Top 10 Ebikes of the Future

May 15, 2012

May, 2012

2012 has been an exciting year for E-bike announcements. Here is a list of 10 amazing electric bikes that could potentially change the game.  These are not your regular E-bikes, but super E-bikes with high price tags to boot.  Many companies have tried to bring expensive electric bikes to market and have failed (read Tidal Force story here). Now in 2012, because of a unique environment caused by the electric bike explosion in China (over 120-million there so far), mass production has provided many cheap and readily available E-bike components. Small, light, and powerful LiPo batteries, along with rising fuel costs has made the perfect environment for some cool E-bikes to potentially explode on the US and European scene.

#10. Phasor Cycles – This is a new company, but their first effort on a production electric bike is already available to the public, and its a beauty. Currently this bike is offered as a “frame only” for DIY builders, but they have plans to release a complete bike in the near  future: (see our ride review here)

#9. EH Line Speed Racer – Despite its lame name, the EH line is an American made masterpiece made by an electric energy company in Hawaii: (see our article here)

#8.  Currie Technologies –  This is the most controversial name on this list. Its because until recently, Currie has been known for making weak,  heavy, and ugly E-bikes for low dollars (see review here). However…recently Currie was bought-out and taken over by a  high end European E-bike maker (read story here) The Accell group and has just recently released some very elegant looking E-bikes with reasonable performance. Currie has big plans for high-performance high-cost bikes in the future.

#7.  Luna Cycles – Fresh start-up Luna Cycles will be releasing an exciting “Fat Bike” with a powerful Astro-Flight mid drive motor this summer. Look for an upcoming article and review here on this amazing bike:

6.  Optibike – Optibike has been a forerunner on the high-end / high-performance electric bike scene for over a decade.  Check out our review of their staple 850r Optibike here.  Do not expect these guys to be left behind when all these new high performance bikes come to market.  Optibike management has been known to have some very fast E-bikes that they are holding back for public release, because of liability concerns.  Although the Optibike seems marketed towards old rich guys, I have high hopes that the USA-made Optibike will stay relevant.  Take a look at the top secret prototype the Optibike guys have been testing in the back woods of Boulder Colorado:

Photo credit: Nicholas Turner

5. Smart Ebike – Mercedes and Smart Car  are bringing their highly stylish 250-watt hub motor  electric bikes to market this year. Whether they will be big success or gigantic belly flop will be interesting to see (read our article here)

4. KTM Egnition – This Australian bike is using  some very exciting components including a german made Clean Mobile drive system (motor built into bottom bracket) and a German made Rohloff rear hub transmission (read our article here). This ebike promises to be an off road monster while maintaining a clean and elegant look. Check out our story on the KTM Egnition here.

3. Dogati  – The Dogati started as  a home build from  industrial engineer Benjamin Chiu who had so much fun when he was building it he decided to start a company and put the bike into production. He made his formal announcement to start the company here on eb.com. Read it here.  Read about his actual prototype build here:

2. Specialized Turbo  – There is going to be a splash when the world’s biggest bicycle maker announces it has spent 3 years developing the best E-bike it can. The battery is small, but its also made to be very easy to swap-in a new one, which keeps the bike very light. There has been much pubic interest ever since Specialized announced its new electric bike (falsely billing it as the “World’s fastest E-bike”). We expect this is just the first of many of  high-end offerings from Specialized: (read our article here)

1. Audi E-bike – This has got to be one of the finest most refined examples of an electric bike ever made. A pure carbon fiber sex toy.  This is the r8 of the E-bike world. Not much more to say than “Best E-bike ever.”  It already exists in prototype form and with any luck from the ebike gods will be appearing in our local Audi dealers soon.  Take a look at our article here.

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.

  • maxwell

    awesome shit!!
    AUDI rocks

  • Bruce

    Terrific! Would love to own one of these.

  • serious e-biker

    you forgot Stromer Electric Bike….

    • ElectricBIke

      Why is Stromer a future ebike? It is here now and frankly is not that exciting. Just a basic hub powered ebike although admittedly an elegant one. Slow and boring.

      • Roger

        Why is the Specialized Turbo a future ebike?! It’s a nice try to copy the Stromer, it is has just a basic hub motor, it is not the fastest, the Stromer has a faster version, it has similar components and costs almost the double of a Stromer! The Stromer won a lot of awards and is the only one with in the down tube integrated battery!

        • ElectricBIke

          Because specialized turbo hasnt come out yet and it is showing a lot of promise. Remember specialized is one of the largest manufactures of quality bicycles in the world. they spent 3 years developing the Turbo and it obviously is not just a copy of the Stromer.

          • Roger

            What’s new, which promises, and where is the future part?
            BTW it was developed in Switzerland 😉

          • ElectricBIke

            Ok which bike should we replace it with then?

          • AJ

            Hmm, well, that is odd, cuz having read quite a few reviews now of the Specialized, it certainly seems like a complete copy of the Stromer lol, except in one important aspect! The Stromer is, at least, $2500 less than that overpriced Specialized thing. On a personalized note, I think the Stromer has a sharper look too.

  • Retrox

    Some of these bikes look so sleek! How long do you guys think until these really start becoming more mainstream?

    Wait till they start making races with just ebikes!

  • 2020.nf

    I’ve been looking at the “stealth” for some time..& wondering..is it worth the 13k..& every time.. the answer is yes, yes..& yes…!!!

    • ian

      its not. home build using a 9c and hk lipo and you’ll be rolling with the same size battery and more power.

  • suisseoz

    You need to look at the Swiss Stöckli Ebike, a great looking bike with great Swiss engineering and quality, you can buy a faster motor where you need a licence plate
    A wonderful bike!

