Car Manufacturers Audi, BMW, Ford, Smart, VW Getting Into Electric Bikes
This is interesting……why are car manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Ford, Smart, VW and others getting into the electric bike industry?
Maybe they see the increasing demand for versatile and sustainable forms of transportation.
Or maybe it is a marketing strategy to show that they are into green transportation.
In any case it is very encouraging to see these BIG companies getting into the lightweight electric mobility sector.
Below is a little info on each bike and links to detailed info on the bikes that these automobile companies are working on.
The Audi electric bike is fast, lightweight and most likely very expensive! Check out this link for more of the technical info.
Here is a sporty video of the Audi e-bike!
BMW has a folding electric bike that they are working on. Apparently 2 of these e-bikes can be folded and stored in the trunk of the BMW i3 Concept car. Not only that, but the idea is to have plugs in the trunk of the car so the bikes batteries can be charged; slick!
Here is the link to more information on the versatile BMW e-bike.
Ford has a futuristic/space age looking e-bike that is sure to grab some attention! At this point they don’t plan on producing this bike but they are keeping their eye on the e-mobility industry.
This is the link to more about the Ford concept e-bike.
Smart Car (owned by Mercedes Benz) makes the Smart E-Bike and it is available in some European markets and should be available in the US sometime in 2015. This is a sleek looking e-bike that has been well thought out.
Here is more about the Smart electric bike and check out the video of the Smart e-bike below.
VW has a folding electric bike that is designed to fit in the trunk of their car (can be charged in trunk) and used for the “last mile” of a persons commute. This allows the user to drive to a convenient place to park and bike the rest of the way to work or another destination.
The VW e-bike is more of an e-scooter because it does not have pedals, so the rider is just along for the ride. Here is more tech info. This video will give you a good idea of what it is like:
What do you think? Is it a good thing that these large automobile companies are getting into electric bikes? Would you be interested in buying one of these electric bikes?
Please leave your comments in the section below.
P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips.
[…] is not the only auto company studying how e-bikes fit into the future of transportation. Smart Car (owned by Mercedes Benz), Audi, BMW, and VW have also invested in electric bikes and it looks like Kia will be showing off a new e-bike […]
Ken Sanders - Trek Navigator says
Going to be a very interesting next couple of years in the e bike industry with all this coming on stream
Wow- Ford electric bikes? That’s how you know the e-bike is here to stay. And NYC still fines you $500 bucks for using the throttle!
Bryant M says
For an E-bike im srry but an E-bike still qualifies as a Bicycle with pedals…..Im about to buy me an E-bike in NYC queens and when I use the throttle in front of a cop ill love to see him pull me over…..that will be the end of that A-Holes career!!
David Morgenstern says
I see three big wins for big auto manufacturers coming into the space: more design muscle (although that is in cars not bikes), perhaps better support with the car supply chains, and more chance that batteries will be supported into the future. I worry about orphaned batteries with the smaller vendors.
Craig Armstrong says
Good stuff Pete!
David Myers says
I think the potential capital investment that could be made by auto manufacturers will be positive, however the VW idea of making a pedal-less scooter gets away from health benefits and conditioning that a true e-bike offers. In addition the idea of extending range. or battery life, or continuing on with a dead battery is one of the pluses over scooters and moped that only use pedals as a starter.
Doug L says
Great! Huge engineering capability and parts/service network. I feel pretty much on my own out here in the far West; not many e-bikes around, and virtually no-one who can service them.
I’ve ridden many purpose-built electric bikes, my favorite so far is the Tidal Force. High quality components, engineering and asthetically pleasing. The oppressive 20mph limit is most notable going downhill, any non-electric bike will coast over 20mph down the most modest of hills, please excuse my critical thinking here. Maintaining and repairing purpose-built eBikes is expensive and waiting for parts inconveinient.
To me the kit-eBike is where its at. Work with what you have or want(bikes) and if you don’t really want to learn to, or simply prefer to pay someone else to maintain your bike, the basics are simple and any hungry bike shop should do. The liability issue is alive and real, the consumer must expect to take some risk. I would also add on that point, my feeling is that the mainstream is not ready for this technology and the people are much safer buckled in with airbags and crumple zones. As for the auto manufacturers, they just want to sell more cars. Peace.
Very impressive indeed. I think this is only the beginning.
Michael K. says
I see momentum and ebikes becoming normal sights on the road. I am doing everything I can to promote ebikes in my part of California by selling ebike kits for your bike at affordable price.
I have a question for others: I need to buy an electric bicycle that doesn’t require pedal assist going uphill and also isn’t one of the most expensive brands. Sometimes I will be able to pedal and would like the opportunity – but sometimes I can’t.
Hi Becca, make sure the electric bike you buy has a throttle option. That will allow you to use the throttle only and you won’t have to pedal. There are plenty of brands that offer this for reasonable prices.