On those occasions when you have to carry your electric bike, instead of the bike carrying you, it certainly can't hurt for the two-wheeler to fold up nice and neat.
With this in mind, we give you the VeloMini fold-and-carry electric bike from ELV Motors, released Wednesday.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company already has a significant lineup of electric bikes, scooters, and hybrid motorcycles. The VeloMini adds to the array a 32-pound electric bike that reaches a top speed of 12 miles per hour.
The lithium-ion battery that powers the VeloMini gives the bike a range of about 10 miles on a single charge, and takes 2 to 3 hours to fully charge.
The bike comes in a choice of five colors, and offers three different modes of operation.
You can pedal it like a regular bike without using the battery, use it as a moped which requires no pedaling at all, or use it in a hybrid pedal-assist mode.
ELV Motors claims that the VeloMini is "the right bike for any lifestyle" and that it can help those hoping to fill that last-mile gap when dealing with public transport, as well as those getting around a college campus.
Sounds reasonable, but with a current price tag of $1,050 for bike, carry bag, and toolkit, I'm not sure it fits into the lifestyle of the young people they seem to be targeting with their promotional videos. And while 32 pounds is not that heavy to carry, it's not simply a giant purse.
To be sure, ELV Motors is not alone in its price point.
Several foldable electric bikes (though not as lightweight) are priced in the $700 to $1,000 range, including those sold at superstores like Target, Amazon, and Walmart. Pedego sells its Umbrella folding electric bike for $899, and at the much higher end, NYCWheels sells electric folding bikes in the $2,000 range.