Everyone — and I do imply everybody — has an opinion in regards to the Ösa electric two-wheeler from Swedish upstarts Cake. It invokes such a surge of emotion that dozens of strangers felt compelled to exclaim unsolicited critiques at me over the previous few weeks.
“What is that!?” shrieked a middle-aged man who bicycled throughout a busy avenue simply to ask. “What a dumb design,” scolded a boorish lady ready subsequent to me on a ferry. Mostly, although, individuals simply appeared on in silence, scowling or excitedly tapping their buddies to behold the unique-looking scooter that had simply rolled into view.
The Cake Ösa is slightly distinctive. It not solely transports all of your devices and instruments, it additionally transforms into an electric generator to energy them when you arrive.
Cake calls Ösa a “multifaceted utility platform with off-road capabilities.” To take a look at that declare, I took an Ösa Flex model on a dawn surf safari after which cooked breakfast off the Ösa’s battery, which additionally powered my workday on a distant stretch of seashore. I wished to imitate a type of boastful “today’s office” tales you’ve seen on Instagram however hardly ever, if ever, expertise in actual life.
How did it do? Good sufficient to make me suppose the $9,000 / €9,000 beginning value isn’t as loopy as I first thought.
Cake was based in 2016 by Stefan Ytterborn, who’s additionally accountable for launching the POC attire model standard with mountain bikers. POC, based in 2005, is an abbreviation for “Piece Of Cake.” That little bit of trivia blew the minds of my MTBing buddies, who universally preferred the Ösa for what it’s, however they had been even more impressed by what it can do.
Ösa is simply one of many many eclectic, electric-only autos produced by Cake in a spread that spans off-road motorbikes to street-legal mopeds. It even has a complete collection devoted to getting kids hooked on electric power. The Ösa mannequin is positioned as a rolling workbench that may simply transport and energy devices like telephones, audio system, and laptops; in addition to medium-to-light-duty instruments like drills and round saws when fitted with an elective inverter bought by Cake.
The Ösa mannequin is offered in just a few configurations. The Ösa Plus is equal to a 125cc bike with a high pace of 90km/h (56mph). The Ösa Flex configuration might be ridden with a typical driver’s license however maxes out at 45km/h (30mph). It’s the Ösa Flex that I examined for 10 days in and round Amsterdam.
Weirdly, Cake doesn’t make an e-bike regardless of its POC mountain biking lineage. All of Cake’s autos include throttles and footrests, not pedals.
The battery-powered generator
Tesla homeowners have lengthy hooked up after-market inverters to their large rolling DC batteries with a purpose to convert them into unofficial (and probably warranty-voiding) cell AC energy sources. It’s a pattern that’s just lately been absolutely embraced by the likes of Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 SUV and new electric pickups from Ford and Rivian. It’s no marvel Cake refers to Ösa as a truck in a few of its advertising and marketing.
My Ösa Flex assessment car got here with all of the bells and whistles wanted for most hauling capability, energy, and vary. That means a Cake inverter, a second hot-swappable battery, a surfboard holder, a second seat, a small basket for the entrance, and a big basket for the again. The Ösa’s high bar was then fitted with loads of adjustable attachment factors to mount all the things.
For my take a look at, I rode 32km (20 miles) from Amsterdam to the North Sea shoreline. There I loaded up the Ösa with my kitesurfing gear, induction cooktop, and tent earlier than using to a distant seashore for an early morning kitesurf session. Then, with the inverter and battery arrange like a kitchen in entrance of my tent, I used to be in a position to prepare dinner breakfast and energy my laptop computer and 5G hotspot to run the worldwide information shift for The Verge.
It all labored surprisingly effectively. The massive battery rapidly slips out of the Ösa after eradicating a beefy energy cable and a skinny velcro strap. The elective 1000W Cake Pure Sinewave DC to AC energy inverter (accessible in each 230V EU and 110V US fashions) connects on to the primary energy port of the Cake battery with a thick and slightly unwieldy cable that limits placement of the cumbersome field. The inverter can hook up with the battery whereas nonetheless on the Ösa, however I wished to maintain my distance from it for concern the wind would possibly topple the scooter off its heart stand parked precariously within the moist sand.
