The Matra MS1: Maybe the first practical hybrid bike

by Andi
Matra MS-1 Electric Bike

Lately, more and more light electric vehicles pop up. Whether they’re skateboards, wacky skates or whatever, they all share low speeds and ranges, and the need to drag them with you when the juice runs out. Then, there was the Pi Bike, which looked good, had an electric motor, and pedals to back you up. That one had a pretty short range, and above all an enormous price, and thus almost no practicality at all.

This time, a French company called Matra Sports have created what seems to be a really viable hybrid bike. Dubbed a ‘Lightweight Hybrid Motorbike”, it’s basically a high-tech moped. Read on for a more detailed description.

First of all, the available batteries offer a range of 25 to 100 km. That has to cover a day’s usual trips. Also, it’s got a quick charge mode, and takes only 3 hours to load to 80% of the battery’s capacity. Then, there’s regenerative braking.

Also, it’s got one whole KW of power. It might not seem to be a lot, but when you consider its weight of 40 kilos, it’s enough. The speed is electronically limited to 45 km/h, so it complies with the European moped regulations. Also, electric motors are well known for great torque: this one has 90N/m of torque, ensuring a quick acceleration.

If you’ll want to burn off some of those calories, you can always use the 9-speed chain drive instead of the wheel motors.

The safety department hasn’t been neglected at all. You’ve got huge hydraulic disc brakes, LED lighting and a horn. And let’s not forget the included helmet.

There’s a high tech dashboard too. A LCD display shows you the current speed and how much juice there still is in the batteries. Also, the bike is unlocked started up by a magnetic card.

What sets it apart from other relatively similar devices is the price. It costs about twice as much as a normal, polluting moped and about half of what the inferior Pi: €3,500 ($4,951).

If you’re into French, you can check out Matra’s homepage, where you’ll find more products and a detailed spec sheet. Via GizMag, where you’ll find a detailed picture gallery of this little marvel.

One review or comment

justin Says: January 3, 2008 at 4:35 pm

it would be cool if this was available in the mid-western states. it wouldn’t be very easy to get over $4,000…

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