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posted by janrinok on Friday August 05 2022, @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 mcgrew on Saturday August 06 2022, @03:44PM (12 children)

    by mcgrew (701) <> on Saturday August 06 2022, @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...

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday August 06 2022, @04:11PM (2 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday August 06 2022, @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.

    🌻🌻 []
    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday August 08 2022, @06:01PM (1 child)

      by mcgrew (701) <> on Monday August 08 2022, @06:01PM (#1265585) Homepage Journal

      Mine is 750 watts, according to the manual. I still want to know why gasoline mopeds are allowed to do 30.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Monday August 08 2022, @08:21PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday August 08 2022, @08:21PM (#1265597)

        'cause: reasons. Laws on top of laws, special interests driving those laws, etc.

        Around here: Class-(something) e-bikes, which are regulated exactly 100% like a pedaled bicycle, are limited to 20mph. Once you exceed 20mph you're in moped and/or motorcycle regulations. I don't think mopeds require any special licensing, but they're not bicycles so can't be ridden on bike trails, etc. and there's probably a few hoops they have to jump that e-bikes don't - but what those are I'm not entirely sure. Then above 28mph, I think, you're in motorcycle class where you need DOT everything, special operators' license, etc.

        What I don't understand is the quantum leap in price, from $800 for a decent minimalist 20mph e-bike to $5K for a minimalist highway capable motorcycle. I get that it has to be more expensive because of the parts required, etc. but... 6x more expensive?!?

        🌻🌻 []
  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday August 07 2022, @12:38AM (8 children)

    by Immerman (3985) on Sunday August 07 2022, @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 2022, @04:49AM (3 children)

      by legont (4179) on Sunday August 07 2022, @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.
      • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Monday August 08 2022, @03:05PM (2 children)

        by Immerman (3985) on Monday August 08 2022, @03:05PM (#1265549)

        Cheating? I suppose it depends on what you mean.

        I'm fully on board with treating bikes with a motor assist that doesn't let them go faster than under pedal power continuing to be treated as a bike. You could argue the EU's 15mph assist limit is more reasonable in that respect.

        I'm also fully on board with user-removable limiters (it's *my* bike!), though that does mean there are some "cheaters" who remove the limiter without taking the required steps to comply with the law.

        Frankly though, I doubt either case applies to the "not-quite-a-motorcycle" bikes a lot of these companies are beginning to sell.

        Ebikes are subdivided into four classes in the US, and if you have a motor more powerful than 1hp (750W) only the highest class potentially applies:
        1,2 - 20mph limit -- generally treated as bikes
        3 - 28mph assist-limit, less than 1hp -- legal requirements vary with jurisdiction, generally treated as (or similar to) a moped
        4 - 28mph assist-limit, 1hp and up -- legal off-road only, usually requires registration and licensing, and often banned from public land. So, pretty close to dirt-bike rules.

        All the quasi-motorcycles are at best eligible for class 4. If they don't have speed limiters they don't even qualify as mopeds, and must be registered as motorcycles to be street legal.

        • (Score: 2) by legont on Tuesday August 09 2022, @12:59AM (1 child)

          by legont (4179) on Tuesday August 09 2022, @12:59AM (#1265634)

          Well, my point was a bit simpler, I guess. I do bike a lot and I do ride a motorcycle. I believe that motorcycles belong to the road while bikes could go anywhere with reasonable precautions.
          Now we have this electric power that could change both of them substantially. I am not a purist and I am over 60 so I do want a bicycle that helps me a bit over hills I used to go over by myself. However I definitely do not want my motorcycle types on the same path.
          How to regulate this exactly is the question, but the idea, I believe, is clear enough.

          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
          • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday August 09 2022, @04:04AM

            by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday August 09 2022, @04:04AM (#1265659)

            Yeah, I suppose there's still a legal grey area in terms of what is acceptable on trails isn't there?

            I do lean towards treating class 3 and 4 as mopeds/motorcycles by default - e.g. presumed prohibited from bike-friendly trails unless otherwise noted, where class 1 and 2 are presumed to be permitted.

            The fact that there's not always much visual difference presents a problem to easily identifying violators who aren't caught in the act (or by enough probable cause for a bike inspection), but I'm not sure how big a problem that really is compared to jurisdictions just not having established rules.

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday August 08 2022, @05:51PM (3 children)

      by mcgrew (701) <> on Monday August 08 2022, @05:51PM (#1265580) Homepage Journal

      None of that is necessary to be said, of course there should be limits, but why is a gasoline moped allowed to do 30 but an electric moped only allowed 20?

      • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday August 09 2022, @04:10AM (2 children)

        by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday August 09 2022, @04:10AM (#1265661)

        An electric moped *is* allowed to go 30.

        What it's NOT allowed to do is call itself an ebike in order to let the owner sidestep the legal responsibilities associated with driving a moped.