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posted by janrinok on Friday August 05, @05:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the Porsche-electric-boogaloo dept.

Porsche's new companies are all about electric bikes:

In the future, you may come across a lot more two-wheeled Porsches on the streets. The luxury automaker has launched two new joint ventures with Dutch company Ponooc Investment B.V., and they're both all about electric bikes. Porsche eBike Performance GmbH is based in Ottobrunn near Munich and will develop components, including motors and batteries. Anything it creates will then be used by P2 eBike GmbH, the second joint venture based in Stuttgart, to manufacture Porsche-branded e-bikes for consumers that the company plyans to launch starting in the middle of the decade. 

Porsche is far from a newcomer in the e-bike space. In 2021, it debuted two electric bikes inspired by the Taycan and were made to complement the Cross Turismo, which has a rear carrier. Those bikes, however, along with their motors and gear shifting systems, were manufactured by Japanese bicycle industry giant Shimano. With one company developing parts and another working on the consumer bikes themselves, the upcoming products the joint ventures will release will be all (or at least mostly) Porsche.

The components business will use the e-bike drive systems develop by Fazua, a company Porsche recently acquired, as noted by Electrek. However, it will also develop e-bike systems under the Porsche brand name — it will even sell the technology it designs to other brands. As with anything Porsche, the bikes under the new ventures will most likely not come cheap: Its Taycan-inspired bikes, for instance, set buyers back at least $8,500 at launch, with the sports model selling for prices that start at $10,700.


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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday August 05, @08:54PM (23 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday August 05, @08:54PM (#1265175)

    Oh, I thought, being Porsches, they would be expected to overtake the other bikes on the path...

    Unless Porsche can get their prices down and competitive, I don't think they'll be making bikes for long. Mercedes built some nice prototype e-bikes a few years back, a friend bought one from them for $500 when they discontinued the program (employee only opportunity) - absolute steal for a bike that never could have retailed under $2500. But, Mercedes quickly figured out that at a $2500+ price point, they'd never be able to sell enough of them to justify setting up the supply chain, maintenance and support and all that goes with it.

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  • (Score: 2) by stretch611 on Friday August 05, @11:07PM (18 children)

    by stretch611 (6199) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 05, @11:07PM (#1265191)

    Mercedes quickly figured out that at a $2500+ price point, they'd never be able to sell enough of them to justify setting up the supply chain, maintenance and support and all that goes with it.

    As with anything Porsche, the bikes under the new ventures will most likely not come cheap: Its Taycan-inspired bikes, for instance, set buyers back at least $8,500 at launch, with the sports model selling for prices that start at $10,700.

    My first thought on seeing the price... F-ME!!!
    Then I thought just who they are going to sell these too? Who can afford that for a bike... Not even a motorcycle costs that much.
    Well then I thought of how much the price of cars went up since covid/supply chain issues and did a search... Yup, entry level motorcycles are still between $5000 and $10000.

    I agree with the parent post... Just who the hell do they think are going to buy a $10,000 electric bike?
    Hell, even a Segway [wikipedia.org] will be considered a marketing success compared to the flop that this bike will likely become.

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    Not a Mega Millions Jackpot winner
    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Saturday August 06, @01:22AM (12 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Saturday August 06, @01:22AM (#1265206)

      Eh, they're Porsche. From the simulators I've driven, the high price is one of their vehicles' main selling points. Eh? Eh?

      But seriously - have you looked at the high end e-bike market lately? There's not exactly a shortage of options well over 5-grand. Heck, you have long had many options to spend over $10k on a non-electric bike if you're a serious enthusiast, and mid-drive ebikes with torque sensors for a more intuitive experience *start* at $2k

      I certainly wouldn't consider paying such an amount, but I suspect it's like the high-end sports car market - with the benefit that a much larger percentage of the population could afford them if they really wanted to.

      • (Score: 2) by legont on Saturday August 06, @03:49AM (11 children)

        by legont (4179) on Saturday August 06, @03:49AM (#1265217)

        I've a friend who owns three 10K+ regular bikes. His community truly hates electric. The reason is it's possible to build a bike that looks totally normal but would give the owner 50-250% extra power.
        There will be blood.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @05:27AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @05:27AM (#1265224)

          I used to ride 5km along a bike path as my daily commute. Took it easy to avoid arriving all sweaty and it would take about 15 minutes. I was occasionally passed by a big fat guy going at least twice as fast as I was. Took a couple of times before I realized he had a practically silent and well hidden electric drive.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @05:37AM (7 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @05:37AM (#1265226)

          There won't be blood.

