At the top end of the e-bike market, €10,000 is a magic line. Many well-known manufacturers offer their top models just below this threshold. Beyond this mark, the sky seems to be the limit. Bugatti takes the cake with what is currently the world's most expensive e-bike. Introduced in 2018, the 8.6 kg urban bike made of carbon fibre costs €75,000.
In this league, three groups of suppliers stand out; Ambitious small companies dedicated to superlatives. Large, established manufacturers who round off their broad product range with a top model. And finally, suppliers who’s core business is in other industries and who supplement their portfolio with prestige bikes.
As for many top-of-the-range e-bikes, expensive also stands for fast, typically, the products are s-pedelecs or bikes in the motorcycle class above 45 km/h. And what sports car drivers have always known - speed is sexy. It's not the ratio alone that decides how much money changes hands in the end. Nor is it the technical features alone. In many cases, a bike that costs a quarter of the price would do the job just as good. In the end, it’s all about emotions and exclusivity. Or as Trefecta founder Haiko Visser puts it, "If someone else is riding around on the same bike, you need a really good excuse why you spent so much money." In Trefecta's case – €23,500 for the top model DRT Off-road Unlimited with 4kW drive.
The origins of Berlin-based eRockit date back to the 1990s. After the company’s re-launch in 2020, the primary claim to build the fastest bicycle in the world, manifests in the bikes of today’s production series that go up to 89km/h. Over 150 parts of the original product were modified until the first edition went into production. Limited to 100 pieces, this first edition started to be delivered last summer. The price tag of the ‘Tesla on two wheels’, as co-founder Sebastian Bruch calls the pedelec-rocket with 5kW motor and 6.6kWh battery is €11,850. In order to ride the street-legal version, buyers in Germany benefit from a new driving license regulation which allows car drivers to ride two-wheelers in the 125cc class with 9 additional driving lessons instead of taking the full set of lessons for a motorcycle drivers license.
Powerful is the predicate of M1 Sporttechnik. The icing on the cake of the German company’s sporty product line is the World Cup R-pedelec with TQ motor and 120nm of torque, priced at €15,999. R stands for race, as these models don’t have street approval. What managing director Thorsten Cornils calls his top model though, is the street-legal S-pedelec M1 Spitzing Evolution that starts at €8,999 in the basic version.