Introduced in the 19th century in Europe, the bicycle has had a massive impact on society and culture. While the 70’s launched the iconic Raleigh Chopper, the children’s bicycle branded ‘the hot one,’ the decades to follow continued to popularize bicycles introducing BMX bikes, and various versions of the 10-speed road bike. In subsequent decades, the signature ‘u shaped’ handlebars, stretched banana seat and retro 10-speeds, were replaced by road bikes featuring the latest and greatest technologies, carbon fiber frames, and finally the electric bicycle, also known as the e-bike, complete with an integrated electric motor. This new category of bicycles comes in a wide range of e-bike varieties and prices, from small motors, to powerful ‘moped-like’ e-bikes; we're counting down the coolest and most extravagant in pedal power!
10 2012 Empulse R: $19,000
The 2012 Empulse R is designed by Brammo, the American Electric vehicle producer, and features an aluminum, Italian made frame. The e-bike is powered by a “water cooled 40 watts permanent magnet AC motor tethered to an in-house developed IET 6 speed transmission system”, and is available in ‘True Blood Red’, ‘Eclipsed Black’ and ‘White Noise’. Brammo describes two ranges for the bike, a city range of 121 miles, and a highway range of 56 miles, offering a top speed of 100 mph. A Last highlight of the 2012 Empulse R is the dual mode; the bike features a ‘normal’ and ‘sport’ mode, the sport mode allowing for top speed and acceleration.
9 C-1 Electric Motorcycle: $24,000
The luxury C-1 Electric Motorcycle was introduced by San Francisco’s Lit Motors, and created as a two-passenger transport. The term C-I refers to a new product classification code for the fully electric design. This e-bike is supported by an electronic stabilizing system allowing the motorbike to maintain its upright position even when in an accident. Lit Motors has designed two models of the C-1, one for first world countries powered by an 8-10 kilowatt-hour battery, and the second for developing nations featuring a 4-6 kilowatt-hour battery pack; the battery pack would also determine the range, noted between 150-200 miles. This luxury e-bike reaches a speed of 120 mph.
8 Terminus e-Bike Royal Edition: $38,500
This Terminus e-Bike was produced by renowned electric bikes manufacturer M55. Besides the BLDC electric motor unit that can generate 250-1,500 watts of power, this royal edition consists of a power motor featuring eight A123 Lithium-polymer batteries. This luxury e-bike is also esthetically impressive, showcasing an aluminum color frame outfitted with Swarovski crystals. Consumers of the luxury e-bike also have the opportunity to choose from a variety of gemstones rather than the crystals. Lastly, according to M55, only 11 prototypes of the e-bike were set for production; each would include a golden plate.
7 eROCKIT: $40,000
The eRockit created by Stefan Gulas is a revolutionary electric bike that merges motor power, and kinetic energy. The e-bike which was introduced in 2008, has been described as exuding the perfect balance for the rider when it comes to pedal pushing, or in this case; between electric and pedaling. The e-Rockit comes in at 110 kg, and reaches a max speed of 50 mph. The operational principles of eROCKIT requires paddling from the rider, as the energy generated from this action, powers the motor located at the rear wheel, which in turn, drives the bike. The paddling motion charges the ‘nano-phosphate lithium battery’ keeping the bike charged and running via the paddling motion; generation kinetic energy is passed onto the battery and hence the electric motor.
6 Mission One Electric Motorcycle: $69,000
Introduced by designer and entrepreneur, Yves Behar, in February of 2001, the Mission One E-bike uses ‘next generation lithium-ion batteries’ that allow the luxury bike to be fully charged in a 2.5 charge via a 220V socket. This electric superbike reaches a top speed of 150 mph, and has a range of 150 miles per charge. The Mission One comes complete with a regenerative braking system, while the hefty price will also get the lucky buyer front and rear forged-magnesium Marchesini wheels.
5 Orphiro Electric Motorcycle: $70,000
The Dutch designed Orphiro electric bike, considered a ‘wide body cruiser,’ is powered by five lithium-ion batteries and reaches a speed of 75 mph, allowing a range of 60 miles. The luxury e-bike was wholly built by Alexander Steegh and his team from the Fontys University of Applied Science. Furthermore, the recharge time for the batteries is 6.5 hours, and the bike also features a ‘tank mounted console’ displaying necessary information such as speed and distance. While the possibilities of mass production on this electric bike seem highly unlikely, the Orphiro e-bike has combined the ultimate in comfort, eco-friendly, driving, and power to create one eye-catching fun, luxury bike!
4 ZecOO Electric Motorcycle: $70,000
This high performance electric bike was designed by Kota Nezu of Znug Design, and introduced in Tokyo in 2012. The ZecOO weighs a whopping 245 kg, and has been compared to (the feel of) Harley Davidson. The luxury bike boasts a mix of modern and retro design and is a limited edition format. The e-bike’s electric propulsion system allows it to reach a top speed of 75 mph, allowing 86 miles in range, with a charge time of only four to six hours.
3 BlackTrail BT-01: $80,000
For $80,000, this could be the bike of your dreams! Standing at 19.8 kg, the BlackTrail BT luxury electric bike is considered to be one of the fastest available e-bike’s on the market, reaching a top speed of 62 mph, and featuring a 1.2 kW CM48 V hybrid motor operated by a 48-volt lithium-ion battery. The BT-01 is comprised of carbon fiber, and high-alloyed aluminum; if you're thinking aerospace you're correct; similar elements are used by NASA. The bike was designed to reflect those driven in the 1930’s, with the inclusion of a lot more battery propelled pedal power of course! The bike was unveiled in 2010 and designed and developed by German based PG-Bikes, who have made their marketing initiatives quite clear. The luxury item is geared at transport enthusiasts such as Jay Leno, the company has announced a limited production of 667 units.
2 Peraves MonoTracer Electric MTE-150: $106,640
Applauded for its top performance and passenger comfort, this luxury electric bike was designed and developed by Switzerland based Peraves AG. The art-deco, tech-savvy, e-bike is truly matchless, featuring a “Kevlar monocoque cabin powered via a 3rd generation 150 kW drive-train system from AC Propulsion;” in laymen’s terms it distributes a jaw dropping 200 ‘brake horsepower or ‘bhp’. This e-bike features a variety of luxury elements such as a high-end stereo system, temperature control, and of course, fancy hot wheels stabilizing you when you stop; yes they pop out when the bike comes to a hault! The MTE-150 ranges from $79,769- $106,640 for the top model, and gives a new meaning to the term, ‘0 to 60 in five’!
1 The Detonator: $150,000
Considered the most expensive electric bike, this luxury, futuristic style e-bike was inspired by the Hollywood film Tron Legacy, and designed by Daniel Simon; the German transport and concept designer, referred to as a 'futurist.' The bike is 11.5 feet long, while the compact and cutting edge engine consists of lithium-ion batteries. This eco-friendly, comfy ride is recharged via a 110V socket, while its top speed is reported to be 120 mph. The e-bike has a range of 80-100 miles, and after a simple plug in, is good to go for another 100 miles. The most expensive luxury e-bike has received orders from as far as Saudi Arabia.