Electric Scooter Revives Post-War Icon
Solex sold over eight million of its City Scooters, which used a 49cc engine in a conventional bike frame, across Europe during the 1950s and 1960s. And the design of the original, with its cylindrical lamp unit over the front wheel, has been incorporated into its modern descendents.
The range includes three models, starting with folding and low-step ebikes at £1,299 and £1,799, with the e-Solex e-scooter (the only model to require a licence and insurance) costing £1,999. All three are designed by Italian car styling house Pininfarina, and will be available at a cross-section of retailers ranging from conventional bike shops to Harrods in London.
Sole UK importer Electric Bike Corporation (EBCO) said at the launch that only 3% of the UK bike market is taken up by ebikes – which provide a power boost from a small electric motor. In Germany, ebikes make up a quarter of the market, figures which EBCO is hopeful the Government’s Cycle to Work incentives and partnerships with bike rental companies will help replicate in the UK.
EBCO’s managing director, Paul Stanforth, said: ‘People of a certain age will remember SOLEX extremely fondly. The brand is synonymous with young Parisian’s and the stylish coffee shop culture of post war Europe. However, the company hasn’t just repackaged the past, they’ve used the latest technology and retained arguably the most gifted designers in the world to develop ebikes for the 21st century.’