Automotive. Porsche, Citroën, Peugeot… when car brands start using electric bikes
From cars to bicycles, more and more manufacturers are deciding to take the plunge. And against all odds, Lancia is one of these manufacturers. The moribund Italian brand, which only sells one model in its home country, launched not one, but four pedelecs in September:
- The Ypsilon Brio, foldable and the most affordable, at 1,050 euros;
- The Ypsilon Incanto, an urban bike announced at 1,250 euros;
- The Ypsilon Estra, an open-frame version of the Incanto, at the same price;
- Finally, the Ypsilon Genio, a “trekking” model intended for hiking, at 1,500 euros.
Citroën hits the market
This range was designed and produced together with the Italian Platum, a specialist in the sector accustomed to partnering with the automotive industry – as he proudly claims on his website. However, for its part, Lancia maintains radio silence: there is no trace of the bikes on its websites, or even in the archives of its press releases.
Does this approach seem paradoxical to you? However, this is what Citroën adopted to launch its first VAE, the City. Like the cars of the chevron brand, this is a relatively affordable model, available for around 1,000 euros.
But despite the inclusion of useful equipment for the city, such as crutches or mudguards, the Citroën City is content with a perfectly ordinary technical sheet for its price.
“A quick search leads us to a Hong Kong manufacturer, Asia Kingston Ltd., offering to produce the bikes under license,” said technology news site Les Numériques. Again, no sign of the City on Citroën’s website.
Peugeot on familiar ground
But the best equipped to tackle the VAE market within the Stellantis is undoubtedly Peugeot. The Sochaux brand was never completely separated from the historical bicycle manufacturing activity, which it still owns, with the French Cycleurope as a subcontractor.
Peugeot Cycles now offers six electric-assisted models. Its latest addition is the eC01 Crossover, an e-bike “focused on hybrid city/all-road use, combining a hybrid city frame with wide tires”. A top-of-the-range model, sold from 3,100 euros.
But there is always something more expensive. Porsche has announced the marketing of two electrically assisted mountain bikes, the Cross (8,900 euros) and the Sport (10,900 euros), developed in collaboration with the German Rotwild.
The Zuffenhausen company did not intend to stop there. “Porsche Ventures now owns 100% of well-known e-bike manufacturer Fazua,” British news site Cycling Industry News reported in June. Porsche also acquired the Croatian brand Grape at the end of 2021.
Following these acquisitions, the manufacturer announced in August the creation of two joint ventures, Porsche eBike Performance GmbH and P2 eBike GmbH. The former is responsible for developing components and software for e-bikes, while the latter is expected to launch a new generation of Porsche e-bikes in the middle of the decade.
Will other giant vehicles follow this path? “The question of mobility is intended to launch these two worlds in the same direction, Cycling Industry News believes. The evolution of technologies and the smarter use of urban space are two of the themes that lead to this collision. »
Meanwhile, in the United States…
Didn’t you dream of it? General Motors still does it. The American automotive group, which relaunched its Hummer SUV in electric form, will market a bike to match the four-tonne monster.
True to its big brother name, the Hummer EV Bike is a two-wheel drive “fatbike” with 1,500 W of power and 160 Nm of torque. All are built by the company Recon Power Bikes, which claims to sell military equipment. . What is more American?
Too powerful and too fast to be in the VAE category, the Hummer EV Bike probably won’t be sold in France. General Motors withdrew from the European market in 2017.