Two years ago when American motorcycle giant Harley-Davidson announced it would be creating electric bicycles, riders across the country collectively scratched their heads.
“Bicycles? From Harley?”
But the idea made sense as part of a (now-shelved) plan called “More Roads” that would bring new American riders to the sport by first enticing them with electric bicycles and then nurturing them into bigger, and faster, two-wheel options, including their all electric motorcycle LiveWire.
The concept, using fun and “two-wheeled freedom,” makes sense but might have been a bit too forward-thinking for Americans.
Enter the Italians. In 2014 Ducati announced it would be releasing an all-new Ducati Scrambler and wisely (although perhaps a little heavy-handed) launched a corresponding campaign called Land of Joy.
The idea was to make riding fun, youthful, and accessible. It worked. The single model lineup quickly grew to six models—but instead of following the industry’s tradition of making bigger and faster variants, Ducati did just the opposite.
They made smaller, slower but potentially less intimidating models, including a full-sized electric bicycle, the e-Scrambler Ducati, that allowed riders to “ride freely in style.”
Continuing the trend, Ducati has now released information on three Ducati foldable electric bicycles, their smallest yet.
To create the foldable Ducati bicycles the company collaborated with Italdesign, an Italian design consultancy specializing in the industrial design of cars, airplanes, and occasionally reproducing ancient Egyptian statues. Their name might not be familiar to you, but their founder, Giorgetto Giugiaro’s work probably is—he designed the 1981 DeLorean DMC from Back to the Future.
“Working on this project and making it unique was a great challenge,” says Nicola Guelfo, head of industrial design at Italdesign. “These bikes present significant technical constraints.”
To keep the clear, functional design Ducati is known for, designers integrated as many components as they could into the frame.
The three variations of the Ducati foldable electric bicycles are all pedal-assisted and geared toward city riders. With a fully charged battery, the foldable bicycles have a range of around 43 miles. The foldable bikes should be available in the US later this year; pricing has not been announced.