          The first thing these buyers would do with a $10k racing bike is try to drill a hole in the carbon frame to add a basket and headlamp. It's a completely different market with no overlap. I ride a heavy, fat tire eBike with day-glo stickers, basket, bell, wide seat, step thru eeeezeeee frame. The skinny cunts in lycra can overtake me all day long I dont give a fuck.

          • (Score: 2) by quietus on Saturday August 06, @07:28AM (6 children)

            by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 06, @07:28AM (#1265239) Journal

            What the OP is referring to probably is that the drive systems have become so advanced that battery and engine can be hidden completely within a normal looking racing bike. These systems are a godsend for the older Lycra- clad crowd who would otherwise have to dabble in doping to pretend that they can still keep up with the young ones.

            Pro-races these days are controlled for this with frame scanners. An (in)famous case happened here in Belgium, about 4 years ago (women cyclocross).

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday August 06, @01:05PM (2 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday August 06, @01:05PM (#1265253)

              That truly trained Lycra clad community is highly visible, but probably has fewer competitive members than the NFL has paid players.... It's a niche within a niche.

              Add the weekend warrior poseurs and it grows tenfold or more, but you are still talking about less than one per thousand people in most communities.

              Like Gucci, anything with Porsche on it will sell in some quantities, but Gucci made far more money on their lower cost so-called knockoff products than they ever did on the genuine luxury goods.

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              • (Score: 2) by quietus on Sunday August 07, @10:02AM (1 child)

                by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 07, @10:02AM (#1265413) Journal

                Gucci is about status, isn’t it — you buy their trinkets to suggest to others that you’ve got a whole closet of the real stuff at home: the ordinary people just catched you unawares, in casual mode.

                For the opposite reason I think Porsche will silently leave the market after a few years. Most cyclists here are organised in clubs, where discussing drives, the merits and prices of the gear, and what’s happening in pro-cycling are the main pastime. In those circles you’re considered an amateur if you don’t recognize a pro-cyclist on telly based on his saddle position and favorite gear shift.

                Couple that with the price of a decent racing bike starting at 3.5k, and Porsche will have a hard time selling just because of high price and muh name.

                (Note that the ratio of cyclists is much higher here: I’d place it more at 1 per 70 inhabitants, if you’d include cyclocross and MTB)

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday August 07, @01:16PM

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday August 07, @01:16PM (#1265421)

                  Well, Porsche is also most definitely about status. They talk about performance heritage, etc. but deep down inside, they all know: it's a club, just like Ferrari and to a lesser extent BMW, and to join you just have to own (or lease) a car...

                  I agree that serious cyclists will shun the Porsche products en-masse, but I think I mentioned above: for every serious cyclist there are 10+ poseurs, so the question becomes: can Porsche appeal to the poseurs in sufficient quantity to support a product line?

                  I think not in bicycles, but in the world of cars and car racing they do. At any given "open competition" autocross type event, you'll usually see about 1% Porsche representation, and for every one seen in open competition there are two who compete in more 'exclusive' marque specific events. Porsche has legit competitive chops at some of the higher levels of auto racing, but when you get down into sub-0.1% wealth individual owner-drivers, the price/performance ratio isn't really there. I mean, you pay your Porsche money and you get something that is not entirely embarrassing to drive on the track, but you could definitely get better performance per dollar elsewhere. What you really get with the Porsche is entree' to the marque specific events, and they smell like a Country Club (my father has been a member since I was about 12...)

                  Now, "e-drive made by Porsche" might carry a little brand value in the larger marketplace, maybe enough to mark up the motor by 10% or so, and you don't have to run the whole service and support network from Porsche to do that. I put a V6 conversion kit in my Miata, and while I am perfectly satisfied that it's a 275hp Ford Duratec, it comes from an (ooooh) Jaguar S-Type, and the engine design for the Jaguar variant was developed in part by (aaaah) Cosworth and (mmmmn) Porsche. That "brand value" in turn helped to sell over 100 kits, which is why I went with that particular kit: because they had the experience of 100+ kit builds all in one place, something the guys who are just yanking (best hp/$ ratio) Duratecs out of old Lincolns don't have.

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            • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday August 06, @03:51PM (2 children)

              by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday August 06, @03:51PM (#1265278) Homepage Journal

              Most people don't realize mine is electric unless I tell them. The battery is in the frame and the motor is in the back wheel hub. It looks like a normal bicycle, except it's bigger. Most people notice the fat tires first.

              --
              Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
              • (Score: 2) by legont on Sunday August 07, @04:36AM

                by legont (4179) on Sunday August 07, @04:36AM (#1265383)

                Which one do you have? I am shopping.

