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Honda, Porsche, BMW, MINI Cooper: Carmakers make a play with electric bikes

Auto brands show off e-bikes, but don't actively sell them

MINI E-Bike 1 Ocean Wave Green e-bike with a gray background with green light swirls.

Consumer electric bike purchases have expanded rapidly in the last two years, with several noticeable consequences. Ebike prices have dropped significantly as competition increases among a fast-growing roster of bike manufacturers. Carmakers are also stepping into the electric bike flurry, but it’s not clear they’ll stay to compete with dedicated bike brands.

Automakers worldwide have shown they can design electric bikes. A few, such as Honda and VW, have teased ebike concept prototypes but have not launched production models so far. Jeep entered the market but then stepped aside in favor of a supplier partner.

Porsche and BMW sell e-bikes that complement their sporting brands, and Audi and Mercedes-AMG offer electric two-wheelers that complement their luxury performance vehicles. The list goes on and on, including MINI, VW, and even Ferrari designer Pininfarina. Bugatti’s on the list, too, with a surprising e-vehicle. Presented in no particular order, the following ten automotive companies have e-mobility entries or at least concept vehicles.

Honda e3-MTB Concept ebike product shot against a white background.
Honda / Honda

Honda e-MTB Concept electric bike teaser

The Honda e-MTB Concept vehicle, which was shown at the Japan Mobility Show 2023 this fall, may never become an actual product. Honda certainly knows a lot about lightweight performance motorcycles and demonstrates its experience with the unique frame and original swingarm design in this e-mountain bike concept vehicle. Honda also teased an electric bike concept in 2010.

Porsche eBike Cross Performance EXC mountain e-bike product shot against a white background.
Porsche / Porsche

Porsche eBike Cross Performance EXC, a sporting bike you can buy

Porsche sells a range of high-performance e-bikes as a lifestyle product. Three generations of Porsche e-bikes range in price from $9,500 to $15,350 for the Porsche eBike Cross Performance EXC in the photo above.

Three people riding BMW3T e-bikes on pavement with a sea wall and the ocean in the background.

BMW 3T e-bikes for gravel, road, and urban exploring

Sadly, not for sale in the U.S., BMW 3T electric bikes, in variants specifically outfitted for various travel surfaces, are surprisingly reasonably priced from €5,000 to €8,000. BMW’s partner, 3T Bike, manages the business for BMW Bikes.

MINI E-Bike 1 Ocean Wave Green e-bike with a gray background with green light swirls.

Mini E-Bike 1 is cute but limited

MINI has a knack for choosing designers who are unable to create anything ugly or even commonplace. The MINI E-Bike 1 is available in two colorways, Vibrant Silver and Ocean Wave Green. The €3,490 ($3,836 US) price is nice for a boutique e-bike, but unfortunately, the total production is limited to 1,959, which represents the year the original MINI Cooper launched.

Audi electric e-Tron mountain bike against a white background.
Audi / Audi

Audi e-tron E2 electric mountain bike

Fortunately, you can buy the Audi e-tron E2 electric mountain bike, though it will cost you a hefty €8,900 ($9,783 US). Available in three sizes (S, M, L), the Audi e-tron E2 has a full suspension, fat tires, and a combination of lightweight aluminum and carbon frames.

Rider looking through binoculars seated on a QuietKat All Terrain e-bike with a trailer.
QuietKat / QuietKat

Jeep comes and goes with its own e-bike brand

Jeep has a now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t e-bike story. Jeep began selling rugged, off-road e-bikes in 2020. The bikes were rebranded models built by QuietKat, a big name in off-road electric bikes popular with adventurers and hunters. You can still find listings for Jeep e-bikes, but the links now lead to the QuietKat website, and they no longer have the Jeep name on the frame.

Mercedes EQ Silver Arrows eBike against a shaded gray background.
Mercedes EQ / Mercedes EQ

Mercedes-AMG Formula E Silver Arrows e-bike

FIA Formula E racecars have all-electric power units. Still, the fortunate few who purchased the Silver Arrows Sport eBike can access two power sources: human pedaling and assistance from a 500W electric motor with up to 80 nm torque. Mercedes-AMG Formula E e-bikes range in price from $3,450 to $4,950, but unfortunately, all four models are sold out.

Bugatti 10.0 Electric Scooter against a black background.
Bugatti / Bugatti

Bugatti 10.0 Electric Scooter

So, the Bugatti 10.0 Electric Scooter isn’t an e-bike, but surely an e-scooter from the automaker of one of the fastest production cars in the world that isn’t Tesla is noteworthy. Bugatti’s e-scooter has a 1,000-watt motor and a 22 mph maximum speed. Maximum capacity is 286 pounds. You can switch between three different speed modes with a colorful touchscreen display that also has security passcode protection. The tail light also projects the Bugatti logo on the ground. It’s available in yellow, Agile Blue, and black for a surprisingly reasonable $1,600.

Pininfarina Diavelo e-volusion e-bike conceived by the Ferrari designer.
Pininfarina Diavelo / Pininfarina Diavelo

Pininfarina and Davielo E-voluzione

It’s not a Ferrari e-bike, but the elegant e-bike in the photo above was created in 2016 by Pininfarina, the renowned Ferrari designer. The E-voluzione was a collaboration of Pininfarina and Diavelo, a Swiss e-bike manufacturer. I was unable to find the E-voluzione for sale, but several of Diavelo’s current e-bikes have hints of the original design.

Volkswagen Financial Services and PON Holdings partnership will encourage e-bike leasing.
Volkswagen Financial Services / Volkswagen Financial Services

VW gets into the e-bike leasing business

Several times in the past, Volkswagen has teased e-bike concept vehicles, but so far, it hasn’t brought an electric bike to market. In September 2023, however, Volkswagen Financial Services (VW  FS) and Pon Holdings strengthened an existing partnership in the business of bike leasing. According to a joint press release, 90% of the venture’s leased bikes are e-bikes. VW FS now owns 49% of the Pon bike leasing subsidiary, Bike Mobility Services (BMS). With experience in e-bike financials, in time VW perhaps the VW Group will decide to manufacture and sell its own e-bike brand.

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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
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