The World’s Car Manufacturers Discover E-Bikes
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Probst praises the bicycle as "the last humane technology", writing: "It was the last great technical innovation in which the cause-effect relationship was still in chains instead of being unleashed in a chain reaction". The more physical strength and endurance you expend, the faster and further you cycle. There is something reassuring about this, because it is thoroughly understandable and controllable: your own body as the motor, two pedals and tyres as the vehicle to freedom.

Don't get me wrong: the achievements of our automotive era brought us great practical benefits (and fun, of course) for decades. They were naïve, wonderful times. But after all we know by now about the status of the planet we live on, it should be clear to everyone: The carefree days when we plowed along the motorways like Caligula through his court (and cared just as much about exhaust fumes) are numbered.

The carefree days of the combustion engine are over: it seems that the automobile companies have also understood this

Those who now turn to their laptops in search of help to once again indulge in the perfect world of combustion engine cars on the websites of Porsche, Mercedes, Audi or Polestar will see that they too have understood what the time has come.

Ten years ago, let's say, it would have been unthinkable to find an article on the website of Germany’s Manager Magazin about "How Porsche wants to mix up the bicycle market. (article dated 15.9.2022). For some months now, however, articles of this kind have been accumulating.

© Porsche

More and more car giants - known in the trade as OEMs for "Original Equipment Manufacturers" - are entering the bicycle market by acquiring long-established bicycle manufacturers and developing bicycles (now increasingly equipped with electric motors) based on their know-how. Porsche has been working with the Hessian e-bike manufacturer Rotwild for some time, but plans to produce its own electric bikes as well as supplying innovative e-bike technology to other manufacturers by the middle of the decade with Porsche eBike Performance GmbH. To this end, the sports car forge from Zuffenhausen not only took over the e-bike brand Greyp from Croatia (a company, incidentally, founded by Croatia's sports car visionary Ante Rimac), whose know-how is to be incorporated into the development of advanced software and connectivity solutions in the future, but also the e-bike drive specialist Fazua from Ottobrunn near Munich.

"Porsche," as Tobias Seige, M&A expert at investment bank TD Cowen recently put it in an interview with Vogel Communications Group, "is currently doing it the most consistently," referring to the single-mindedness with which the Swabians are entering the e-bike market. According to Seige, there is another OEM in southern Germany that is developing its own concepts as far as bikes are concerned. Although he does not reveal which car manufacturer he is referring to, the concept that Mercedes is presenting with the manufacturer N+ Bikes seems quite well thought out - in our opinion.

Read more about the ongoing move of car manufacturers into the e-bike marketplace in our MOTION Magazine Edition III - out now in selected places or here in our MOTION Shop.

Title image courtesy of Polestar.