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PHOTO CAPTION: Smart e-Bike debuts at 2011 NAIAS. Behind it is smart electric scooter.

Smart to Begin Electric Bicycle Sales in 2012

The electric bike was designed primarily by a senior Daimler designer based in Beijing.

Published: 17-Jul-2011

BEIJING—Daimler AG's Smart division, known for its matchbox-size cars, plans to start selling an electric bicycle next year, according to Daimler officials.

The move could enable Daimler to jump ahead of competitors such as BMW AG, Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus and Volkswagen AG that have also shown interest in similar electric two-wheelers. Those three car makers have displayed at recent auto shows electric-bike and electric-motorcycle concepts, but none of them has disclosed plans for volume production or sales.

Most electric bikes marketed around the world today are bicycles that offer electric power to assist pedaling, though in some markets, including China, there are also versions that can be propelled solely on electricity.

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