New contenders in the electric bike market speed into prime position

VanMoof Electrified S2 bike
Electrified S2, by VanMoof
(Image credit: VanMoof)

Alongside the automotive industry, the competitive world of cycling is undergoing a similar technological transformation in the form of electrification. Featuring pedals and rechargeable battery-powered electric motors, electric bikes – also known as ‘ebikes’ – quite simply provide a boost to your pedal power leaving you to enjoy the ride, or crucially, ascend hills without breaking a sweat.

Often billed by mobility experts as part of the solution to urban congestion and overcrowded public transport, the increasing number of ebikes on the market may mean that two-wheeled cycles powered by leg power alone, will soon be in the minority. In markets like China, the movement is already well underway. For traditional manufacturers, ebikes pose exciting new technical challenges but also an exciting opportunity to rethink bike design. Ebikes are also giving new or nervous cyclists no excuses not to take the plunge. Sales of ebikes in the UK rose from 5% of the market in 2015 to 12% in 2016, equating to around 35,000 units sold.

The London and New York markets are hotly tipped to boom in coming years, as city traffic grinds to a halt and emissions laws get tougher and tougher. With more than enough range to complete the average daily commute and with virtually no running costs or licence required, the limitations, other than initial purchase cost, are few and far between. Here are six of the newest contenders in this burgeoning field, along with the latest in all-electric motorcycle design.

Coleen Marinière

(Image credit: Coleen)

Marinière, by Coleen

Coleen is a new breed of E-bike ‘inspired by the contrast between wilderness landscapes and modern cities’. Designed by co-founders Audrey Lefort and Thibault Halm, the unisex Marinière edition is produced entirely in Bayonne, France. Performance is the name of the game here: a 250W motor is powered by the highest-capacity battery on the E-bike market to date (with 42 cells, no less), whilst an accompanying mobile app tracks and monitors your cycling performance. Weighing in at 2.3kg and boasting a leather saddle by Voltaire, Coleen Marinière promises up to 100km of stylish, power-assisted pedalling.

Raleigh Centros E Bike

(Image credit: Raleigh)

Centros, by Raleigh

Raleigh has channelled its 130 year history in bicycle manufacturing through Centros – its new E-bike. The longstanding British brand meets forward-thinking innovation in this release; a premium build optimised for comfort, practicality and performance. A Bosch Active Line Plus motor offers up to 100 miles of travel distance, powered by a user-friendly Bosch Power Tube battery that can be unclipped for relatively easy indoor charging. Meanwhile, a Scienta saddle by Selle Royal provides first-class comfort, perpetuated by the alloy frame’s excellent suspension and durable tyres. Centros is available in low step and crossbar frame models to fit personal preference.

Electra E-Bike with Brooks

(Image credit: Electra)

Café Moto Go! E-bike, by Electra, with Brooks

Before Electra finished conceptualising its new Café Moto Go! E-bike, the design team was adamant that it would offer a top-tier ride without foregoing visual allure. Aesthetically referencing café racer motorcycles, its aluminium hydroformed frame boasts a seamlessly integrated (and removable for charging) Powertube 500wh battery, which drives a high-end Bosch Performance CX 250W motor. With the user experience given equal attention as the spec, Electra turned to Brooks to provide a custom all-leather saddle, grips and saddle bag. Additionally, at the pedals, Electra’s patented Flat Foot Technology helps riders retain good posture from A to B. This edition is limited to 400 pieces.

electric bike infront of white wall

(Image credit: Oh! Bike)

Oh! Bike

The Barcelona-born Oh! Bike is a love affair three years in the making, designed with urban mobility closely in mind. Weighing 15kg, it’s the lightest E-bike on the market, with convenience at the core of its functionality. Pedalling is power-assisted with a top speed of 25km/h, and a handy boost option pushes power further to help with quick starts and tricky slopes. Additionally, a lightweight removable battery offers over 50km of autonomous riding, and includes two USB ports for on-the-go device charging. The handlebars and pedals can be craftily folded, making Oh! Bike a good option for the time-pressed commuter.

Electrified S2, by VanMoof

(Image credit: VanMoof)


In 2009, Dutch brothers Taco and Ties Carlier founded VanMoof with a mission of reimagining how a bike should work in tomorrow’s cities. Now, they’ve launched what can only be described as the BlackBerry of the cycling world, VanMoof has created an ‘unhackable smart bike’, with a focus on security. Thanks to bluetooth technology, the bike responds when the owner is near, automatically disabling the theft defence system. What’s more, the bike responds with progressively louder warning sounds when tampered with, clearly telling the thief it’s is too dangerous to steal.

Albero electric bike, by Bultaco

(Image credit: Bultaco)


Tailored to the urban environment but still one of the most powerful ebikes on sale, the Albero from legendary Spanish motorcycle maker Bultaco, is modelled on a rugged full-suspension mountain bike with an attractive retro vibe – a concept Bultaco has coined the Moto-Bike. Delivering 60Nm of torque and capable of a maximum speed of 45km/h it features an adjustable grip throttle allowing the rider to freely control the amount of power assistance.

Zero S electric bike, by Zero

(Image credit: Zero)


For riders who prefer not to pedal at all, look no further than Zero’s range of fully electric motorcycles. Requiring use of a motorcycle licence, these high quality bikes offer impressive performance and incredible range. The Zero S produces an incredible 110Nm of torque and a combined cycle range of around 240km.

E-voluzione Elletronica Limited Edition electric bike, by Pininfarina

(Image credit: Pininfarina)


Arguably the most exclusive and cutting-edge ebike, the Pininfarina E-voluzione Elletronica Limited Edition is aimed at riders who value style and speed. Based on the E-voluzione Carbon Fiber and weighing just 16kg, the limited edition model features a fully integrated GPS and a Shimano/Alfine Electronic Gear system. Just 88 examples will be made.

With contributions from