Swedish electric automaker Polestar has toyed around with two-wheelers before, but the company looks set to embark on its most ambitious bike project yet with a new electric bicycle model.
The company’s CEO Thomas Ingenlath recently announced that Polestar will expand an ongoing partnership with Allebike to create a new electric bike.
That partnership previously led to a pedal bike, but Polestar appears set to bring batteries into the equation for the latest model.
At the same time, Ingenlath seems to strike a distinction between Polestar and other automotive companies that white label their way to an electric bike.
It’s a move we see all too often, where brands leverage the value of their logo by shopping it out to e-bike companies that hope to make a quick buck off of the name recognition.
Remember that Hummer electric bike? What about the Jeep e-bike? Same goes for Ducati’s electric bikes, BMW’s electric scooter, and countless other electric two-wheelers that borrowed big automaker or motorcycle brand names.
Though to be fair, there are plenty of car and motorcycle manufacturers that have honestly developed their own two-wheelers from the ground up. Harley-Davidson famously spent years designing its popular electric bikes that were eventually spun out as independent e-bike company Serial 1. GM developed an in-house electric bike with a lauded design, though it met an untimely demise in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Porsche has a number of interesting e-bikes, as does Peugeot. The list goes on.
Polestar seems to pride itself on avoiding the easy route on the path to its own electric bike, despite announcing that it will in fact team up with Allebike again to produce the Polestar e-bike.
Polestar has partnered its way to other two-wheeler projects in the past. We saw the company join forces with Swedish electric motorbike manufacturer CAKE multiple times, including in the unveiling of a special edition Makka electric moped designed to be charged while towed behind a Polestar electric car. In that case, CAKE did the heavy lifting, lending a largely finished electric moped design to the partnership.
The project strikes a new direction for Polestar that goes beyond four-wheeled transportation solutions. As Ingenlath explained to The Verge, he supports a multimodal approach to mobility:
“I’m absolutely for the plurality of mobility. I hate as much that people would say, ‘Oh, we don’t need cars.’ I mean, of course we need cars. I love to own a car. But I would love to not use it every day. I’d like to use it when I’d like to use it.”
It’s great to see the CEO of a car company coming to the realization that his products aren’t necessary or useful for a large swath of the population. Seeing a car company reach that level of awareness is a beautiful thing and makes me think that mankind might just have a couple more generations left on this planet than originally thought.
Dark? Sure. Accurate? Also yes.
That being said, Polestar stickers on an Allebike electric bicycle aren’t really going to move the needle. And considering that the last bicycle produced from the partnership – a non-electric off-road Polestar snow bike – is priced at $9,999, I shudder to think of the price tag on a Polestar electric bike.
More rich people toys for the great white outdoors isn’t exactly going to revolutionize transportation for those that actually need a cost-effective and non-destructive way to commute around cities.
Nonetheless, car companies making smaller vehicles than cars is a trend I can get behind. Or on top of.
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