IKEA to sell electric bike

Two stores in Austria will stock €749 Folkvänlig eBike – and it's not flatpacked

by Mat Brett   May 23, 2014  

IKEA ebike

Two IKEA stores in Vienna, Austria, will soon be selling the Folkvänlig electric bike at €749 (about £607), and the big news is that it won’t be delivered flatpacked, it’ll come fully assembled.

The aluminium Folkvänlig comes in designs for both men and women and weighs around 60lb (27kg). A 250W electric motor provides pedal assistance, the power supplied by a removable lithium-ion battery pack. Recharging takes around five hours and it is claimed that the battery is good for up to 500 recharge cycles without losing capacity.

The Folkvänlig has six Shimano gears and a range of 60-70km (38-44 miles).

IKEA haven’t announced plans to sell the Folkvänlig anywhere other that Vienna yet, but if successful it’s likely they’ll roll it out to other regions over time.

IKEA is big on green initiatives and has associations with bikes dating back several years. The Swedish brand gave all of its 12,400 staff in the United States a bicycle back in 2010 as a thank you for a successful year.

In 2006, it gave a folding Raleigh bike (above) to each of its 9,000 UK staff, a folder seeming particularly in keeping with the company's space-saving ethos.

13 user comments

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"...it is claimed that the battery is good for up to 500 recharge cycles..."

Let's imagine that the average commuter rides to work five times per week, and therefore recharges their electric bike five times a week. Might well be more, as you wouldn't expect to leave it unused at the weekend would you? So for the sake of a quick bit of arithmetic, let's stick to the five recharges per week.

500 cycles means a battery that is significantly impaired after 100 weeks. That is less than two years.

Could the manufacturers/retailers of such an ensemble possibly state how much replacement battery packs cost please? It would be quite helpful to know how much it costs to run. Having said that, it could easily be less than £2 per week.

posted by severs1966 [48 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 17:15

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severs1966 wrote:
"...it is claimed that the battery is good for up to 500 recharge cycles..."

Let's imagine that the average commuter rides to work five times per week, and therefore recharges their electric bike five times a week.

That doesn't follow.

It says the battery has a range of 38-44 miles. Call it 40 miles.

500 charges at 40 miles per charge is 20,000 miles. Can't see many people doing that in 100 weeks.

posted by Mat Brett [1818 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 17:53

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batteries are generally good for a lot more than the stated recharge cycles, too

a bosch 400Wh battery costs about £500, so i'd expect the ikea one to be a fair bit less than that. if we say for sake of argument that it'll be £400 and it lasts 2 years – that's a worst-case scenario, for sure – that's £4 a week. £2 a week is probably close to the mark.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7252 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 17:58

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Industrial factory gate price for that battery will be just over £100.00 and it's dropping all the time.

All you need is a bit of volume on the size/shape/ rating and the price becomes reasonable.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [457 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 19:09

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Bummer - looks like the front tyre on that folder is flat! Worried

agingbrit's picture

posted by agingbrit [2 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 20:13

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Crying expensive and dreadful...like most leccy bikes...yikes...
and for the price of a really nice frame...errr mad

posted by tommytwoparrots [14 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 21:19

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to expensive, wouldn't buy a bike from ikea and it looks terrible.

posted by markwill [18 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 21:56

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It likely comes with a device that forces you to walk all the way around it before you can get on.

posted by Cauld Lubter [117 posts]
24th May 2014 - 0:04

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Not that cheap if compared with other offerings in the market. I would stick to a bikeshop and enjoy after sales service at a location near my home.

The enthropy of the universe increases constantly. Carpe diem.

posted by noether [42 posts]
24th May 2014 - 6:23

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agingbrit wrote:
Bummer - looks like the front tyre on that folder is flat! Worried

Inflates with a 5mm Allen key.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [457 posts]
24th May 2014 - 9:12

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It is ugly and expensive. Hopefully German research on super-capacitors will continue as early results are promising, with experimental units yielding performance close to that of the best lithium ion batteries. Capacitors will be cheaper, lighter and more compact than batteries. They'll also last considerably longer, without the progressive reduction in performance seen in batteries. Capacitors do require sophisticated electronics to make sure the flow of power is at a steady, continuous rate but that technology is available. Once capacitors come onto the market, the cost of electric vehicles of all types will plummet and that can only be good. I wouldn't buy an electric car or bicycle right now as the batteries are expensive and in five years or so, they'll likely be seen as a technological dead end and the resale value of anything powered by them will plummet.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2130 posts]
24th May 2014 - 9:22

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OldRidgeback wrote:
Capacitors will be cheaper, lighter and more compact than batteries.

They won't. Ever.

That's fundamental to the physics, and what a capacitor is. I obviously don't know where you got that impression from, but there are some high profile snake oil companies out there claiming magical but untested properties for their products. But this is an age when we even have companies claiming to have invented perpetual motion (Steorn).

Best storage density for super capacitors is about a tenth of li-ion battery tech. There are companies experimenting with capacitor containers for li-ion cells as a way to improve life and charging speed which looks promising.

And whatever the solution, the long term trend is simply that batteries improve by about 6-7% each year, every year.

posted by bikebot [441 posts]
24th May 2014 - 9:52

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agingbrit wrote:
Bummer - looks like the front tyre on that folder is flat! Worried

I think you mean, "requires assembly".

posted by bikebot [441 posts]
24th May 2014 - 11:37

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