While e-bikes are a great idea, no one is going to ride a bike — any bike — unless it's comfortable. Most bikes are made from aluminum, which generates a harsh ride, conveying every bump and vibration to the rider. A titanium frame, besides being lighter-weight, gorgeous, and highly resistant to corrosion, creates a smooth, lush ride that erases road vibrations and makes it a pleasure to ride all but the most nasty road surfaces.
Panasonic, with a long history of bike-making, is taking advantage of all that Ti offers in their BE-ENV electric bike. The titanium bike weighs in at 35 lbs., which isn't exactly a featherweight, but is lighter than most electric bikes available today. The BE-ENV has three drive modes to give the most economic use of the built-in Li-ion battery. In the BE-ENV eco-mode and depending on which battery option is installed, the bike can travel up to about 42 miles. The BE-ENV also has a very relaxed geometry, which will also add comfort for the long-haul.
Electric bikes have a long way until they become a popular mode of transportation. By making them more comfortable, classy, and attractive, the Panasonic BE-ENV, although only available in Japan for between $6,600 and $8,000, is helping fuel the movement.
Steel may be real, and carbon is all the craze, but once you go Ti, you never go back.