Mercedes-Benz announced today several high-performance electric bikes as part of its continued partnership with N+, the auto brand’s licensed bike make. The news follows an acquisition that Porsche made this week for high-end German eBike component-maker Fazua. BMW also sells branded electric bikes and has shown off concepts ranging from pedal-assist bikes to full-on electric motorcycles over the years.
eBikes and electric cars share much more technology than their internal combustion engine counterparts. At a tech level, the new Mercedes bikes employ lithium-ion batteries, magnet motors, and even continuously variable transmissions. Licensed brand deals are nothing new, but worlds seem to be truly converging as electrification sweeps the auto industry.
What’s the tech?
Mercedes’ latest bikes claim to be “three times more powerful” than any standard eBikes on the market and can ride at up to 28 mph, with motors providing up to 750W of power to riders. The bikes include sleekly framed batteries and drive units, as well as high-tech digital dashboards. Helping to prevent theft is a “password-activated security immobilizer”, mirroring tech seen in Dutch bike brand Vanmoof’s popular electric commuters.
The bikes employ mid-drive motors for better dynamics and “constantly-variable” technology — meaning no discrete gears to switch between. The technology seems similar to continuously-variable transmissions in the auto industry. The bikes use carbon belt drives which are known for being silent, durable, and expensive options for transferring power from the motors and pedals to the wheels.
What are the models and are they for sale?
The range includes a model inspired by the German brand’s Formula E team, two Silver Arrow models, and a flagship “Championship Edition” unit with front suspension and motors on each wheel. The bikes are available on the N+ website and will be available in “participating Mercedes-Benz dealerships.” Prices range from $3450 to $5800, and are comparable to other high end eBikes — perhaps on the costlier end of the market owing to the Three-Pointed Star on their frame.
With electric mobility on the rise and gas prices the way they are, we expect to hear more from luxury automakers about eBikes in the near future.