GM recently began selling its new ARIV eBikes in Europe, a region where electric-assist bikes are proving popular in some select markets. But what about North America? Should GM sell the ARIV eBikes over here? Let’s have a look.
The GM ARIV eBikes were developed by GM’s Urban Mobility Solutions division based out of facilities in Michigan and Oshawa, Ontario. Hence, it would only make sense if GM sold the two ARIV bikes – the compact Mold and foldable Merge – in the New World.
The Merge and Mold are basically the same bike with one major difference: the Merge can be folded and carried around on a single wheel, which the Meld can’t do. Both bikes are powered by proprietary GM electric motor capable of 64 km (39 miles) of total range. It takes approximately 3.5 hours to charge the bikes, and they are capable of traveling at speeds of up to 25 km/h (15 mph). They’re even equipped with a Walk mode feature, that allows customers to engage the motor capability to walk the eBikes up steep terrain more easily.
Recently, similar E-scooter-type vehicles have emerged in large U.S. urban centers like Los Angeles and New York, with companies like Lime and Bird currently dominating the scene. But these stand-up E-scooters have various safety issues when compared to GM’s traditional, and arguably safer, sit-down bikes. That said, both the Merge and Mold are rated at a maximum rider weight capacity of 100 kilograms, or 220 pounds – barely enough to hold the weight of the average American male.
But still, one can argue that bringing the ARIV brand to North American urban centers would only be a good move for GM strategically, as the industry behind alternative modes of transportation is still in its infancy. Plus, GM would be the first major automaker to enter the space, giving it a competitive advantage over primary automakers like Ford and Toyota. Meanwhile, offering ARIV eBikes in more markets would be a great way for The General to continue leveraging its electric vehicle prowess.
For the time being, ARIV eBikes are currently available in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, so it’s still too early to say whether the offerings will have any commercial success. But if ARIV offerings take off in Europe, then it might be safe to assume that a similar business case could also work out well in North American markets. However, it’s worth noting that the ARIV Meld and Merge sell for between €2,750 and €3,400 in Europe, or around $3,130 and $3,870, based on current conversion rates.
So, what do you think? Would GM’s ARIV eBike offerings do well in North America? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments section.