growing trend? let us know in the comments below.

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power and the Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide.

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