Californian electric bike and scooter company GenZe has unveiled its latest offering: the 200-series e-bike
The 200-series e-bike follows closely on from the flagship GenZe 2.0 scooter. Electric Bike Action Magazine described the scooter as a product “designed for the American market…(out of) what they learned from the first generation”.
Accordingly, much of the 200-series’ connected technology was first pioneered in the brand’s 2.0S electric scooter. The 2.0S debuted in 2015 and was recognised as one of the world’s first smartphone-paired electric two-wheel vehicles – technology which has become vital to today’s e-bikes and EVs.
GenZe was launched from parent company, Mahindra Group, a conglomerate spanning the automotive, clean energy, and aerospace industries.
GenZe’s intention is lies in the idea that an e-bike should be a viable alternative to cars in densely-populated areas. Ultimately, it wants its bikes to be known for delivering in performance, comfort and interactive benefits, typically found in other commuting vehicles.
The 200-series is formed by two models, with each appealing to different purposes. The GenZe 201 has a high-bar, sportier design while the GenZe 202 has a step-through frame. The bikes are built with lightweight aluminium frame sizes and have been specifically designed to suit a large range of riders.
In terms of power, the bike offers three riding modes for users to take advantage of, depending on their situation; throttle, meaning there is no need to pedal, pedal assist whereby the user is assisted but is still doing some of the work, and pure pedal power.
The new version also features a user-friendly LCD display and an easy-to-remove battery pack that can be plugged into any household standard socket. The battery, itself, should be at full power within 3.5 hours. The bike is fitted with a 350W motor, which promises 30-50 assisted miles and top speeds of 20 mph on a single charge.
Both models have various connectivity features that will, no doubt, appeal to the smart-phone generation. The bike can connect wirelessly to its user’s phone, via Bluetooth and a companion GenZe app. If desired, a rider can track their physical effort levels, map distances, plan riding routes, and connect to other users. According to Chief Marketing Officer for GenZe, Tom Valasek, the app works by receiving real-time data from a system of vehicle sensors throughout the e-Bikes.
Anticipating legal vehicle restrictions, the developers have also limited the bike so it will be eligible to use shared lanes, cycling paths, and other dedicated bikeways. The fact that the bike has been designed to supplement a user’s total journey, or what the company call the commuter’s “first mile / last mile”, is intuitive and suggests that GenZe could influence the development of public transit/e-bike crossovers in the future.
However, the problem with e-bikes generally comes down to cost and user-friendliness. Retailing at almost US$2,000, the GenZe 200-series might not break the bank, but it is a fairly expensive option for a regular bike user, or for someone looking to switch from car or pedestrian/public transport methods to bicycle. While some European countries are familiar with electric bikes, others are not, and the retail price may dissuade prospective buyers.
In addition, Mahindra has not has much success with its range of road EVs in the UK, which could hamper any such expansion.
It is always good to see another break-out venture in the e-bike space, especially one that has this level of research and development put in to it. However, with the level of competition out there too, GenZe will have its work cut out in carving out its own market.