5 Moto and Auto Brands Tasting the E-Bike Pie and How They're Shaping Urban Mobility

You can hate on them all you want; e-bikes are here to stay! Oh, and to say that most folks will be rocking an e-bike in the near future is an understatement. There are plenty of automotive and motorcycle manufacturers picking up on this trend. Most of them are even making it their day job to offer delicious and electrified goods. So, we're here to explore a bit of what the hell is going on.
E-Bikes From Automotive and Motorcycle Manufacturers 66 photos
Photo: Harley-Davidson / Mercedes-EQ / Ducati / Edited by autoevolution
TK-01RR Limited EditionFuta Limited EditionFuta Limited EditionFuta Limited EditionFuta AXSFutaFutaTK-01RR Limited EditionTK-01RR Limited EditionTK-01RRTK-01RRMig-SMig-SCrossCrossCrossFormula E Team eBikeFormula E Team eBikeSilver Arrows eBikeSilver Arrows eBikeChampionship Edition eBikeChampionship Edition eBikeChampionship Edition eBikeChampionship Edition eBikeKids BikeCruise BikeM BikeM BikeGravel BikeCruise BikeSwitch/MTNSwitch/MTNSwitch/MTNMosh/CTYMosh/CTYRush/CTY Step-ThruRush/CTY Step-ThruRush/CTY Step-ThruRush/CTY Step-ThruRush/CTY SpeedRush/CTY SpeedBash/MTNBash/MTNBash/MTNBash/MTNBash/MTNV13 Road BikeV13 Road BikeV13 Road BikeV13 Road BikeSport and CrossCrossSportCrossV13 Road BikeV13 Road BikeV13 Road BikeSport MotorSportTK-01RRMig-SFutaMosh/TributeBMW Bike LineupBMW Bike
Folks, e-bikes are here to stay. So much so that even automotive manufacturers are getting in on the action. Some of those include BMW, Porsche, and even Mercedes-Benz. Even motorcycle brands like Harley-Davidson and Ducati are catching this wave. Let's see what's in store and what it means for you.


First on our list is BM-forgot-I-have-turn-signals-W. The same BMW which saw its beginnings in 1916 and is responsible for machines like the iconic E30, M3, M1, and the 328. Oh, and something called an Isetta, which may be the closest that BMW has ever come to a glorified e-bike in the past.

Nonetheless, in today's modern lineup, the Bavarian powerhouse features not one, not two, but seven bikes, of which two are electric. They even have a kid's bike on the list. From bikes designed for city streets to ones for the outskirts of town, all have a place under the BMW umbrella. I even noticed this brand offers a bike for gravel riding, proving that they're keeping up with current trends. Seems like this automotive giant couldn't pass up the opportunity to rake in some extra bucks from this growing market.

BMW Bike
Photo: BMW Toronto / YouTube Screenshot
Prices for these BMWs range from $295 (€280 at current exchange rates) for the kid's bike to around $1,000 (€950) for city and road bikes. Rather affordable; nothing too crazy. But these aren't electric. The e-monsters start at $2,330 (€2,200). Again, rather affordable if you ask me. The only goldfish in this pond is the gravel bike, which is built by 3T and costs $5,120 (€4,850) and is not even electric. Now that's more in line with BMW pricing.


Porsche is hitting us with their very own e-bikes. Yet another German powerhouse to join this ever-growing electric movement. Now, this is Porsche we're talking about, and they seem to be approaching this industry from a slightly different angle. While BMW is busy shaking hands with other manufacturers to build their e-wheelers, Porsche is buying entire companies to expand their empire. They purchased Fazua this year, a manufacturer of one hell of a drivetrain.

Their lineup includes just two electric machines, the Cross and Sport, and while Fazua is now under Porsche rule, Shimano is the brand supplying the e-drivetrain for these two bikes. Considering this manufacturer doesn't have the assembly lines necessary to craft such monstrosities, they, too, are calling upon the powers of established cycling giants. In this case, Rotwild, a crew that's been building mountain bikes since 1996. Looking closely at the Cross and Sport, the Rotwild biking heritage is clearly visible. Each trinket has Fox suspension components and a frame design with a shock integrated into the top tube, a feature commonly spotted on cross-country bikes.

Sport and Cross
Photo: Porsche Sales & Marketplace
I also need to point out that these things are not cheap. The least expensive of the bunch, the cross, coasts in with a price tag of no less than $9500 (€9,000). How much do you think the sport is going for? No less than $11,750 (€11,130). What does this mean for people like you and me? It means that Porsche reserves its right to select its customers, apparently, based on nothing more than budget. I'm sorry, these things are more expensive than bikes built by Trek, a crew that supplies Tour de France athletes!

Nonetheless, my discussions with the famed automaker reveal no signs of slowing down – be prepared to see more Porsche bicycles and cycling gear in the future.


