ETT: Urban Electric Bikes
Urban cycling is something close to our hearts and drives us here at Meame. We’ve encouraged you to start commuting with some top tips before, and featured some stylish bags for your rides too, but today we delve deeper into the bike itself. Electric bikes to be precise.
ETT Industries is a company that designs electric bikes for modern urban lifestyles. Beginning in New Zealand in 2012, they’ve expanded to include an international team and recently launched here in the UK. We had the pleasure of being introduced to them during their UK rebrand, as they looked for stylish clothing fit for their vision of urban commuting.
Eager to learn more about electric bikes and cycling in New Zealand, we talked with ETT’s founder and CEO, Jay Wen.
ETT Q & A
Tell me a little about your background and how ETT started?
I’ve always been drawn to vehicles; anything that moves people and allows them freedom. This led me to study Transport and Automotive design in both New Zealand and Italy, where I thrived and achieved several awards.
After a number of years working as a designer for numerous big names in the car industry, I felt the urge to design my own car. So I left Peugeot Citroen to set up my first company, DFF, and did just that!
It was an amazing moment seeing our first car flying around the track; but race cars are expensive and only allow you to bring joy to a relatively small number of people.
So in 2014, I started a new company in New Zealand called 8IGHT Motors, which focused on something far more accessible – making cool electric motorbikes that were high design, yet affordable. We’d learnt so much from race cars and knew we could apply that knowledge to this growing market and really wow people.
We had such an amazing response worldwide to our first bike that we took on more staff, opened an office in London, and developed an even more affordable eBike to reach an even wider audience. It was around this time we decided to rebrand and launch ourselves as ETT Industries with a fresh new look and feel.
You recently launched in the UK, what made you make the leap over the waters?
London was always an obvious choice. Having travelled and lived in so many major cities, I felt that Europe was an ideal market for the products we had developed, and that the UK was not only a leading power culturally, but a major trend setter for the whole of the EU. It was an ideal stepping stone to introduce the ETT brand to the wider European market and to the globe.
How do you see electric bikes fitting into day-to-day life?
We offer two classes of electric bikes – Raker, an electric motorbike, and Trayser, an eBike.
Raker is perfect for urban travel and an ideal alternative to a light motorcycle or scooter. It’s smaller, lighter and thinner than traditional options on the market, without giving up any of the functionality of a petrol powered bike. Meeting friends across town, commuting to work, or simply going for a ride to forget life’s worries, Raker becomes a real pleasure of the day. The electric drive also makes it considerably cheaper mile for mile.
Trayser is a true enabler of freedom injecting energy into every journey, both in and out of the urban environment. In the spirit of being a true human-electric hybrid vehicle, the more energy put into the pedals, the further the range on a single charge. You also don’t need to worry about things such as road tax or insurance, which you would with a petrol powered bike, yet you can still make a 20 mile journey in good time and arrive as composed as when you left.
Which icon would you love to see riding an ETT bike?
We strive to make bikes that are for everyone and for riders to feel empowered using them, so we’d love to see an ETT customer that’s enjoying every moment riding the bikes. That is the concept we envisaged at the start of this journey.
What do you find different about cycling culture here compared to New Zealand?
New Zealand has a very different landscape – it’s spectacular sceneries and varied terrain set the scene for the cycling culture and outdoor lifestyle. London is very dense and urban in comparison, but with a similarly varied terrain just outside the city limits.
That’s the great thing about these bikes is their ability to empower the rider with a sense of freedom, spirit and rebellion no matter where their journey takes them.
How did you go about designing the ETT bike?
There was one core goal, before pencil ever touched paper; that whatever it looks like and however it’s made, it should be radical enough to change how people view electric bikes.
We wanted to make the first electric bike both desirable and obtainable, and change the mental picture that people have when they hear “electric bike” to one of aspiration and excitement.
What is in store for ETT in the coming year?
As we have just officially launched both Raker and Trayser, we will be focusing very heavily on promoting and supporting these core models. We also have some exciting ideas for new parts and accessories that will allow people to create their perfect ETT bike through customisation, which we hope to expand as our customer base grows.
Where’s your favourite place to cycle in the UK, and in New Zealand?
There are so many beautiful places in the UK, from the Lake District to the Cornish coastlines, but for me, nothing beats getting around London by bike. It changes so quickly, has such personality and so much to see and do – it suits my pace of life and keeps me interested at every junction.
As for New Zealand; well the closest we have to something like London, is Auckland, so that would always be my number one pick. I’m urban at heart.
All images courtesy of ETT. For more information, or to pre-order a RAKER or TRAYSER electric bike, please visit: www.ettindustries.com