London: A team of Formula one motorsport engineers and leading brand Brompton are developing a folding, electric bicycle.
The new model, which would be a "pedal assist" bike in which the rider's strength is augmented by the engine on hills and when they want to go fast, have proved increasingly popular among commuters as they prove a degree of exercise while avoiding the need for a shower after arriving at work, the Independent reported.
The challenge involves designing a bike with an engine powerful enough to make a difference that is also light enough to be carried while folded and robust enough to cope with cobblestones, potholes and other hazards.
Brompton's chief design and engineering officer, Will Carleysmith, said that it is no secret that we have ambitions to develop an electric pedal-assist Brompton.
Carleysmith noted that the bike needs to be built to the highest standard like all our bicycles and stand up to the challenges of city life, adding they were working with Williams Advanced Engineering, which converts F1 technology for use in other sectors, to harness "their extensive engineering expertise.
A Brompton spokesman added that they have Williams access to technology that a company like them couldn't possibly afford or have access to. They build bicycles, not motor-driven products in any way and have technology and expertise we don't have."
In a statement, the firm said the release date has yet to be finalised, but good progress has been made, the bicycle will be ready when it's ready, adding the product, like all previous Brompton bicycles will be developed and manufactured in London.