‘Conscious Commuter’ folding e-bike company launches in Portland

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 24th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Prototype of the Conscious Commuter folding e-bike.
-Watch video below.-

According to a story by Sustainable Business Oregon, a new bike company, Conscious Commuter, plans to make folding e-bikes (out of recycled aluminum) in Portland:

By this time next year, Conscious Commuter Corp. plans to be building its folding electric bikes in Portland and marketing them around the world.

The Portland-based company…is the work of one experienced entrepreneur, Bob Vander Woude, and the idea that a fold-up, electric-assist bicycle could entice commuters out of their cars.

Vander Woude, who was running a small seed-stage investment fund in Portland when the economy turned sour, was toying with the idea of importing an electric bike from China when he happened upon some designs for a folding version by Gabriel Wartofsky, a graduate of the Art Center College of Design.

Wartofsky graduated from Art Center (in California) in 2009 with a degree in Transportation Design. In a video interview posted on the Art Center website, Wartofsky credits a three-week study trip to Shanghai as his inspiration. That trip led him to tackle urban mobility with a compact, portable, electric-assist, folding bicycle.

His Conscious Commuter concept earned him a semifinalist selection in the 2011 Cleantech Open Business Competition.

The bike itself is still in the prototype stages, and Wartofsky says a “first-phase” prototype will be presented this fall. For more about Conscious Commuter, check out this Art Center blog post, read the article in Sustainable Business Oregon, and watch a short video about the bike below: