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Silicon Valley's Own Karmic Brings Us the Oslo E-bike. Or Is It a Scooter?
It’s being heralded as the e-bike/scooter of the future, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves in the marketing game. From Silicon Valley based manufacturer Karmic, their Oslo is supposed to be changing the e-bike game.

Silicon Valley's Own Karmic Brings Us the Oslo E-bike. Or Is It a Scooter?

E-bikes have been seen everywhere lately. From Chinese manufacturers to Europeans and Americans, everyone seems to be able to bring their designs to life. It may be because building a bike isn’t so hard. Building a bike that can stand the test of time however, that’s a bit much to strive for, especially when you’ve only been on the market for five years and are competing against giants like Specialized, Cannondale and well, Giant.

However small your company and grand your dreams may be, we are firm believers in reaching for the stars. Why? Because if it wasn’t for small game changers like Karmic, bike design would probably take much longer to progress out of the structures we’re used to.

Karmic’s goal was simple when designing the Oslo. To make it affordable in order to cover as much of a client base as possible. To make it efficient in order to impact the environment as little as possible. And to bring an EV that is accessible. Once we understand how the Oslo is constructed, we begin to get an idea that this little bugger may be the next ridesharing device to hit our streets.

We can see right from the start that this EV is in tune with the minimalist trend going round in any domain. Clean lines and rounded edges give her a pleasing visual aesthetic. Looking at her, we get an image in our mind of the Volkswagen Streetmate, although the Oslo lacks the foldable seat.

Looking at it we can see no external wiring, no batteries, no gears, and even no chain. It’s all tucked away in her body design. This gives it that clean and fresh look, but also offers to keep components safe from the elements. This is done by using a hydroformed aluminum chassis and thermoplastic body panels.

Both alloy wheels offer that monocoque look and are covered with splash guards. The front wheel, however, is supported by a huge front fork. Although no suspension is seen on the bike, the tires should do the trick in handling some bumps and cracks.

Connected to the fork we see the large scooter platform that makes up the rest of the bike. The front of the platform has a space that looks like you can just put your legs up if you don’t feel like pedaling. This is because the Oslo comes equipped with a throttle that doesn’t require you to pedal if you don’t feel like it.

One of the main reasons behind the popularity of this EV is that its battery can be easily swapped with another fully charged one in under 30 seconds. This is one of the main reasons we see a possible ride-sharing market for this device. With charging and battery hubs set-up around a city, we could easily get rolling on these. These 48V batteries are only rated up to a distance of 20 miles (32km) or so, so this future is a viable one for these babies.

Three different pedal assist levels offer riding styles suitable for a number of city terrains. Eco is the least soliciting style, followed by Normal and finally Boost. The latter using full ride capabilities, but also drains your battery the fastest.

One thing is for sure, even if the Oslo doesn’t withstand time’s tests, it has set in motion another approach to the whole mobility game, even if with just design and functionality, and not so much performance.


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