General Motors Starts Taking Orders for Electric Bicycles

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
general motors starts taking orders for electric bicycles

Last November, the world learned that both General Motors and Ford planned to enter the field of two-wheeled transportation as part of their new identity as “mobility” companies. Ford chose to purchase electric scooter startup Spin, whereas GM wanted to mass produce two e-bikes intended for direct sale. However, not much was known about the actual product, where they would be made available, or what the company intended to call them.

That changed Thursday, when GM announced its electric bicycles will carry the brand name “Ariv” (styled as ARĪV by the company) and commence sales within Europe in the second quarter of 2019. Customers have a choice between a compact e-bike and an even smaller, foldable one for a little more money.

Considering how much the authors on this website like to rag on rental scooters (which are an unholy menace), we’re glad to see General Motors take this route. Love or hate them, bicycles are better solutions for urban transport than standing scooters, and encouraging people to own them means fewer e-vehicles littering the sidewalk.

(What’s in that couple’s ridiculous jar? – Ed.)

Designed and engineered at GM’s facilities in Michigan and Ontario, both bikes offer a claimed 64 kilometers (about 40 miles) of ride time on a single charge. However, the manufacturer didn’t make it clear how much pedal power that entails. Since these are e-bikes and not scooters, owners will have to be willing to exert themselves physically even before the battery is depleted.

That said, GM promises a 3.5-hour recharge time at a normal wall plug and an electric motor delivering “top-of-segment power and torque for its size.” Both bikes possess a top speed of 15 mph, which is roughly on par with your average Bird scooter.

Ariv models can also connect to a proprietary app using your Bluetooth, allowing your phone to display speed, distance, remaining battery level, motor assist level (which there are four), distance traveled, and more. GM says it intends to add features, including a mode that uses an algorithm to “help riders arrive at their destination sweat-free.” There’s a phone mount to make that easier and an integrated USB port to charge it.

If you’re into cycling, it actually sounds halfway decent. If you’re not, then you can brush this off as more mobility nonsense from an automaker that’s made pushing future tech its primary mission. But this isn’t nearly as ominous feeling as GM’s Marketplace or data sharing plans. Ariv is much more in line with GM’s roots of selling transportation directly to the people who need it.

Launching first in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands (due to the popularity of e-bikes in those areas), the compact Ariv Meld will cost 2,800 euros ($3,160) while the collapsable Merge will be 3,400 euros ($3,840). Pre-orders are already being accepted.

[Images: General Motors]

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2 of 47 comments
  • Bill Wade Bill Wade on Feb 16, 2019

    Probably turn out to be a two wheeled Vega.

  • Arach Arach on Feb 18, 2019

    No mention of the fact that GM has already been selling bikes for 15 years?? GM selling bikes is nothing new, selling electric bikes IS new. Seriously, I've had a GMC bike for more than 10 years.

  • Malcolm Mini temporarily halted manual transmission production but brought it back as it was a surprisingly good seller. The downside is that they should have made awd standard with the manual instead of nixing it. Ford said recently that 4dr were 7% manual take rate and I think the two door was 15%.
  • Master Baiter It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. It will be interesting to see if demand for Ford’s EVs will match the production capacity they are putting on line.
  • Brett Woods 2023 Corvette base model.
  • Paul Taka Hi, where can I find 1982 Honda prelude junkyards in 50 states
  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.