GM unveils 'Ariv' e-bikes, plans Europe launch in second quarter

The GM logo is seen at the General Motors plant in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio

(Reuters) - General Motors Co announced on Thursday that its brand of electric bicycles would be called “Ariv” and begin selling in Europe in the second quarter of 2019.

Two such bicycles, a compact bike and a foldable one, will launch first in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, markets where cycles powered by lithium-ion batteries are already popular, the No. 1 U.S. automaker said in a statement.

Riders can charge their Ariv bike batteries in about three and a half hours and get up to 64 kilometers or nearly 40 miles of ride time with a single charge.

In Belgium and the Netherlands the compact e-bike would cost 2,800 euros ($3,165), while the folding one would cost 3,400 euros. In Germany, the prices would be 2,750 euros and 3,350 euros, respectively.

GM first announced its e-bike plans in early November. It already has a presence in the electric car market through its Chevrolet Bolt vehicles, which start at roughly $36,000.

The Detroit-based automaker has not announced any plans in the e-scooter market. Meanwhile, its U.S. rival Ford Motor Co made a reported $200 million investment in November to acquire Spin, an electric scooter rental firm based in San Francisco.

(The story corrects the last sentence changed to say Ford made a REPORTED $200 million investment in Spin.)

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar