Not contented with just showing new and facelifted car models, Korean manufacturer, Kia, will also be featuring a couple of new K-velo electric bicycles, releasing a teaser image for them before their Geneva debut.
The two bikes, a City and an MTB variant, is designed and engineered at Kia’s Namyang R&D centre in Korea, featuring ultra-high strength steel monocoque metal frame produced by advanced stamping technology and robotic automated welding process to give it automotive-industry levels of production and quality control.
The City is said to feature a step-through frame, rear-mounted battery, 28-inch wheels and mud-flaps, while the MTB, designed for off-road use, gets RockShox 100 mm front forks, a mid-mounted battery and 27.5-inch wheels with all-terrain tyres. Both gets Shimano brakes and gear components.
Both the K-velo bikes gets a Bosch 250 Watt electric motor that pushes 45 Nm of torque. It uses a 36 volt, 10 amp/hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack that gives the City a range of up to 70 km and, for the MTB, gets around 50 km. The battery pack can be easily detached for recharging which is said to take about four hours.
Kia showcases eco-mobility in Geneva with new K-velo electric bike
- Kia K-velo promises electric range of up to 70 km
- Features technical innovations in design, specification and manufacturing
- Two models – City and MTB – made from ultra-high strength steel
Geneva, March 3, 2015 – Kia Motors will unveil the latest versions of its prototype K-velo electric bikes at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, showcasing the brand’s ongoing efforts in pioneering eco-friendly future mobility.
The new Kia K-velo is a ped-elec electric bike, shown in both City and MTB versions, offering zero-emissions transport. In either form, the K-velo promises lively performance from its powerful electric motor, while incorporating a host of technical innovations in the bike’s design, specification and manufacturing techniques. The K-velo draws on innovations and processes used by Kia’s global car production facilities.
Range of up to 70 km from innovative electric powertrain
The rear-wheel drive K-velo is propelled by an innovative electric powertrain from Bosch, with a 250 Watt electric motor, which produces a generous 45 Nm of torque, powered by a 36 volt, 10 amp / hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack.
The City model will appeal to commuters thanks to a range of up to 70 km – an improvement of 30 km over Kia’s 2014 electric bike prototypes – while the MTB version, designed for use in harsher, off-road environments, will offer a cycle range of around 50 km.
For ease of use, the power back is easily detached for recharging – a process expected to take around four hours from a domestic power supply.
Both the City and MTB models feature the same drivetrain and power pack and weigh around 20 kg in total. A top speed of 25 kph complies with EU regulations for electric bikes.
Automotive manufacturing techniques
Designed and engineered by Kia’s Venture Business Development Team at the company’s Namyang R&D centre in Korea, the K-velo features an innovative monocoque metal frame, produced by an advanced metal stamping technology and a robotic automated welding process. The result is an E-bike manufactured with automotive-industry levels of production and quality control.
Advanced metal stamping technology is a new production method specially developed at the Namyang R&D centre for manufacturing the K-velo’s ultra-high strength steel frame. After pressing a metal sheet each side of the frame, the ‘skeleton’ of the bike then undergoes a robotic automated welding process to ensure uniform quality. This is in contrast to the frame of more conventional bicycles, which are 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 be used during production, with metal stamping allowing the frame to be made up of aluminium, high-tensile steel or stainless steel.
City vs. MTB – broad appeal for commuting and off-road adventures
The City is intended as a universal design to appeal to commuters, with its step-through frame, rear-mounted battery, 28-inch wheels and mud-flaps. The MTB is designed for off-road use, and features RockShox 100mm front forks, a mid-mounted battery and 27.5-inch wheels fitted with all-terrain tyres.
The frame, electric motor and power pack are manufactured in Korea, while final assembly is carried out in Germany, with the addition of braking and gear components from Shimano in Japan.