                --
                "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
              • (Score: 2) by quietus on Sunday August 07, @10:10AM

                by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 07, @10:10AM (#1265414) Journal

                That’s a growing tendency here. A few years ago it was pretty clear which was an e-bike and which not, with the battery a tell-tale sign. I’d estimate that 80% of all adult bikes are now e-bikes, where 10-20% you can only tell by the speed and, on closer look, the wheel nave.

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Saturday August 06, @03:14PM (1 child)

          by Immerman (3985) on Saturday August 06, @03:14PM (#1265263)

          Seems to me there's four main reasons to ride a bike outside of formal races (where cheating is rightfully despised):

          Fun
          Transportation
          Training for racing
          Because you're a hyper-competitive douche who wants to feel superior to other people.

          That last group are the only ones who have any reason to object to electric bikes. But since they're also the group responsible for almost all of the bad reputation of bicycling, I say F$#@ their opinion.

          • (Score: 2) by legont on Sunday August 07, @04:28AM

            by legont (4179) on Sunday August 07, @04:28AM (#1265381)

            They use the same app to claim their achivements and then somebody from admin or respected community member has to either approve or deny a particular run over the same road.
            Basically, electric bikes are destroying an established world wide competitive amateur racing.

            --
            "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 2) by legont on Saturday August 06, @03:35AM (2 children)

      by legont (4179) on Saturday August 06, @03:35AM (#1265215)

      A few years back ford came to the office and propose an investment into a mass self driving car at... $500,000 starting price. Wall Street boys passed.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday August 06, @03:55PM (1 child)

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday August 06, @03:55PM (#1265280) Homepage Journal

        The original 8 bit 64k RAM IBM PC was $4,000 forty years ago, the Apple was even more expensive. I've watched tech prices drop all my life, and I'm 70. In 1977 a 24 inch color TV was $600 in 1977 dollars.

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 2) by legont on Sunday August 07, @04:33AM

          by legont (4179) on Sunday August 07, @04:33AM (#1265382)

          A reasonable computer have had the same price all over the years. To be on the cutting age you'd have to spend the same $4000 inflation adjusted now.
          As per TVs, it's a different story.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday August 06, @03:48PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday August 06, @03:48PM (#1265277) Homepage Journal

      An entry level motorcycle has a really small engine, usually under 100 CC displacement. Your Porsche will be priced more like a Harley Davidson 1200 Hog than a 75 CC Suzuki.

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday August 07, @09:46AM

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Sunday August 07, @09:46AM (#1265412) Homepage
      Veblen
      --
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  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday August 06, @03:44PM (3 children)

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday August 06, @03:44PM (#1265275) Homepage Journal

    In the US, e-bikes are limited to 20 mph (gasoline mopeds are allowed to do 30, WHY?). One e-bike is as fast as the next.

    That said, when the warranty's up I'll look into hacking the governor...

    --
    Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday August 06, @04:11PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday August 06, @04:11PM (#1265286)

      There's a huge difference between 20mph on a 250w hub motor and 20mph on a 2000w peak motor.

      Our bikes are 350 and 750w, and even though they are both governed to 20mph, the experience is quite different getting there.

      --
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    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday August 07, @12:38AM (1 child)

      by Immerman (3985) on Sunday August 07, @12:38AM (#1265364)

      I believe e-bikes within compliant speed and power (and possibly mass?) limits are legally classified as bicycles at the federal level, and very few places require that you have a license to ride them. (A big win for the e-bike industry, and others that see e-bikes being a big part of our transportation future.) Presumably because it's unusual to cause serious injury or loss of life to anyone else while traveling at human-propelled bicycle speeds and masses. You can easily get yourself killed playing in traffic, but unlike a moped or motorcycle you're not *that* much more dangerous to other people than a pedestrian.

      Without such limiters... an impact at 30mph will release more than twice the energy as at 20mph. Even without the extra mass of a more substantial moped or motorcycle, that's more than enough to make the difference between "everyone probably walks away", and "someone likely needs professional medical attention"

      And it's not like gas-powered bicycles haven't existed for a long time - just usually as aftermarket conversion kits with severe power limits, for similar reasons.

      Mopeds (gasoline or electric) are a legally distinct class that in many (most?) states require a license to drive. With the proof-of-competence, and often insurance, that comes with it.

      There's plenty of e-bikes that ignore the limits, and even more with user-removable limiters. You just need to be properly licensed to operate them legally. Because legally they're mopeds. Or motorcycles, depending on their capability.

      • (Score: 2) by legont on Sunday August 07, @04:49AM

        by legont (4179) on Sunday August 07, @04:49AM (#1265386)

        The point is short - license and insurance.
        We all agree that bicycles don't need either. Motorcycles regardless of engine type need both.
        Now, electric "community" wants to cheat the game.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.