San Francisco-based startup Bolt Motorbikes just exceeded its crowdfunding goal by raising more than $200,000 on Indiegogo and is now accepting reservations for the electric bike company's first model, the Bolt M-1, at a cool $5,495. What separates Bolt from the competition, according to co-founders Nathan Jauvtis and Zach Levenberg, is the ability to zip around the city on the street or bike lane. That's because the Bolt qualifies in California as a "motorized bicycle" that can be operated like a conventional bicycle, at least in economy mode with a top speed of 20 mph and maximum output power of 1,000 watts. Other states and countries have different rules when it comes to classifying electric bicycles.
When switched to sport mode, the 140-pound M-1 can reach a top speed of 40 mph; however, the company advises this is for “off-road” enthusiasts only. When cruising in economy mode down a bicycle path, the M-1 can travel up to 50 miles on a single charge without pedaling. City biking gets 30-35 miles to a charge. Regenerative braking can extend range and increase efficiency, and the bike can be fully charged in five hours from a wall outlet using the smart charger.
Besides the obvious beneficial environmental impact of being fully electric and thus zero emissions, according to the company the M-1 uses the most environmentally-friendly lithium chemistry available. The batteries are also 100 percent recyclable.
With Tech Crunch calling Bolt “the Tesla of electric motorbikes,” there is a justified buzz surrounding the M-1. Will the M-1 turn into the Model S of electric motorbikes or become the EV1 of e-bikes? In a city as hilly as San Francisco, throttling up those steep streets could certainly appeal to hard-pedaling bike commuters.
Images via Bolt Motorbikes