The inverter is restricted to 1000 watts and was simply overpowered by my induction cooktop when set to excessive. Its fan can be fairly loud when it kicks in. Still, when related to the Ösa battery, I had sufficient energy to boil the water contained in the Moka espresso pot and to fry up an egg and toast after. The 50Ah / 2.5kWh battery nonetheless had sufficient juice to energy a small 600W area heater for one other 60 minutes earlier than shutting off. Good factor I used to be carrying a second, absolutely charged Cake battery to maintain my laptop computer operating and nonetheless get me again house.
Cake affords loads of examples of the sorts of units the inverter can energy when related to Ösa’s battery. These embrace energy instruments (drills, grinders, weeders, air compressors); client electronics (recreation consoles, electric guitars); industrial gear (cloud server, facial recognition system); family home equipment (vacuum, fan, stitching machine); and workplace gear (espresso machine, blender, toaster). Unfortunately, the corporate fails to say length, which in some circumstances will measure just some minutes earlier than the battery is totally drained.
Even with out the inverter, the Cake Ösa battery can energy a laptop computer or units like journey fridges that may be plugged immediately into the 12V / 15A (180W) jack, in addition to your USB units from the 2 5V / 2A (10W) USB-A jacks. I used to be in a position to snake a standard-length Apple Lighting cable to my iPhone mounted on the handlebar to maintain it absolutely charged whereas navigating lengthy journeys.
You can select from three trip modes on the Cake Ösa Flex. Mode 1 is supposed to maximise vary with a high pace of 30km/h (19mph), mode 2 boosts the highest pace to 45km/h (28mph), and mode 3 maxes out acceleration. I settled on mode 2 for my day by day using, because it supplied one of the best steadiness of vary and energy. I used to be in a position to deplete a completely charged battery after 70km (43 miles) whereas using in mode 2 with my baskets absolutely loaded and in windy circumstances that hovered simply above freezing. The battery costs to 80 p.c in two hours off a family jack or one hundred pc in three hours.
The Ösa rides heavy in comparison with conventional mopeds, making it really feel very secure at any pace, even on packed sand. It weighs about 100kg (220 kilos) with all of the hauling equipment and battery put in. The geometry places the rider low to the bottom in a really relaxed place on a saddle that’s more comfy than it appears to be like, even on rides lasting over an hour.
The solely actual gripe is that the show isn’t readable in any respect in daylight, direct or oblique. It’s actually dangerous and slowed me down when powering up the car as a result of I might barely see the show to enter the pin required to unlock it.
Nevertheless, if I needed to sum up my time with the Cake Ösa Flex in only one phrase, it might be “fun.” In reality, The Cake Ösa is probably the most enjoyable I’ve ever had on two wheels — or any wheels.
If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s the rise of instruments like Zoom and Slack which have allowed firms to increase distant work alternatives to more individuals. Vehicles just like the Ösa Flex may also help benefit from these new hybrid workplace insurance policies. It’s a terrific on- and off-road car with oodles of configurable storage choices for anybody in want of such a rig.
Still, whereas the thought of a piece bike just like the Ösa Flex or sooner Ösa Plus motorbike is compelling, I can’t think about there’s sufficient capability right here to be sensible for most tradespeople to energy their workdays. Having to hold a separate inverter isn’t preferrred both. The Ösa Flex was high-quality for my modest wants as a journalist, however that’s solely as a result of I carried a second 17kg (nearly 38 kilos) battery with me.
Cake did just lately introduce a more sturdy Work series throughout its lineup of autos. In addition to offering more hauling energy, the Ösa Flex Work ships with an XL 75Ah / 3.75kWh battery that weighs 26kg (over 57 kilos). That makes it a bit more viable for these in want of off-grid energy — particularly for those who carry a second or third battery — however it additionally will increase the beginning value from $9,000 / €9,000 to $11,000 / €11,000. A real rolling electric generator just like the Ford F-150 Lightning begins at $40,000 with 98kWh of battery capability — sufficient to energy a piece website or a complete house for days at a time.
The reality that you simply now have a lot selection in cell energy stations is simply… icing on the cake.
All pictures by Thomas Ricker / The Verge — video by Ivo Ricker