Electric bicycles are already popular in Europe and China, and now a Malibu startup hopes to capture the imagination of US pedal pushers. The Sondors Electric Bike, launched this month through a crowdfunding campaign, has the makings of a cult classic. With an initial goal of $75,000, the Indiegogo campaign has generated over $3.7 million in contributions.
The Sondors is a basic, rough-and-ready bike with huge knobby tires that the company says can cruise right through mud, sand or snow. It’s designed to be simple, rugged and cheap – there’s no regenerative braking, no speedometer, and the sole electrical control is an on/off lever. Many of the parts are interchangeable with standard parts found on other bikes, so the Sondors should be easy to repair and/or customize.
A 350-Watt motor delivers a top electric speed of 20 mph, and a swappable Li-ion battery pack that looks like a thermos supports a range of up to 50 miles, and can be fully charged in 90 minutes.
MSRP is $1,299, but the company is offering a limited number for pre-order at $599.