DETROIT – General Motors plans to launch a new brand and a range of electrified bicycles from 2019 onwards.
The initiative, according to officials, is part of the mission of the automaker to provide extra zero emission means for the transport of consumers – especially city dwellers.
Jennifer Cathcart, eBike Marketing Manager, said the first two products of a planned setup are compact and foldable electrified bicycles.
"What we have seen recently is that there is a huge need for multimodal transport," she said. "And with these ebikes we are introducing an innovative solution for the first and last work traffic."
The & # 39; first-and-last-mile & # 39; refers to the beginning or the end of a shared or public transport journey for a commuter, a problem that cities and companies have been trying to tackle in different ways for years.
Cathcart refused to discuss financial details of the ebikes, which they said are "connected" and have their own engines. The bikes, she said, were designed and developed by GM engineers.
"They are designed with the innovation and know-how of General Motors engineers who have extensive experience in drive technology," she said, adding that more information about the products will be available early next year.
GM announced the first two bikes without brand name. The company launched a competition on Friday to name its new series of bikes at eBikeBrandChallenge.com. Entries, including an argumentation of 100-150 words for the name, must be submitted before November 26th.
According to Cathcart, the company is looking for a brand name that can be easily understood and valued by urban commuters & # 39; all over the world.
A panel of marketing experts from GM and its partner agency, Isobar, chooses the winner of the competition, which receives a prize of $ 10,000. Nine other participants responsible for runner-up submissions each receive $ 1,000, according to the company. The winners will be announced in early 2019.
"What we are really looking for are concepts that are smart, provocative and risky and bring this vision to life in a future where bicycles with commuting really have a preference for transport," says Cathcart.