Polestar is making its own e-bike. In a recent interview with The Verge, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath confirmed that the company was working on a battery-powered two-wheeler along with Sweden’s Allebike, with which it had previously worked on a Polestar-branded nonelectric mountain bike.
But that said, Ingenlath said he is cognizant of how it looks when a company that makes cars strays into the bike lane. “I always hated that marketing stunt of buying a bike and then just putting your brand on it,” Ingenlath said in an interview.
Ingenlath’s skepticism is warranted. Often, when you hear about car companies releasing their own electric bikes, it’s just a brand licensing deal. Think Jeep’s e-bike, those Hummer bikes from last decade, or the most recent Hummer e-bikes. Other times, it’s a much-hyped project that ends up falling victim to corporate cost cutting, like General Motors’ Ariv e-bikes.
“I always hated that marketing stunt of buying a bike and then just putting your brand on it.”
Polestar’s first e-bike will not be a licensing deal. He pointed to the mountain bike that Polestar made with Allebike, noting “that frame is actually our own frame.” Ingenlath said he admires the way that bike engineers “fight for each and every gram” when designing a frame that can withstand the pressures of cycling while holding all the components.
“So yeah, that’s something we’re looking into,” he added.
Polestar isn’t the only automaker that sees potential in e-bikes. Porsche recently unveiled a pair of high-priced full-suspension electric mountain bikes, the Sport and the Cross. The German automaker also acquired two e-bike affiliated companies in recent months: Croatian e-bike company Greyp and Fazua, an e-bike drivetrain manufacturer that specializes in lightweight motors.
BMW has also released a pair of rad-looking e-bike concepts that may get produced alongside its cyberpunk-looking electric moped. And Rivian has filed a trademark application for a new lineup of e-bikes.
In addition to working with Allebike, Polestar has also teamed up with e-motorbike brand Cake on a customized version of the Swedish company’s Makka moped. The two firms presented the concept as “a new and unique electric mobility bundle that combines the all-round road capabilities of the Polestar 2 with the inner-city convenience of the CAKE Makka,” with photos showing Cake’s moped hitched on a rack behind a Polestar 2 sedan.
Polestar is likely to market its new e-bike using similar terms. “I’m absolutely for the plurality of mobility,” Ingenlath told The Verge. “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.”
He added, “The bike, the bus, whatever means of transport. Mix it up.”