As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

It’s that time of the week to plug in, charge up, and ride out! The first full week of September has been a crazy one for electric motorcycles. From BMW releasing yet two boundary-pushing e-bikes (you’re guaranteed to love the 186 miles worth of range on them) to four moto giants partnering up to launch a battery swapping system, this week’s EV news roundup is bound to get all you electric vehicle nerds fired up!  It’s all movement towards the Electric Revolution.

BMW Drops two new E-Bikes: High-Speed and Low-Speed

The BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY skirts the line between bicycle and motorcycle, but is legally firmly in the moto camp. BMW built the concept vehicle to push boundaries on legal issues cropping up for e-bikes that are as fast as motorcycles. [BMW]
BMW is no stranger to making a big splash. And that’s just what the company did at the recent IAA Mobility show in Munich, Germany. The luxury vehicle and motorcycle manufacturer unveiled two new EV bikes at the event, under an ‘adaptive mobility’ (AMBY) banner: the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY, a low-speed electric motorcycle, and the I Vision AMBY, a high-speed e-bike.  And while the two machines are similar, one is firmly in the motorcycle camp in using a twistgrip for power, requiring a helmet, and having no pedals. The Motorrad Vision AMBY is ultralight at 65kg (145lbs), and can travel up to 186 miles in its lowest power setting, while hitting speeds of up to 37 mph in the highest mode. Fun fact: the highest speed on the i Vision AMBY doesn’t fit into any current EV legislations, and is intended to push legislative boundaries for adaptive speed limits for varying conditions.  For example, with ‘geofencing’ the top speed could be regulated in pedestrian zones to a 16mph, while in open country the full 37mph could be exploited.  Our American readers are surely horrified at the concept of a motorcycle designed to invite legislation, but BMW sees a connected future, where all vehicles will communicate, with each other and with local speed limits too.

The new BMW I Vision AMBY is a sleek modernist pedelec design with full suspension. [BMW]
On the other hand, BMW’s I Vision AMBY pedelec tops off at 37 mph. With wide tires and a hefty suspension system, this bike looks like it’s certainly ready for the trail.

CAKE and Polestar Announce the Maiden Electric Mobility Bundle

Polestar carries CAKE: the new Makka two-wheeler on the back of a Polaris 2 sedan. [CAKE]
CAKE and Polaris have teamed up to release a new electric mobility bundle that merges the convenience and comprehensive all-road capabilities of the Polaris 2 electric car with the urban agility of the CAKE Makka moped. A rear tow bar mount will enable the bike to be easily transported behind the car and simultaneously charged.

“Our new electric mobility bundle comes as a unique first step to solve the worldwide problems of city mobility as well as to accelerate the transition towards an emissions-free future. Instead of wasting time in a car queue, struggling to find a parking spot or squashing up in a crowded subway train, we together with the team at Polestar want to make the future of mobility flexible, accessible and emission-free – while aiming to create cities for people, not for cars that pollute,” CAKE CEO and founder, Stefan Ytterborn, stated in a press release.

Would you buy this bundle? Let us know in the comments below!

VanMoof Becomes “Most Funded e-Bike Company” After Raising $128 Million

The VanMoof ebike is chic and simple, and now the best-funded company in the global market. [VanMoof]
As part of its goal to put out 10 million e-bikes in the next five years, VanMoof has recently raised $128 million in funds. The Amsterdam-based company is using those funds to roll out branded stores and service hubs in more cities across the globe. VanMoof has already grown its retail and service footprints from eight to 50 locations worldwide during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vehicle Manufacturing Giants Team Up to Create a Battery Swapping System

Four major motorcycle manufacturers join forces to harmonize EV manufacture in regards to charging and batteries. [SBMC]
Honda, KTM, Yamaha, and Piaggio have all signed an official agreement to provide a battery swapping service to the moto community worldwide. The four companies are the founding members of the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC), seeking to broaden the use of light EVs, including motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters, focussing on issues such as recharging times and battery life.  Most importantly, the group seeks to create an international standard for charging ports for all two-wheeled electric vehicles.

Schaeffler Group Reveals a Chainless e-Bike Drive System

The Schaeffler bike-by-wire system of pedal crank power. [Schaeffler]
Schaeffler Group recently unveiled its new bike-by-wire system, called the ‘Free Drive’.  It’s a pioneering system consisting of a crankset generator, rear hub motor, and human-interface panel that utilizes automotive technologies to allow e-Bikes a physical disconnection between the crank and  rear hub motor. To put it simply, the system doesn’t use a belt, chain, or driveshaft to connect the rear hub to the generator/crankset.  There’s an external battery to both absorb excess energy from pedaling and to power the rear wheel hub motor at a continuous 250W: thus the battery recharges as you pedal and gives a reasonable power. The system might prove ideal for ultralight, multi-wheel delivery vehicles on which a chain drive might prove cumbersome.  Ultimately, freeing a crankset from the wheel drive will also ease the development of new ‘architectures’ for bicycles and light multi-wheel vehicles, making feet-forward or even hand-crank vehicles much easier to build, without long or multiple-chain systems connecting the rear wheel.  Imagine the possibilities.



Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.