Up next, another industry goliath in on the e-bike action is none other than Mercedes. This timeless brand is hitting the market with electrified wonders that you should be aware of. However, Mercedes decided they didn't want to import frames for their bikes. They're handling this business themselves.

Members of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 and Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E design build each unique bike, helping them stand out from anything else you might see on the streets. It's one way to ensure quality and offer EVs that are easily identifiable even if the brand emblem isn't visible.

V13 Road Bike
Photo: nPlus Bikes
So, what's in store for humans like you and me? Quite a whole lot, actually. Unlike Porsche, I noticed that Mercedes two-wheelers are priced all over the board, ensuring that this crew takes hold of as many customers as possible. Trinkets are priced at a mere $2000 (€1,900) for the city racer e-bike and up to $5,800 (€5,500) for a dual-motor championship edition e-bike.

Yet, Mercedes felt obliged to whip out a proverbial unicorn too. And so, here we are, the Mercedes F1 V13 Rolling Chassis. $7,500 (€7,100) of aerodynamic carbon fiber limited to only 500 pieces... ever! They're even hand-painted, for god's sake! Oh, and this thing isn't even electric. It's just a road bike that weighs 16.2 lbs (7.3 kg). Owning a Mercedes is a whole lot easier than we thought.


Now you understand that the automotive industry is active in this growing trend. But where does that leave motorcycle manufacturers? After all, it makes sense for these teams to be on the front lines. Well, let me put things this way: if there were no motorcycle manufacturers on this scene, we wouldn't be talking.

With that said, let me point out the first crew we'll be exploring. I'll give you a hint: potato-potato-potato... Yes, Harley Davidson! Unlike automakers like BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche, for a vehicle manufacturer like HD to be building e-bikes is self-explanatory. They even built an entire brand for these electric machines, Serial 1. Mind you, they're also on their second generation, so things are clearly moving.

But, they seem to really want to stick to selling motorized monsters because the least expensive e-bike in their lineup sells for $3,800 (€3,600), the Mosh/CTY (stands for city). Then there's the Bash/MTN (stands for mountain), selling at $4,000 (€3,800), and the most expensive bike available to us customers seems to be the Rush/CTY Speed, selling for $5,600 (€5,300). European citizens can drop up to €6,300 ($6,650) on a Mosh/Tribute two-wheeler.

Photo: Serial 1
Luckily for us, I've tested one of these buggers, and I must say, there's a whole bunch of Harley-Davidson packed into each one, and for an e-bike, that's not necessarily a good thing. Sure, the bikes feel solid: nothing vibrates, nothing clinks. But that doesn't matter over the noise that Brose motor puts out once activated. It's potato-potato all over again. I wonder if Harley-Davidson will try and trademark this acoustic element too. Nonetheless, that noise is accompanied by more than enough power to help you fly around town with 66 ft-lbs of torque directed to a Gates carbon belt drivetrain. Shifting is often handled by an Enviolo Automatiq gearbox.

Regarding the joy of speed, hands down, no problems whatsoever for this brand, and probably one of the reasons why customers are buying these buggers left and right. For example, the Switch/MTN is sold out on the Serial 1 website.


Another two-wheeler brand that's really hitting that e-bike sauce? None other than Ducati. Ducati's approach to this industry is very similar to that of Porsche. How? Porsche doesn't have any bicycle-building hardware, nor does Ducati. So, they're working with Thok bikes, a crew of some very serious machines that was founded back in 2017.

Photo: Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A
Since this team is also from Italy, it's no wonder Ducati asked for their help in supplying the market with e-bikes. Currently, the lineup includes an all-mountain range, an enduro range, and most recently, they've introduced three electric road-worthy monsters. In all, six machines bear the Ducati colors, and this crew, too, is continually coming out with updated models.

While I dove a bit deeper into understanding what's going on with the lineup, I noticed that Shimano is the crew powering the mountain goats with an EP8 setup. But, the road e-bikes use a component manufacturer I've never encountered, FSA, short for Full Speed Ahead. If we note that this component manufacturer has been tinkering with road and mountain bikes since 1992, it sounds like Ducati is in good hands.

Futa AXS
Photo: Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A
As for what sort of prices to expect from the famed group, you need to first remember what this brand stands for. Maybe I'm trying to butter you up for having to dish out $5,500 (€5,200) for the least expensive of the six EVs, the Mig-S mountain bike. The most expensive of the bunch stands at around... wait for it... $12,000 (€11,400). That would be the Futa Limited, of which only 50 units will ever be built! It feels like Ducati is nice and ready to hit this industry with everything it's got. Not to mention that they also make e-scooters: check out that video here.


If you had any doubts that e-bikes will be a thing, I'm sure these five automotive and motorcycle manufacturers should wipe them all away. At the end of the day, these teams aren't the only ones in on this trend. But all of them are aimed at nothing more than your cash. The good news is that you no longer need to have tens of thousands of dollars to own a motorsports-branded vehicle. Vehicle, because we can't call them cars now, can we?

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories