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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 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.

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  • (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.

          Україна не входить до складу Росії.
          • (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.

              Україна не входить до складу Росії.
        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday August 06, @03:51PM (2 children)

          by mcgrew (701) <> 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! []
          • (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):

      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.