The Ford E-Bike: An Interesting Urban Solution, but No Replacement for a Car
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) recently introduced its third electric bike, called the MoDe:Flex, as part of the company’s Smart Mobility initiative. This represents a follow-up to the two earlier models, the MoDe:Me and the MoDe:Pro, introduced in March, according to the company website.
Overall, Ford’s e-bike series represents a solution to a very urban problem: the long commute. It offers urban dwellers an easier and more eco-friendly way to traverse the city landscape. The MoDe:Pro can do the same thing for the commercial pizza or package delivery person. The e-bike lies at an interesting intersection between transportation and technology.
On that note, the e-bike connects “seamlessly” with an app that supplies the rider with information regarding factors affecting the commute, such as weather, current parking costs and traffic patterns. In addition, it provides “health and fitness information.”
The MoDe:Link software designed for smartwatches provides compelling hardware interactivity for the rider. It causes the handlebars to vibrate before coming to a pothole. The smartwatch also alerts the rider by beeping, according to Ford’s website.
The e-bike can be folded and placed on charge within a Ford vehicle, making it an easy complement to owning a Ford. With that said, the e-bike was never intended to replace a car or a truck, even in urban areas.
The e-bike would be most feasible for the urban commuter who travels only a few blocks to get to work or the commuter train and when driving a car or truck would only slow things down. In contrast, distance and speed limitations of the e-bike simply will not work for the rural commuter who needs to travel 30 to 50 miles to work.
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