German automotive manufacturer Porsche isn’t sitting in the slow lane when it comes to expanding the company’s reach in the electric bike market. Porsche’s latest power move in the two-wheeled EV industry just saw it buy up Fazua, an innovative electric bicycle drive manufacturer.
Fazua makes a number of interesting electric bicycle drives and components, but the company’s flagship product is an e-bike drive that allows both the motor and battery to be completely removed from the bike.
The removal can be done in seconds and essentially turns the bike back into a pedal bike, shedding almost all the weight of the electric drive system.
It’s a huge advantage for cyclists who want to enjoy the assist of an electric motor during some training rides, but also want to ride their bike assist-free without the weight penalty of carrying around an unused motor (many e-bikes already have easily removable batteries).
Porsche had already bought up 20% of Fazua earlier this year, but has now completed its acquisition of the company by buying up the remaining shares.
At the same time as Porsche’s initial purchase of 20% of Fazua, the automaker also announced that it was establishing a strategic partnership with Ponooc, a Dutch investment company that specializes in sustainable energy and mobility solutions. Porsche says that it will establish two ventures with Ponooc.
As the company explained:
The first joint venture is to develop, manufacture and distribute a future generation of high-quality Porsche e-bikes. The second company will focus on technological solutions in the fast growing micro-mobility market.
That news followed on the heels of Porsche announcing that it was buying up high-tech Croatian electric bicycle company Greyp late last year.
Combined with Porsche’s own in-house line of electric bicycles and now these new acquisitions, Porsche seems dead-set on expanding its stake in the electric bicycle and larger micromobility industry.
Porsche isn’t stopping there though. The company just announced this week that the automaker is expanding its venturing network by collaborating with UP.Labs, a new model for fostering innovative startups.
According to Porsche, the startups’ focus “will revolve around Porsche’s core activities. For example, these could involve predictive maintenance, supply chain transparency or digital retail.”
However, some leading industry analysts have speculated that Porsche’s expanding light electric vehicle activities could also be used to target micromobility startups, leveraging the agility of new ventures to make quick progress in the rapidly developing electric mobility industry.
That would see Porsche taking a leading position in the growing trend of major automotive manufacturers throwing their hats in the e-bike and light electric vehicle rings.
Peugot has its own extensive line of e-bikes, and Spain’s SEAT has partnered with Barcelona-based Silence to roll out its own seated and standing electric scooters.
GM developed an electric bicycle in-house, though the project was killed off early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
ŠKODA rolled out one of the weirdest electric bike/scooter concepts we’ve seen, though there’s no indication it is headed for produciton.
Jeep has gotten into the high-power e-bike game via licensing agreements, though its similar attempt to co-develop an electric scooter was significantly less impressive.
Even motorcycle manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and BMW Motorrad have gotten into electric bicycles and scooters, though Harley’s results have been much more impressive than BMW’s.
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