FONZ Moto is at the forefront of Aussie innovation. Established in 2010, they are on a mission to change how Aussies get from A to B with Australia’s first electric motorbike, the NKD.
The Australian Made NKD is the fastest short-wheel base production electric motorbike in its class and recently won Gold in Australia’s Good Design Awards for its impressive exterior. The jury described it as a “great looking mini-bike that oozes personality”.
FONZ Moto Founder, Michelle Nazzari, said she is proud of what the brand has achieved.
“The NKD is Australia’s first locally designed, manufactured and retail-ready emission-free motorbike. When we launched it in 2019, we knew the NKD had to deliver an electrifying aesthetic in addition to its environmental and performance credentials,” said Nazzari.
Initially manufacturing all of its products for its electric scooters overseas, in 2015 FONZ Moto made the decision to move a portion back to Australia after identifying opportunities to maximise efficiency, which set the scene for NKD to be made locally.
Nazzari explained, “As our brand started building its reputation, we decided to take things more seriously and run production from Redfern, Sydney. In Australia, we can strike a balance between hand craftsmanship to make a truly unique product whilst utilising advanced manufacturing processes for feasibility and maximising efficiencies.
“We’re living in a very globalised time, but when you think about sustainability, having something locally manufactured – especially a bulky product like a motorbike – you can’t help but be aware of the carbon emissions associated with transport. So, making products locally certainly underlines the green credentials important to us as an EV manufacturer.
But after such a surge in sales, it wasn’t long until FONZ Moto outgrew its Redfern facility and expanded operations.
Nazzari said, “After putting 100 bikes on Australian roads, it became apparent our Redfern facility couldn’t keep up, so in late 2021 we moved into a brand-new carbon-neutral micro-factory in Alexandria. With the move, our production capacity can increase five-fold.
“One of the advantages of manufacturing locally is higher-level quality control. The production process for cutting the body kit involves an automation system, which loads the material before the fibre laser fusion cutting process begins.
“We then form the body kit. To reduce the costs of expensive moulds, we laser cut to shape and combine 25mm metal sheeting to make a mould. And then bend the material under significant force (up to 30T) into the larger pressed body panels and continue to use our laser cut moulds for small precision fold components.”
FONZ Moto proudly advertises its Aussie credentials with the Australian Made logo – Australia’s most trusted, recognised and widely used country of origin certification symbol.
“Using the Australian Made logo has brought us credibility both domestically and overseas. People know the green and gold kangaroo and what it stands for. A product bearing that mark must go through a rigorous process to be certified Australian Made. We proudly display the Australian Made mark on all of our Aussie products,” Nazzari said.
Nazzari acknowledges most of the components for some of its other models are made offshore.
“We’re not ashamed of that as right now it makes good commercial sense – but we’re certainly very proud of our locally made bikes.
“Our Australian products are certified with the Australian Made logo because we believe it’s important for people to understand where things come from, and we are proud of our Australian-ness. We want people to make informed choices when they purchase.”
While its award-winning bike is currently only available in Australia and New Zealand, FONZ Moto hasn’t ruled out plans to export the NKD series overseas.
Nazzari said, “At the moment, we only export our Australian Made NKD to New Zealand, but we’ve had a lot of interest from other markets, and we’re certainly interested in hitting those markets as this year unfolds. Being Australian made has appealed to overseas markets and will continue to appeal.
“People see value in Australian Made products. An automotive product is a significant investment and something that people will potentially own for many years. It also forms part of a person’s own brand identity, so it says something about you when you commit to buying locally made products.
“I know in my own purchasing decision-making I am attracted to and will invest that little bit extra to buy Australian-made because I know it stands for quality and comprehensive after-sales support.”
Watch the FONZ Moto story below