Panasonic debuts own-label e-MTB with new Sports Drive Unit

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Panasonic has re-entered the complete electric bike arena with the launch of its XM1 e-mountain bike.

Set for a September release, the XM1’s Sports Drive Unit will be tuned for the European market where the firm sees strong demand for off road applications. The motor is further tuned to best manage off-road stresses and strains.

The 27.5-inch wheeled hardtail opts for a mid-motor and integrates a battery near seamlessly into the upper side of the downtube. An LCD display relays output and battery life to the rider, with a single charge able to deliver up to 78 kilometres of assistance.

The retail price is expected to come in at around $2,890, excluding taxes.

Panasonic indicate that they expect the Japanese market for sporting electric bikes to grow from the current 2% of usage to around 10% of users by 2020.