Electric motorbike maker Fonz Moto has shrugged off multiple challenges to celebrate a milestone in making and selling 100 of its NKD electric motorbikes after it was forced to abandon plans to start production in South Australia.
Auto and bike makers of all shapes and sizes have been met difficulties from supply chain shortages, and pandemic restrictions forced the Sydney-based business to reassess plans to expand to South Australia and focus on local suppliers.
After establishing itself as a maker of electric moped-style scooters, a 2019 introduction of its first electric motorbike was accompanied by plans to harness manufacturing know-how in South Australia.
With these plans dashed by the Covid pandemic and a shortage of lithium-ion cells and chips used to make Fonz motorbike battery packs, Fonz Moto founder Michelle Nazzari says the company decided instead to start manufacturing from a more compact facility close to its Redfern headquarters,
“With Fonz headquartered in Sydney, we made the decision in early 2020 to bring our production plans closer to home and ramp up in our ‘urban micro factory’, with the team having since delivered 100 NKDs from our compact production facility in Redfern,” Nazzari said in a note by email.
By partnering with local suppliers, the company has been able to achieve the milestone of making 100 NKD bikes as well as reinforce its philosophy of using Australian-made components wherever possible.
“There’s a lot of greenwashing these days. It was important to us to source locally and get the certifications to show that it is possible to manufacture this type of product in Australia,” says Nazzari, adding the NKD has been awarded “Australian Made” certification.
Nazzari says the company can make up to 20 motorbikes a month from its facility, and is now looking for larger premises so the company can expand further.
The NKD, billed as “stripped back fun”by the company, is available from $10,990 via the Fonz Moto website. It comes in a range of colors, but it is its power-packing punch that thrills Adam Kaplan, a former racing car driver and Sydney auto dealership owner who owns an NKD X with carbon fiber body kit.
With acceleration from 0-100km/hr and a top speed of 100km/hr, he describes the NKD as “sure-footed and stable” to ride.
“The power delivery makes my pillion and I laugh every time we give it a squirt, and it’s sure footed and stable to ride and I love overtaking unsuspecting vehicles uphill with 2 up,” said Kaplan in a note via Fonz.
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.