Over the past decade, there has been a surge in collaboration between automobile manufacturers and bicycle companies to create branded electric bicycles (ebikes). In a bid to join the e-mobility party, Hyundai Motors, a South Korean automotive manufacturer, has recently partnered with Rayvolt, a Spanish bike maker, to unveil a limited version of the eXXite Next Step model.
This growing trend has seen automobile giants such as BMW and Peugeot design and launch their ebikes. Interestingly, Yamaha, another big name in the auto industry, was one of the early pioneers, jumping onto the ebike bandwagon in the early 1990s. Other auto manufacturers like Hummer, Audi, Jeep, Toyota, and Porsche have taken a different route, opting for branding partnerships with established bike makers to create special editions of existing models.
Following the steps of the latter group, Hyundai has made its entry into the ebike space with a specially designed Hyundai version of Rayvolt’s eXXite Next Step. This city commuter is set to be offered in France as a “loaner vehicle for Hyundai customers wishing to experience new forms of mobility,” signifying Hyundai’s attempt to diversify their offerings to meet evolving customer needs.
As articulated by Lionel French Keogh, president of Hyundai Motor France, Hyundai’s ambition is to transition from merely being a car manufacturer to becoming a supplier of intelligent mobility solutions, adapted to cater to varying needs while maintaining environmental responsibility. A testament to this was the two-thirds of vehicles registered by Hyundai in France in the preceding year that were either electric, hybrid, or rechargeable hybrid. By working with Rayvolt, Hyundai aims to expand the eco-responsible mobility solutions offered by its network.
The Hyundai special edition eXXite Next Step is not just any ebike. It boasts a 250-W rear-hub motor providing 50 Nm (36.9 lb.ft) of torque. In addition, it offers three levels of torque-sensing pedal-assist up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph) via a belt drive, complete with a boost button function. It also features a regenerative braking sensor to potentially extend the range of the removable 504-Wh seatpost battery beyond its stated 80 km (~50 miles) per-charge capacity. Interestingly, motor braking can be activated by back-pedaling.
The ebike is constructed with a 6061 aluminum frame and a mid-step top tube, which allows for easy access. It is said to best fit riders ranging in height from 1.7 to 2 meters (5.5 – 6.5 ft) and offers the option of a front basket.
A highlight of the design is the touchscreen display integrated into the handlebar. This feature provides vital ebike data and ride information and can also be used to adjust the motor assist. Furthermore, this stylish ebike includes built-in front and back lighting and is equipped with 27.5-inch double-wall rims clad in 1.5-inch-wide tires. Hydraulic brakes provide efficient stopping power.
Moreover, the ebike can be attached to a RegenFit rear-wheel stand, turning it into an indoor exercise bike with adjustable resistance. This unique feature can top up the battery during workouts.
The Hyundai special-edition eXXite Next Step ebike, a symbol of Hyundai’s diversification and commitment to environmentally friendly mobility solutions, is now available via the company’s French dealer network. Customers have the option to use it as a loaner, or they can purchase it outright for €3,490 (US$3,745). Currently, there are no plans to extend its availability to the US market.