What has long been whispered, is now official: Bosch, the Stuttgart-based supplier of technology and services operating in more than 60 countries, is developing its own motor drive system for pedelecs. It will be sold to manufacturers of electric 2-wheelers and Cannondale will present the first Bosch-powered bike in September this year.
The electronics giant Bosch officially announced its entry into the market for power drive systems for electric 2-wheel vehicles today. In a press statement the company said it aimed to become a leading and innovative player in the expanding market of electric 2-wheelers.
Well-known bicycle manufacturer and marketer Cycling Sports Group, a company of Dorel Industries and manufacturer of Cannondale, has teamed up with Bosch. Together they will develop the first generation Bosch-powered Cannondale bikes.
Leading innovators cooperate
„Bosch is the ideal supplier to bicycle manufacturers, because we stand for technological innovation," said Rainer Jeske, head of Bosch Powertrain Systems E-Bike. "In addition, we offer manufacturers the important competencies we have picked up in the automobile sector, for instance, with electronic feedback control systems.
"We aim to combine riding fun with leading technology and pathbreaking design and are glad to have found a manufacturer in Cycling Sports Group which shares our ambitions," he said.
Bob Burbank, general manager of Cannondale, had the following to say about the partnership: „We have taken great care with the selection of Bosh as our strategic partner. We are like-minded - both push the boundaries with new technologies. In our cooperation with Bosch we'll strive to create a better mobile solution with unique, new technology. Bosch is a leading company in the area of industrial engineering and Cannondale in the bicycle industry. Together we can develop the most progressive products on the market."
Bosch hopes other brand manufacturers will select its motor drive systems for their e-vehicles and will set up a global spare parts and support network (read more below) to encourage the uptake of its product.
Its motor drive system consists of a bottom-bracket motor with sensors, battery with recharger and control panel on the handlebar.
The first Bosch-powered Cannondale pedelecs will be presented early in September at the international trade fair Eurobike in Friedrichshafen.
The new Bosch product division Electric Vehicle will be based in Reutlingen, just south of Stuttgart.
Bosch will exploit knowledge and experience gained over many years. For instance, the e-vehicle battery will use the same lithium-ion technology as Bosch's successful mini-screwdriver Ixo, which is the world's biggest-selling electric tool.
Motor drive technology for any design
The modular Bosch electric motor drive will open new profile design possibilities to bicycle manufacturers. The small space required by the components of the system, opens new possibilities for the placement of the battery. Bosch promises very good performance: the 250 Watt motor in the bottom bracket has a low overall weight of 2,3 kg and the lithium-ion battery delivers 288 Wh/8 Ah and is fully recharged in only 2,5 hours. Clients may also request the battery to have a special form.
Four levels of support
For a positive riding experience on a pedelec, it is of the utmost importance that the motor recognizes the rider's pedal behaviour and produces the optimal response thereto. In the Bosch system, this task is handled by three sensors - one for "reading" how hard the rider is standing in the pedals, the second for reading the pedal frequency and the third for the riding speed. From the data collected by the sensors, the integrated control equipment then calculates how much power the motor should contribute (to what extent the rider's effort should be supplemented). The rider can pre-select the level of support he wants from the motor. Bosch offers four support levels: Eco (for maximum range), tour (for standard support), sport (for dynamic riding) and speed (for maximum support).
All-embracing concept: development support, service and training
The Bosch motor drive system will be introduced to the market with an all-embracing service offer, including spare parts supply anywhere in the world, a service hotline and training courses to both manufacturers and retail traders.
Copy: Susanne Brüsch and Bosch
Translation: Christoffel Volschenk
21 May 2010