Porsche’s latest micromobility acquisition is the German e-bike firm Fazua
Porsche’s shopping spree for electric bikes is far from over. The German automaker announced the acquisition of Fazua, an e-bike drivetrain company specializing in lightweight motors, on Thursday.
After purchasing a 20% investment in the company earlier this year, Porsche announced that it will acquire all of Fazua’s shares, making it the automaker’s latest e-bike acquisition. Late last year, Porsche purchased a majority share in Croatian e-bike company Greyp (pronounced like the fruit).
Fazua is an intriguing buy for Porsche that could signal the direction of the company’s future e-bike offering. The Fazua Drive System, which combines the battery and motor into one device, weighs only 4.6kg (10 pounds) and is totally removable, allowing consumers to ride their bikes with or without assistance. The technology is “very lightweight, slim, and quiet can be tastefully incorporated into the frame, and gives an extraordinarily smooth ride,” according to Fazua.
Fazua, which was founded in 2013, entered the North American market in late 2019. More than 40 bike manufacturers, including Bottecchia, Canyon, Corratec, Fuji, Cairn, and Hercules, use the company’s drive systems.
Porsche teased what these new acquisitions would entail by announcing two joint ventures with Amsterdam-based Pon Holdings’ venture fund Ponooc, which focuses on sustainable energy and mobility projects. “Manufacture and distribute a future generation of high-quality Porsche eBikes,” according to the first. “The second will concentrate on technology solutions for the rapidly expanding micro-mobility market,” Porsche explains. (In addition to Cannondale, Schwinn, Cervélo, and Santa Cruz, Pon Holdings owns other bike brands.)
The acquisition comes at a time when the world of e-bikes is seeing rapid growth. In most key markets, e-bike sales are outpacing traditional bike sales. According to market research firm NPD Group, the COVID-19 pandemic was a major cause, with sales soaring 145 percent from 2019 to 2020, more than doubling the rate of non-motorized bikes.
Porsche is no stranger to the realm of electric bicycles. Earlier this year, the automaker introduced a pair of high-priced, full-suspension electric mountain bikes, the Sport and the Cross, developed in collaboration with long-term partner Rotwild.
Porsche is the most recent combustion engine manufacturer to dabble in the area of electric two-wheelers. When you hear about automakers releasing their own electric motorcycles, it’s usually merely a brand licensing deal. (Consider Jeep’s e-bike or those Hummer bikes from a decade ago.) Other times, a much-touted initiative, such as General Motors’ Ariv e-bikes, falls victim to wider corporate cost-cutting. However, every now and again, something fascinating appears, such as Harley-recently Davidson’s released Serial 1 e-bikes.
Porsche appears to be fairly serious about the future of e-bikes based on its recent expenditures.