Sunday, February 10, 2008
You may never have heard of the French automotive company Matra. You've probably seen some of their designs and cars that they have built for other companies such as Renault, though. For instance, the strange and strangely popular Renault Espace minivan was initially made by Matra for Renault. They also have a rather successful history of racing, in Formula 1, Formula 2 and at Le Mans. The moped-like bike you see above and here in our gallery seems to be from the same company, although they do not produce cars anymore. The bike is electric and also allows for pedaling. The range of 60 miles or so could be increased with human power. Although limited to a bit less than 30 miles per hour, the bike can likely go faster, but it would lose out on being considered a moped and therefore would require a motorcycle license. This electric bike should be available for sale in Europe in the not-too-distant future, but no word on whether it'll make it to the States.
Interesting features of this electric bike include the disk brakes and their unusual mounting-system. The bike also supports regenerative braking. My guess is that batteries are stored in the rack above the rear wheel, but the round enclosure around the hub of the front wheel probably has batteries in it as well, while the other one at the rear is likely the motor. Looks like a fun little commuting machine!