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Lexus sheds two wheels

It's a Lexus: This concept hybrid bicycle from Lexus has an electric motor driving the front wheel, powered by a lithium ion battery.

Hybrid bicycle emerges from Lexus but there are no plans for production

30 Apr 2010

PLENTY of car-makers have offered plenty of expensive pushbikes bearing their own brand names over the years, as a means of both decorating their automotive showrooms and generating a handy additional revenue stream from customers willing to pay exorbitant prices for the privilege of owning the same brand of car and bike.

Lexus, however, has gone a step further by producing the Hybrid Bicycle concept, which leverages the Toyota luxury brand’s headlong marketing march towards dedicated petrol-electric vehicles but, says the Japanese maker, will not enter production.

That’s probably a good thing given that, unlike hybrid Lexus cars that do actually reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the Lexus Hybrid Bicycle will generate more CO2 than a regular pushbike, which (apart from its production) is already a zero-emissions form of transport.

Built from carbon-fibre and weighing just 17kg, the hybrid pushie comes with a 240-Watt electric motor – powered by a 25.9-volt lithium-ion battery – that drives its front wheel via a belt and eight-speed electric eight-speed Shimano internal gear system.

Of course, there’s also a conventional pedal-powered rear wheel, although Lexus says further examples of its automotive technologies include the choice of Eco or Power modes, a regenerative braking system to store kinetic energy and styling based on the Japanese brand’s ‘L-finesse’ design philosophy.

Lexus says its all-wheel-drive bike concept, which appeared at last year’s Tokyo motor show but has been wheeled out again to mark the company’s sponsorship of the Great British Bike Ride, can be fully charged in about two hours.

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