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BMW joins the Electric Bike Expo at this weekend’s Chicagoland event

Published June 23, 2017

LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. (BRAIN) — BMW has joined the Electric Bike Expo as an exhibitor beginning with its Chicago-area event, which opened Friday and continues through Sunday. BMW will be on board for the other four stops on the 2017 Expo tour, which include Burnsville, Minnesota, in July; Portland, Oregon, in August; Miami in October and Philadelphia in November.

The German automaker is using the Electric Bike Expo to launch its new Cruise e-bike in the US and is the lead sponsor of the Education Pavilion, which helps consumers and retailers become more familiar with e-bikes.

“Their sponsorship of our Education Pavilion will help train both consumers, and new and prospective retailers, about the ins and outs of the marketing and technology of e-bikes,” said Ray Verhelst, director of the Electric Bike Association, which organizes the Expos. BMW is also displaying a car rack, made for its newest electric and hybrid cars, to mount the Cruise and other e-bike models.

Verhelst said BMW is the fourth major brand to sign up as an Expo exhibitor in the last three months, joining Specialized, Giant and Cannondale. Cannondale is also the event’s “terrain lane sponsor.”

Verhelst said BMW is inviting employees of its accessory department to attend the Expo and learn about the Cruise e-bike.

“This is now a big deal for the Expo because we are once again bridging the gap that first started between the early entrepreneurs who built bikes in their garage (some still do), and the major traditional bicycle brands who currently dominate the top rankings,” Verhelst said in an email.

He added, “Now we have a major, global automotive brand that is building these internally, rather than the typical license deal and working to integrate the bikes into an entire e-mobility platform that will be marketed exclusively through their car dealerships, which at present is slightly more than 340 US showrooms. So this could be the next wave of e-bike introductions to the public, that comes with global branding, bigger marketing budgets and the association with performance driving.”

The June Expo is located in the parking lot of the Lincolnwood Town Center shopping mall, 3333 Touhy Ave., in the northern Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood. It is open Friday from 3-7 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Like all Expos, the event is free to the public, who can test ride more than 140 different e-bike models from 20 brands on a closed track. For more information, go to the Electic Bike Expo website

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