There are a number of reasons that eBikes are just starting to hit the mainstream in the United States. Barriers to market have included weight, small batteries and a lack of consumer education. Propella, based out of Seattle, has plans to be overcome each of those roadblocks with its new second generation eBike that recently launched on Indiegogo. After launching the original version to great success last year, it hopes the new version can capture an even greater share of this expanding market by improving in a few key areas.
Propella 2.0 hit Indiegogo a few days back and has already raised nearly 80% of its initial goal. Priced from $999, this is also one of the more affordable two-wheelers that we’ve seen hit the crowdfunding space. Overall, it has the looks of a much more traditional bike than we’ve seen from similar projects in the past. The second generation brings a lighter weight coming in at 34 pounds. Sure, that’s still more than a traditional bicycle but we’ve seen much heavier electric options in the past. This model has dropped 8% of its body weight in comparison to the first generation.
A 36V battery provides up to 40 miles of pedal-assisted range with a top-speed of 20mph. Interestingly, Propella ships as a single-speed bike but can be customized to seven. Charging the internal battery takes around two to three hours, so that’s fast enough that commuters can refill at work during the day.
One of my favorite design aspects of Propella is how the battery is housed on the frame. To the unsuspecting passerby, you’d think that the power supply is actually just a water bottle. Instead of a large, bulky housing, Propella has managed to fit all of the necessary electronics into a small (and fairly attractive) container.
The rear hub motor is capable of pushing out 250W of power at full capacity. It is controlled by the handle-mounted LED display that also monitors battery levels and stats like distance traveled. Rear and front mechanical disc brakes round out the list of notable features on this model.
Propella plans on shipping the second generation of its eBike in September if all goes to plan. Given that it has a history of delivering crowd-funding projects, you can likely expect a smooth delivery. Currently a pledge of $999 will lock-in your spot for a unit this fall when the final retail price is expected to jump to around $1,300.