Bonnier Motorcycle Group has launched a digital media brand focused on electric mobility called Cycle Volta.
The new property covers electric-assist bicycles, micromobility and electric motorcycles across digital, video (including YouTube) and social media platforms. Additional e-bike information will be distributed through content-syndication partners.
“We commissioned Bonnier Custom Insights, which is our research division, to do a deep-dive into the e-bike industry and sales growth there. What we found was pretty remarkable, especially globally,” Andy Leisner, senior vice president and managing director of the Bonnier Motorcycle Group, told Publisher’s Daily. “We believe we’re about two or three years away from that point where we’ll really see things ramp up,”
The U.S. also records strong numbers across the e-bike industry with 20% year-over-year sales growth in some segments.
The group has been tracking the transportation preferences of Gen Z for some time, too.
“It’s becoming pretty clear that they may not want to buy cars, and they may not want to buy motorcycles,” said Leisner. “They don’t seek transportation independence like [other generations].”
E-bikes provide a specialized level of transportation that’s not like ride sharing and public transportation, but doesn’t require a separate license or parking space like a motorcycle, making it an attractive option.
Speaking to that trend, many of the motorcycle clients Leisner works with have ebike and electric motorcycles products in development.
One of those clients, Harley-Davidson, recently released a high-performance electric motorcycle called the LiveWire. In addition to the LiveWire bike, Harley-Davidson is currently developing several electric-based concepts.
The company will be Cycle Volta’s exclusive sponsor for its first 30 days, and will support the brand’s “No Pedals” section following that period.
Harley-Davidson’s sponsorship “is allowing us to ramp up content and audience stronger and quicker than we’d be able to otherwise,” said Leisner.
Following Harley-Davidson’s 30-day sponsorship, Cycle Volta’s advertisers will include a number of traditional bicycle market e-bike companies, a couple of mid-drive motor suppliers including Bosch e-bike systems and many motorcycle industry clients.
Bonnier is home to seven motorcycle brands, allowing for lots of crossover between those and Cycle Volta. Among those are Motorcyclist, which recently went all-digital, and Cycle World.
“A consumer may enter the market and begin to gather information on Cycle Volta, buy an e-bike to use for transportation, then get that intoxicating, thrilling feel of riding two-wheel power transportation,” said Leisner. “Our hope is they’ll want to go farther and faster, and maybe add the lifestyle element motorcycling provides as well.”
Fellow Bonnier title Popular Science will provide important crossover opportunities, too, with its editorial interest in the technology behind e-bikes.
Bonnier’s Motorcycle Group saw a 1,122% increase in subscribers and a 356% increase in views over a three-year period, according to the company.