On Thursday, the British e-scooter manufacturer Lavoie, backed by Formula 1 supplier McLaren Applied, announced that it will acquire the recently bankrupt VanMoof e-bike business.
Lavoie intends to combine and integrate their capabilities “to create a next-generation e-mobility business and establish a world-leading premium e-mobility offering”. The move is part of Lavoie’s global growth strategy to redefine e-mobility and transform movement around busy urban areas.
The expansion will include e-bikes in parallel with Lavoie’s existing e-scooter operation. The acquisition will allow the company to tap into the leadership of independent technology pioneer McLaren Applied.
McLaren Applied Chair Nick Fry: “We see a huge potential to transform the way people travel around the congested cities of the world in a more active and enjoyable way. This exciting deal helps us accelerate global growth, increasing the scale and quality of products and services we can offer our customers.”
Eliott Wertheimer, Lavoire CEO: “VanMoof has 190 000 customers globally, and our commitment is to continue to keep those riders on the road while we stabilize and efficiently grow the VanMoof business and continue to develop its world-class products.”
Lavoie is McLaren Applied’s premium e-mobility company. The McLaren Applied business was, until 2021, part of the famous Formula 1 team of the same name. Most recently, it was the wing behind the failed Bahrain McLaren project. Now it is re-entering the cycling business with VanMoof.
Hip and trendy e-bikes
The Dutch VanMoof, founded in 2009 by Taco and Ties Carlier brothers, produced hip and trendy e-bikes for urban use. The first e-bike was launched in 2016. The brothers designed and developed all parts and software themselves instead of outsourcing it as many other manufacturers do.
By keeping everything in their own hands, they wanted to create a unique product – ‘the Tesla of e-bikes’ as the vehicles were called. However, profit was not forthcoming, and the two Carlier brothers went broke. The company had sold hundreds of thousands of e-bikes at around $2 000 (£1 600) each, but had been beset by quality issues.