For almost a hundred years, Porsche has made very nice gas-powered cars. But, did you know that since the 1990s it has also dabbled in bike manufacturing? Now, it’s ambitions for the bike world have taken a huge step forward as it becomes a serious investor in e-bikes.
The car company, which upped its focus on electric vehicles with the release of the Taycan, has previously flirted with the idea of being a bike maker. In fact, Porsche released its first bike in the 1990s and and even went as far as to offer a $10,000 electric road bike earlier this year.
Now, Porsche is a majority shareholder in electric bike maker Greyp, which makes some impressive looking machines that would look at home strapped to the back of your Taycan Sport Turismo.
But how did we get here? How has a leading car company reached the point where it’s buying up bike brands?
Well, the interesting thing about Greyp is one of its only other shareholders is a man called Mate Rimac. If that name sounds familiar it’s because he is the founder of Croatian electric carmaker Rimac. He’s also the CEO of the newly-created Bugatti-Rimac joint venture.
So, Mate Rimac and his companies have a history of dealings with the VW Group.
His ties to the VW Group began in 2018 when Porsche initially purchased a 15 percent share in the Rimac Group. At the same time, it also acquired “a stake of around ten percent in Greyp” through its investment arm Porsche Ventures.
Three years later, Porsche upped its claim to the electric car maker through the creation of Bugatti-Rimac, which was set up as VW attempted to offload Bugatti.
The terms of the joint venture are all a bit roundabout and confusing. But as far as Porsche is concerned, the German brand now has a 24 percent stake in the Rimac Group, which owns 55 percent of Bugatti-Rimac and 100 percent of Rimac Technologies.
Porsche also owns a 45 percent share of Bugatti-Rimac, and chairman Oliver Blume and deputy chairman Lutz Meschke will both serve as supervisory board members at the new joint venture.
These closer ties between Porsche and Rimac paved the way for the company to up its share of Greyp, which the German brand says is all part of its increased focus on electrification.
In a release signaling the purchase of Greyp, the German automaker said that “electric bikes have a fixed place in the company’s e-mobility strategy”.
The company added:
“Porsche is resolutely and unabatedly pushing ahead with its investments in digitalisation and electrification. A total of €15 billion ($17bn) will be invested in new technology over the next five years: €6.5 billion ($7.3bn) of this is earmarked as development costs for the hybridization and electrification of vehicles.”
So now, Porsche finds itself tied to Bugatti-Rimac, Rimac Group and Greyp, which is an impressive portfolio of companies to have a hand in.
Greyp said that the sale, which will be finalized by the end of the year, will allow it to, “accelerate research and development in all fields of e-mobility,” in the coming years.
The deal means that Porsche will now have access to Rimac’s battery technology for implementation into its own eye-watering electric cars. And, it will be able to leverage Greyp’s impressive portfolio of e-bikes to expand its offering of electrically-powered bikes.