Sydney-based electric motorbike maker Fonzarelli has unveiled its first full electric motorbike with mid-drive motor while it looks to South Australia, the former home of Australian vehicle manufacturing.
As Fonzarelli’s fourth electric vehicle, the NKD breaks the mold for the 10-year-old company which made its mark with moped-style scooters designed for city traffic.
The new NKD model, which has the most range so far of Fonzarelli’s offerings at 120km, sports an efficient mid-drive motor delivering a feisty 9.6kW of power and 56Nm of torque at 6000RPM and has a top speed of 100km/hr.
The dual announcement was made by Fonzarelli founder Michelle Nazzari in Adelaide on Thursday, who added that she was working with Adelaide local Simon Modra, a motorcycle enthusiast and Future Submarine design researcher at the University of South Australia to talk with a number of promising manufacturers.
“There are partners here we are very interested to work with,” Nazzari tells The Driven. “At this stage we will keep [manufacturing] in Sydney so we can start getting some bikes out, but hopefully by end of year we will have full scale production down here in SA.”
The NKD, one of the bikes Nazzari intends to manufacturer in South Australia differs from Fonzarelli’s previous vehicles.
Far from ruining the weekend, Nazzari says that you can “chuck it on the back of the 4WD”.
“It is more of a motorcycle format – it’s dual sport, you can take it off road, or ride it in the city,” she says.
To charge the NKD, riders can use a standard 240W plug to charge the Panasonic li-ion 3.5kWh inbuilt battery, and comes standard with an on-board charger, as well as offering an optional portable charger.
Fonzarelli can also upgrade the battery if more range is required – in line with Nazzari’s commitment to servicing the cradle to grave concept: “It’s the whole lifecycle of the vehicle, it grows with you,” she says.
It can also be customised to suit your own style and needs.
“The bike has many customisation options, and riders can select add-ons like a stylish hand-stitched honeycomb saddle in Lambo-style Alcantara suede, a USB port for charging devices on the go, integrated LED headlamp, tail-lamp and bar-end turn signals, LCD dash screen, and dual sport off-road knobby Pirelli tyres,” says Nazzari.
Fonzarelli design director Wenley Andrews, who is behind the slick aesthetic of the NKD, is influenced by classic motorbike style which shows through in the NKD design.
“I’ve built and designed all manner of bikes in my time. Classic Triumphs is my usual domain, but I have really loved moving into the electric vehicle space and creating this machine,” he said in a note by email.
“I wanted it to be versatile where you could take it off-road into sand dunes and hills – and compact enough to put in the back of my Jeep.”
In addition to the new motorbike, Fonzarelli are also offering a specialised bike charger about the size of a coke can that can be installed at home or by cafés and hotels.
Currently, the different plug type used by electric bikes means that riders need to take adapters with them to use electric vehicle chargers.
Fonzarelli’s new solution is dedicated to charging 2 wheeled machines, and negates need for carrying around a special adapter, providing solutions for cities with all their nooks and crannies, and café owners to set up electric charging stations (notwithstanding council regulations).
“We’ve worked with a local supplier down here in Adelaide to customise it,” Nazzari says.
“It’s something you can roll out for cafés, hotels and is aesthetically pleasing so we can get brand awareness out there for EVs.
“It is intended to get the conversation with government and other stakeholders so they can also have motorbikes and scooters in the system – there is less congestion with a smaller format vehicle,” she says.
“It’s available now as an add-on , retailing for $1200 for residential,” she says noting that this does not include installation costs and that pricing can be tailored for cafés and hotels
The NKW retails at $A9,990 and is available now online through Fonzarelli’s website.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.