The bicycle is in fashion. And the electric bicycle even more so. Aware of the boom and its ability to generate exclusive and luxury products, car manufacturers have also entered the business. The latest: Porsche.
The cycling boom. Shortly before the coronavirus pandemic, the growth of urban cycling was already in the spotlight. Confinement was a turning point in their lives for many citizens. Physical work at home skyrocketed, when we returned to the streets, the number of runners multiplied. And the bikes were completely sold out.
The bicycle was positioned as an ideal vehicle for urban journeys. There was no risk of breaking the safety distance on public transport, exercise was practiced and cities were safer, with fewer cars on the road due to the increase in teleworking.
the electric bike. It was only a matter of time before the electric bicycle experienced a similar boom. A small motor and battery make this sport much more affordable for people in poor shape and allows them to go further in and out of the city. In addition, it limits the chances of getting to work sweating and they are an invaluable help in cities with slopes like Madrid.
And the growth of inflation and the position of fuels at all-time highs have only elevated the electric bicycle to the category of a real alternative to the car. Even in the United States, one of the “car” countries by tradition, this type of vehicle exceeds car sales.
The Porsche case. Porsche has long had its eye on the electric bike market. In fact, shortly after presenting his Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, he soon did the same with two electric bicycles, one focused on the city, the Porsche eBike Sport, and another for the mountains, the Porsche eBike Cross.
Now, the company has announced that it is expanding its involvement in the segment. The Germans have announced that they will have two companies exclusively dedicated to eBikes. P2 eBike GmbH will develop new models that we should see in the second half of this decade. Meanwhile, Porsche eBike Performance GmbH will develop drive systems for electric bicycles, both for its own models and for third-party firms.
Complementary markets. Beyond the pure economic performance that Porsche can get from its two companies, the movement makes perfect sense. Many potential electric car customers can see in the electric bicycle a complementary vehicle to the car that, in addition, falls within their line of thought: zero-emission and environmentally friendly vehicles.
It is no coincidence that the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo arrived with the announcement of a bicycle carrier and two new models under the arm. Nor that one of them was focused on urban cycling and the other on mountain sports. Right with the most “off-road” vehicle in the Taycan series.
“And give me that bike”. In addition, these types of products offer great returns to the firm, as they are very expensive and profitable products for a car brand. The aforementioned bicycles exceed 8,000 euros in the mountain version and 10,000 euros in the urban one.
A product that is easily marketable with its most exclusive sports cars. An addition that a fan of the brand and the sport can and is willing to pay for. The most enthusiastic cyclists who are willing to spend that money will probably opt for other types of more recognized firms on the market.
The value of the exclusive. These types of exercises are not exclusive to Porsche. Audi accompanied the launch of its Audi e-tron with an electric bicycle limited to 100 units and costing 15,300 euros. Lamborghini has done the same on a few occasions and has collaborated with Cervelo to offer its own two-wheelers at prices above €15,000. In 2019, Maserati won a major design competition with its Maserati MC Trofeo, an electric bike that cost around €10,000.
And not just exclusive vehicles. Closer to the usual prices that we can find on the streets, companies such as Peugeot, Skoda or Opel, manufacturers that have been manufacturing bicycles for years, and others such as BMW or Kia, sell electric models in a range that is usually between 1,000 and 3,000 euros. A price that is not cheap but that can be at the hand of its most enthusiastic customers.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism