EV World Open Access Article
Erika Tsubaki with Ford electric-assist bicycle at 2011 Frankfurt International Auto Show.
Exclusive interview with Erika Tsubaki at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
An electric bicycle, by Ford Motor Company, shown at a major car show? Why would Ford build an electric bike?
Well, the first answer that comes to mind is: why not? After all, 900,000 bicycles with electric assistance were sold just in Europe last year, with a strong upward trend.
EV World has already reported on the basic facts of Ford's e-bike project.
But we wanted to know more about Ford's motivation, and what plans may be in store for the future. After all, Ford's e-bike is a quite gorgeous, desirable machine -- all the more impressive given that it is Ford's first effort in this field.
So in Frankfurt during this year's IAA international motor show, we jumped at an opportunity to have a talk with Erika Tsubaki (who is Ford's Design Manager overseeing the e-Bike project).
EV World: Please tell us about the e-bike project's background.
Erika Tsubaki: Well, Ford of course is a global company, and we have been noticing that in many places, emissions regulations are becoming quite strict. You cannot sell a conventional internal-combustion moped in so many Chinese cities anymore, for instance.
And we have been getting a certain amount of pressure from Ford dealerships all over the world to build something that can lure young people, and urban-lifestyle people, into dealerships.