Daimler’s smart brand is to add an electrically assisted bicycle – the ‘ebike’.

The company has confirmed that the ebike will now go into series production as it expands its e-product range. It is being manufactured in cooperation with ebike manufacturer GRACE and a near-series version will be displayed at the “Eurobike” show in Friedrichshafen and at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

CEO of smart Dr Annette Winkler says: “The smart ebike is a true smart – but on two wheels. It is an extremely well designed bicycle that is sure to draw admiring glances in the city – it’s also really practical and easy to ride. Anyone can zip through town on it with or without exerting themselves – depending on their fitness level and as their mood takes them. And it’s even easier to find a parking space than with the smart fortwo.”

smart maintains that sales figures show a rising trend for electric bicycles as 700,000 ebikes were sold in Europe in 2010 (a 40% increase on the previous year).

Annette Winkler adds: “We at smart have been gathering experience of electric drives and the mobility needs of city dwellers around the world for years. The smart ebike is the logical product of this experience and compliments the smart fortwo extremely well. We listened to what people wanted from the perfect city bike and then came up with some clever solutions such as the integrated USB port for smartphones and energy recuperation during braking.”

smart is developing and producing the new smart ebike in close cooperation with the e-bike manufacturer GRACE based near Berlin. Three years ago marketing specialist Michael Hecken and mountain bike legend Karl-Heinz Nicolai got together to produce high quality e-bikes. The smart ebike is therefore “Made in Germany” and will be produced in premium quality, says smart.

The smart ebike will be released to the UK in 2012.

John Leggett