Volkswagen ‘E-Bike’

Announced at the recent Auto China 2010 show, and as seen this week on tech blogs like Gizmodo, car maker Volkswagen has debuted a bike. But this is no ordinary two-wheeler. The battery-powered bike is made to fit in the trunk of a car near where a spare tire would go. It can roll for about 12 miles on a single charge. The kicker? Look close, this bike has no pedals.

Volkswagen’s prototype “Bik.e”

According to Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s research and development chief, the company’s “focus on mobility” extends beyond cars. This prototype bike, which is not yet available to buy, has a range of 12.5 miles and a top speed of 12.5 mph. It folds into a disc shape to fit in a car’s spare tire compartment.

Its name is “The Bik.e,” and, yes, that extra period after the “k” is on purpose. Says a Gizmodo blogger on the naming: It was “presumably named by a VW marketing intern who made the best typo of his life.”

—Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.