Everyone – and I mean everyone — has an opinion on the Ösa electric two-wheeler from Swedish upstart Cake. This stirs such a wave of emotion that dozens of strangers have felt compelled to level unsolicited criticism at me over the past few weeks.
“What is that!?” shouted a middle-aged man riding his bicycle across a busy street just to ask. “What a stupid design,” snarled a rude woman waiting next to me on a ferry. Most of the time, however, people were just silently watching, scowling, or excitedly patting their friends to see the unique-looking scooter that had just appeared.
The Ösa cake is rather unique. Not only does it carry all your gadgets and tools, but it also doubles as an electric generator to power them up once you get there.
Cake calls Ösa a “multi-faceted utility platform with all-terrain capabilities”. To test this claim, I took an Ösa Flex model on a sunrise surf safari, then cooked breakfast with the Ösa’s battery, which also powered my work day. on a secluded beach. I wanted to emulate one of those boastful “office today” stories you’ve seen on Instagram but rarely, if ever, experienced in real life.
How did that happen ? Good enough to make me think the starting price of $9000/€9000 isn’t as crazy as I originally thought.
Cake was founded in 2016 by Stefan Ytterborn, who is also responsible for launching popular clothing brand POC with mountain bikers. POC, founded in 2005, is short for “Piece Of Cake”. This little anecdote blew my mountain bike friends away, who universally loved the Ösa for what it is, but they were even more impressed by what it was. can do.
Ösa is just one of many eclectic electric-only vehicles produced by Cake in a range that extends from dirt bikes to road-legal mopeds. He even has an entire series dedicated to getting kids addicted to electricity. The Ösa model positions itself as a rolling workbench that can easily transport and power gadgets like phones, speakers, and laptops; as well as medium to light tools like drills and circular saws when equipped with an optional inverter sold by Cake.
The Ösa model is available in a few configurations. The Ösa Plus is equivalent to a 125cc motorcycle with a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph). The Ösa Flex configuration can be driven with a typical driver’s license but reaches a maximum of 45 km/h (30 mph). This is the Ösa Flex that I tested for 10 days in and around Amsterdam.
Oddly, Cake doesn’t make an e-bike despite its POC mountain bike lineage. All of Cake’s vehicles are equipped with throttles and footrests, not pedals.
The battery generator
Tesla owners have long attached aftermarket power inverters to their giant rolling DC batteries in order to convert them into unofficial (and potentially warranty voiding) mobile AC power sources. It’s a trend that has recently been fully embraced by the likes of Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 SUV and new electric pickups from Ford and Rivian. It’s no wonder Cake refers to Ösa as a truck in some of their marketing.
My Ösa Flex review vehicle came with all the bells and whistles necessary for maximum hauling capacity, power, and range. This means a Cake inverter, a second hot-swappable battery, a surfboard rack, a second seat, a small basket for the front and a large basket for the rear. The top bar of the Ösa was then equipped with numerous adjustable fixing points to mount everything.
For my test, I rode 32 km (20 miles) from Amsterdam to the North Sea coast. There I loaded up the Ösa with my kitesurfing gear, induction hob and tent before heading to a secluded beach for an early morning kitesurfing session. Then, with the inverter and battery set up like a kitchen in front of my tent, I was able to cook breakfast and power my laptop and 5G hotspot to handle the international news crew for The edge.
Everything worked surprisingly well. The large battery quickly slides out of the Ösa after removing a beefy power cable and thin velcro strap. The optional 1000W Cake Pure Sinewave DC to AC inverter (available in 230V EU and 110V US models) connects directly to the main power port of the Cake battery with a thick and rather bulky cable that limits box placement cumbersome. The inverter can connect to the battery while still on the Ösa, but I wanted to keep my distance from it lest the wind knock the scooter off its center stand parked precariously in wet sand.
The inverter is limited to 1000 watts and was easily overpowered by my induction cooktop when set to high. Its fan is also quite noisy when it turns on. Still, when connected to the Ösa battery, I had enough power to boil the water inside the Moka pot and fry an egg and toast afterwards. The 50 Ah / 2.5 kWh battery still had enough juice to power a small 600 W heater for another 60 minutes before it died out. Luckily I was carrying a second fully charged Cake battery to keep my laptop running and always coming home.
Cake has many examples of the types of devices the inverter can power when connected to Ösa’s battery. These include power tools (drills, grinders, weeders, air compressors); consumer electronics (game consoles, electric guitars); industrial equipment (cloud server, facial recognition system); household appliances (vacuum cleaner, fan, sewing machine); and office equipment (coffee maker, blender, toaster). Unfortunately, the company fails to mention the duration, which in some cases will only measure a few minutes before the battery is completely drained.
Even without the inverter, the Cake Ösa battery can power a laptop or devices like travel fridges which can be plugged directly into the 12V/15A (180W) socket, as well as your USB devices from the two 5V USB ports /2A (10W). A servant. I was able to connect a standard-length Apple Lighting cable to my handlebar-mounted iPhone to keep it fully charged while navigating long trips.
You can choose from three driving modes on the Cake Ösa Flex. Mode 1 is intended to maximize range with a top speed of 30 km/h (19 mph), Mode 2 increases the top speed to 45 km/h (28 mph) and Mode 3 maximizes acceleration. I opted for mode 2 for my daily driving, as it offered the best balance between range and power. I was able to drain a fully charged battery after 43 miles (70 km) riding in mode 2 with my baskets fully charged and in windy conditions that hovered just above freezing. The battery charges to 80% in two hours from a household outlet or to 100% in three hours.
The Ösa rides heavy compared to traditional mopeds, which makes it very stable at any speed, even on hard-packed sand. It weighs approximately 100 kg (220 lbs) with all carrying accessories and battery installed. The geometry puts the rider low to the ground in a very relaxed position on a saddle that’s more comfortable than it looks, even on rides lasting over an hour.
The only real complaint is that the display isn’t readable at all in direct or indirect sunlight. This is really bad and it slowed me down when powering on the vehicle as I could barely see the screen to enter the pin code required to unlock it.
However, if I had to sum up my time with the Cake Ösa Flex in one word, it would be “fun”. In fact, The Cake Ösa is the most fun I’ve ever had on two wheels – or any wheels.
If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s the rise of tools like Zoom and Slack that have allowed companies to expand remote work opportunities to more people. Vehicles like the Ösa Flex can help make the most of these new hybrid office policies. It’s a terrific on-road and off-road vehicle with plenty of configurable storage options for anyone who needs such a rig.
Still, while the idea of a works bike like the Ösa Flex or the faster Ösa Plus motorcycle is compelling, I can’t imagine there’s enough capacity here to be practical for most tradesmen. to fuel their working days. Having to carry a separate inverter isn’t ideal either. The Ösa Flex suited my modest journalistic needs, but that’s only because I was carrying a second 17 kg (almost 38 lb) battery with me.
Cake recently introduced a more robust Work series to its vehicle lineup. Along with providing more hauling power, the Ösa Flex Work comes with an XL 75 Ah / 3.75 kWh battery that weighs 26 kg (over 57 pounds). That makes it a bit more viable for those who need off-grid power – especially if you’re carrying a second or third battery – but it also raises the starting price from $9,000/€9,000 to $11,000. / €11,000. A real rolling electric generator like the Ford F-150 Lightning starts at $40,000 with a battery capacity of 98 kWh – enough to power a job site or an entire home for days at a time.
The fact that you now have so many choices in mobile power stations is just… the icing on the cake.
All photographs by Thomas Ricker / The Verge —videa by Ivo Ricker