Sure, you can slap a battery-driven motor on the gears of a bicycle and call it an e-bike, but that's ignoring all of the other great stuff you can cram in there once you go electric. The Faraday Porteur, designed by Adam Vollmer and currently rising on Kickstarter, is one e-bike that's not afraid to let its electric side shine.
You're probably looking at the Porteur pictured above and in the gallery below and wondering where the heck the batteries and motor even are. Well, Vollmer has all but hidden them with some slick design.
The double-tube construction of the body is where the lithium-ion batteries are lurking, and an e-ink display on one of the handlebars shows you the life left in the bike. The handlebar is also where you'll turn the electric assist on and off, and holding down the power will even kick the Faraday Porteur's front-wheel motor into overdrive to speedily get you where you're going. A single charge lasts up to 15 miles, and the bike takes 45 minutes to fully juice up.
If you're not boosting, the Porteur will figure out how much to assist you. The bike's Kickstarter page describes this as an "electric tailwind," describing it as "the feeling of riding with the best tailwind you've ever had." It sounds nice and subtle — just like the bike's design.
Two more electric touches we appreciate: the Porteur has LED headlights and red taillights, all of which come on automatically as the day around you darkens thanks to a light sensor.
All of this thoughtful designs comes at a premium, of course. On Kickstarter, the cheapest tier you can buy into and still get a bike is a hefty $3,500. $10,000 gets you a collector's edition Porteur of which there will only be five, and includes a bunch of individualized extras.
Vollmer and his team want to reach $100,000 in funding (they're nearly to $70,000 as of this writing), and if they reach $300,000 they'll add Bluetooth to the bike, and pair it up with an app to give you information on anything from how far you've ridden to where the nearest bike shop is.