PC maker Acer aspires to get into e-bikes with the 35-pound “ebii”
When you think of Acer you probably think of PCs, whether they’re cheap beater laptops and tablets, slightly nicer but still budget-focused ultrabooks and gaming laptops, or weird swing-and-a-miss experiments. But today the company announced something else entirely—the “ebii,” a lightweight e-bike that, aside from an associated smartphone app, has nothing to do with PCs or tablets.
We’ve reviewed e-bikes with stylish designs and appealing curvature, but the ebii looks decidedly more utilitarian. The chunky “ebii Box” in the middle houses the control box, battery pack, and headlight, and the seat and handlebars jut upward out of it. In a nod to its history as a PC and tablet maker, the ebii’s 460 W battery can be removed and used as a portable charging station for USB-C devices.
At just over 35 pounds (16 kg), the ebii is lightweight—it saves weight partly by using a single-sided fork for the front tire. Acer says it can accommodate most riders between 4.75 and 6 feet tall (145 to 185 cm), meaning that especially tall riders probably won’t find it comfortable. The bike also won’t break any speed or distance records, with a top speed of around 15 mph and a 68-mile range.
The bike is described as “AI-driven,” which says more about the current state of “AI” as a buzzy omnipresent marketing term than it does about the bike’s capabilities—the ebii app claims to “[adapt] to the rider’s pedaling power, riding conditions, and preferred level of assistance, learning over time for a more personalized experience.” While it’s not incorrect to refer to these features as “AI-driven,” they technically fall under the more precise umbrella of “machine learning.”
The ebii also uses the app on your phone for proximity-based locking and unlocking, and the bike includes GPS positioning so you can find it in the event that it gets swiped. Acer’s announcement says that the ebii has a “smart LED display” for showing the battery level and remaining range, but it isn’t pictured in the company’s photos—some show a smartphone mounted between the handlebars. The ebii doesn’t have any kind of built-in screen to show charge level or any other functionality, though some photos show that you view that information using the app.
Acer hasn’t announced what the ebii will cost or when it will be available.
Listing image by Acer