  • Dai

    All of these are missing the point. Ebikes are are a great replacement for cars for short journeys with moderate luggage because you don’t get sweaty (like a car), you don’t have to put in much effort (like a car), you can carry a tonne of stuff (not literally, like a car), and it costs next to nothing both environmentally and financially (completely unlike a car). All of these are prime candidates for not being ebikes and consequently completely miss the point. A racing bike with a battery??? Anyone else perplexed? A downhill, yes, that’s downhill, MTB with a battery??? Anyone else perplexed? A solid utility bike, with decent front suspension, mid-quality gears, a solid rear rack and a sleek, modern looking frame, why that’s perfect! Oh, no wait, that wasn’t one of the options.

    This article might as well be called “Boys and their Ebike toys” for all the practical use it has served to what is about to become a substantial market for reasons which seem to have alluded all concerned.

    • greengearhead

      The Title is “Future Ebikes” not Best Commuter Ebikes. There are hundreds of choices in the practical commuter category they just are not the subject of this article. Ever seen an issue of Motor Trend with Honda civic vs Toyota Corolla on the front cover? Of course not they always show the Ferraris and Vettes on the front cover you have to dig deeper to find reviews of regular commuter vehicles.

    • EdB

      I think the Specialized fits as an Ebike pretty well…apart from cost. Though you always pay extra for quality.

      Great commuter tool if you need to travel between 3 & 20 miles on your commute.

      Light & stylish.

      You could put a rack on the back if you wanted.

      The i-zip also fits your requirements. You could put front forks on it.

      A downhill MTB with a battery. Well, you need to get up the hill before you can go down it. Makes perfect sense.

      Racing bike with a battery – why not? You get the same workout but go further, faster. Sounds like a lot of fun.

      I do take your point with the exotics. A lot of them are electric motorbikes really.

      • Aleksandr Kochetkov

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    • Pioneering the future

      Dia… I cud be a bitch about it… like u… but unlike u love this concept what back when they first invented cars the ford T… all the car u needed, but then something faster n better came, n all opted for that, with that cycle… and thus v now have the most efficient cars now, similarwith motorbikes pioneering technology that’s what brought us to this stage, u can say that well v don’t need speed v just need it to get us places broaden ur mind fool, how many people love bikes n the fast kind u think?? people only want cars just to commute??… V love to push boundaries and go home and sit there do nothing let us ” boys with toys ” pioneer a future where electric bikes can not only take u to close by places but can travel distances unimaginable to u…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004097389468 Carlos Felipe

    The real Ebike for the future is Xkuty One!!

  • 4REEE

    Most definitely a Haibike eQ Xduro FS.

  • Dean Groom

    Amazing how old this ‘future’ is, given what is already out there, like the BH Carbon for a fraction of the price of some of these things.

  • Commuter

    There’s one more that should be mentioned – JIVE. These guys are making some serious stuff! Not commercialised yet though. Hope to see it live one day!

  • SamuelVidal

    Where the hell is the seat 4 the new Audi bike , which looks outstanding .

  • http://www.marketsandpatents.com/design-patent.php Mark Nowotarski

    These e-bikes are all about style. GM, Daimler and Porche have all had design patents issue on their ebikes in the past year.

  • Jaycasey

    Where are the practical urban electric bikes like the $1000 Panasonics out of Japan?

  • Jaycasey

    Why does everyone try to hide the origin of these bikes? Are they made in China?

  • Dre Peters

    Cool stunts!

  • AoS

    Just a quick note: KTM is from Austria, and not Australia. 😉

  • pete

    10 years ago I put together a 4 speed Raleigh Retro with a spring front end & a generic Chinese 400 W front hub E-motor together & use it until the bike fell apart from the terrible roads in NJ. Under $700 spent, Don’t waste your money on these over priced status symbols, BUILT YOUR OWN BIKE!

    • GreatNewYear

      Baloney. I spent good money on an A2B Metro and got a tremendous amount of enjoyment from it, over 8000 miles (nothing like 700)… Plenty of component failures were taken care of by the 2 year warranty and the very helpful dealer.. Never regretted it for a minute.

      If you DIY you’ll end up with a poorly designed bike with questionable components and durability… bad money

  • Cave Johnson

    None of these are the e-bikes of the future. They are the e-bike of the next bike show. The biggest news here is a major bike manufacture getting into the game.

    The e-bike of the future will be a good looking, practical bike in the 800-1200 price point that has access to a major nationwide distribution network. We are pretty close now.

    By the way, KTM is an Austrian company, not an Australian company. Does anybody have any editor anymore?

  • Hugh Stewart

    The SMART ELECTIC BIKE by Mercedes Benz has worked very well for me! We’re averaging 200 km/month with over 800 km accumulated and NO PROBLEMs. Delivers 19-21 km/hr trips – no sweat (literally) no matter what the hills or headwinds. One of the best value transportation tools available in my experience. Designed and assembled in Germany – hard to beat.

    • Shumdit

      Eastern Germany (which gave us the Trabant, the worst car of all time). It’s also too heavy for most reviewers.

  • Hagen Schmidt

    Hi, who would like to elecrify this bike? I offer publicity space including the flagg on the bike for the “Company” who will do it. We will go on hill tour and therefor need good energy regeneration and charging times.

  • zeev kirsh

    2 years after the fact, the optibike simbb seems to be the most advanced commercial design that has been built and tested. of course, there’s way more advanced stuff in the making, but that’s what is top of the line now—2 years after this article.

  • bob sallade

    wow man im an old grease monkey 58 lost my licence bought a broke e bike and love it took some time to get it but f cars would love to get in the biz but single dad no support hope my girls watch and learn e bikes are gona be big hope i can fix more of them and do a little to save earth