Made in Croatia

Croatian Electric Bicycles Presented to the Pope

By 20 September 2015

A little Croatian technology for Pope Francis. 

The Ducati technology company from Ludbreg in the Varaždin County is one of the global leaders in the production of electric bicycle parts. This week, their products were presented to Pope Francis during his audience for the environmental ministers of the European Union in Rome, reports on September 20, 2015.

Although the Ducati from Ludbreg, which is a part of the Italian group Ducati Energia, has been working on electrical bike technology for several years, it is now starting a serious turn towards foreign markets. The Croatian Post, with financial help of the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency, has ordered 180 electric bikes for its postmen. So far, 90 bicycles have already been produced, and the rest will be ready by the beginning of October, when the entire order will be delivered to the Croatian Post. Dražen Crnković, general manager at Ducati, points out that individual experts from the whole Ducati Group have been involved in this project, including the experts from Ludbreg, and the result of their efforts is the electric wheel.

"So far, we have produced parts for around 3,000 bikes. The majority is being distributed through specialized shops of cycling equipment. We have also applied to the public tender of the Croatian Post, while the interest has been expressed by the Italian Post as well. We usually do not produce complete bikes, but our electric wheels can be fitted to any regular bicycle. In the case of the Croatian Post, the tender asked for complete bikes, so we have made a deal with the Post's previous supplier of bicycles from Slovenia. On the other hand, Italy asked us to fit our electric wheels to their existing bikes", explains Crnković. The approximate retail price of electric wheel is 1,200 euros and more, depending on the battery and the accessories. A single charge can cover about 20 kilometres.

It is interesting that such wheels can be combined with conventional wheels, so it is easy to switch over. The company from Ludbreg is the only company in the Ducati Group which is working on this project, and although electric bicycles are not currently their major business, Crnković expects high growth of the technology. Ducati has been involved in green energy business for years. The company employs 115 people, and the annual income it around 90 million kuna.