If the name “Delfast” rings a bell for you, it’s probably for the company’s larger electric bikes that are essentially electric motorcycles with pedals. But now the company has unveiled a smaller electric moped known as the Delfast California that should offer slightly more modest speeds and power ratings.
Unlike the Delfast Top 3.0, which is a favorite among police departments, Ukrainian soldiers, and really anyone who wants a high-power e-bike and doesn’t really care about legal ramifications, the Delfast California is designed to be street legal from the get-go.
In the US, it slots into Class 3 electric bicycle designation. That allows it to have a 750W rated motor and a max speed of 28 mph (45 km/h).
But in the case of the Delfast California, the Ukraine-based company is sticking to its guns by running as closely up to those legal limits as possible.
For example, the mid-drive motor used on the bike may be called a “750W nominal” motor, but it’s actually a high-powered Bafang M620 motor that puts out at least 1,000W of peak power. It also features 160Nm of torque. If you’re not up on your torque conversions, that basically means it could climb a tree if the tires were sticky enough.
The company has paired that powerful motor with a 48V and 20Ah removable li-ion battery that offers 960Wh of capacity.
Checking the spec sheet shows a claimed 100-mile (160 km) range, though that’s perhaps a bit optimistic. Delfast even claims that the 100-mile range comes at a pedal assist speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), but everything I know about pedal assist over more than 10 years in the e-bike industry tells me that you’re going to need a serious a tailwind to see 100 miles of range with that battery at 20 mph, even on pedal assist.
I’m not about to say it’s impossible, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
Even if it ekes out a modest 60-70 miles of range on pedal assist, that will still be pretty far for an e-bike or e-moped these days. We just don’t see many models with 960Wh of battery, so Delfast has certainly gone above and beyond in the battery department.
The Delfast California features a U-shaped full-suspension frame, yet somehow manages to bring it in at just 66 pounds (30 kg). That’s made even more impressive considering that the bike carries that heavy motor and battery combo.
The frame is said to fit riders from 5’0″ to 6’3″ (152-190 cm), but the short seat post adjustment makes me wonder how well that works in practice.
The low step-through frame will certainly be a favorite among shorter riders, and the smaller 20″ wheels with tri-spoke mag wheels help keep the bike’s heft in check.
Also adorning the frame are integrated LED lights powered by the main battery, hydraulic disc brakes, and a color LED display.
The bike includes built-in location tracking to recover a stolen e-bike (something I wish my e-bike had last week), plus customizable alarms, remote immobilization, and other neat tricks to head off thieves at the pass.
If you’re wondering about the new e-moped’s name, there’s an interesting story there too. Apparently one of Delfast’s designers was touring the company’s new Los Angeles headquarters at the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Stuck away from home for a period, the designer spent the time working on a new California-inspired electric moped.
As the company explained:
How do you cope when you’re stuck outside of your war-torn country and feel unable to help? Design an e-bike that represents more than yourself. With the help of the California team, and 30 employees working from the heavily bombarded Kyiv, he dreamt up quite possibly the best commuter e-bike ever built.
The Delfast California is a symbol of resistance in Ukraine with the help of the United States. It’s not only the most intelligent, powerful, classically beautiful commuter e-bike ever designed. A percentage of Delfast California revenue will help the Ukrainian resistance.
Delfast will be launching the California with an upcoming Indiegogo campaign. The standard MSRP of $3,999 will apparently be cut in half during the pre-order period on Indiegogo, putting the price at just $1,999. The bike is expected to arrive next June or July and will include a two-year warranty.
We generally don’t cover Indiegogo campaigns from brand-new startups, but in this case, the company has been around for years. We’ve watched Delfast deliver a number of different models of e-bikes, so we know the Ukrainian-based company isn’t some fly-by-night operation.
What do you think of Delfast’s latest electric bike design? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below.