SPA Builds the Perfect Electric Commuter Bike, But Is It Worth The Price?
You’ve probably never heard of Societa Piemontese Automobili, or SPA. It was an Italian company that built cars between 1906 and 1926, and fell into the obscurity of history. But now SPA is back and they are building something far different than the pre-and-post-WWI cars. The rebooted Italian firm is building and electric bike. Back in 2014, Alessandro Camorali and Julianto Imprescia took on the challenge of bringing SPA back from the dead. The stated goal was to build hybrid and electric vehicles, and their first product is called Bicicletto. It is an electric bicycle that carries a striking design and the price to match. RELATED:
Like the high performance road bikes of today, the Bicicletto uses a carbon fiber frame, keeping the overall weight down to 53 pounds. Powering this stylish bike is a 500-watt electric motor, located in the hub of the rear wheel. It can be used as either full electric, or provide assistance when pedaling, and will deliver a top speed of 28 mph.
In full-electric mode, it has a 31-mile range, but if you do some of the work, the pedal assistance mode has a much better 74-mile range. We agree with Autoevolution that the five-hour charging time seems a bit long, but as a commuter bike, the charge times and range both feel manageable.
So what’s this going to cost? Prices range between 8,000 and 10,000. Paying more than $11,000 seems pretty steep for a bicycle. But you get the carbon fiber frame, 26-inch wheels, and eye-catching LED light. If you live in a populated area, this could be the ideal commuter vehicle, perhaps justifying the steep price.
The Bicicletto brings the SPA name back into significance. It was a brand that built cars for just twenty years, and was eventually absorbed by Fiat to built military vehicles and engines. We’re glad to see the new SPA has far more benign and eco-friendly intentions.