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Friday, March 28, 2008
Matra i-step 'runner' Electric Bicycle
Image: courtesy of Matra Manufacturing & Services (www.matra-ms.com)

Matra Sport's Electric Powered Bicycle

Matra Sports, a French company, founded in 1964 and known as a constructor of Formula 1 cars in the sixties and seventies is the designer and manufacturer of the new i-step 'runner' and 'city' electric bicycles. Matra's i-step rechargeable electric bicycle comes in a sport frame construction - the 'runner', and a touring construction - the 'city'.The overall weight of of each cycle is 23kg and 25kg respectively (including the battery weight).

The Matra i-step electric bicycle works by providing power assist to your own pedal power and gives a boost when climbing hills. The Matra i-step is an excellent daily commute cycle for within cities where safe bicycle paths have been constructed or for road routes where the safe integration of cars and bicycles is achievable. The i-step's maximum speed with pedal assist is 25 kph (15.6 mph) and the i-step has a range of between 25 to 70 km (15.6 to 43.8 miles) depending on the electric pedal assist program being used. Charging the nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery takes 3 hours for an 80% charge and 6 hours for a 100% charge. The i-step 'runner' and 'city' have regenerative braking during all deceleration events that charges the onboard battery. There are 4 pedal assist programmes and 4 energy (regenerative braking) recovery programmes.

The i-step is powered using a rear wheel brushless 250 W continuous power motor running off a 24V NiMH battery that is mounted on the frame in a profiled housing. The i-step is an effectively designed light-weight transportation vehicle. The selling price is approximately 1,750 to 1,900 Euros as observed at different distributors of the bicycle.

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