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Return to: 2016 Feature Stories

CLIENT: IDTECHEX

June 3, 2016: EE Times

Bike2: A Novel Powertrain for Electric Bikes

This is an enabling technology, with applications way beyond bikes, including solar, wind, tide, wave, and other power systems.

At IDTechEx, we have vacuumed up information globally for over 15 years to assess and predict the markets and technology. Frankly, much of what we see is in one of two categories -- boring or crazy.

Happily, every now and then something interesting comes along. At the IDTechExShow! in Berlin, for example, I had the opportunity to interview Nils Sveje, co-founder of Bike2 Aps, on their electric bike drive system -- a technology that falls in the category of "elegant." As you'll see in this video, it brings to bikes what has already appeared in the gorgeous BMW i8 sports car. It is the series hybrid powertrain that is even appearing in boats and aircraft. We love this beautiful elegant device.

This is an enabling technology of course, with applications way beyond bikes. If the company lacks the resources to pursue them all, they could license out, particularly if they have good patents. In our research for reports and consultancy on high power energy harvesting, we can see many examples where this could be married to solar, wind, tide, wave, and other power systems, even in small flying machines! Anyone who looks at this and does not have their mind spin with a million ideas should see a physician!

On the narrow basis of bikes, this does not necessarily make them less easy to steal, but it should widen the appeal to people who are less fit and who value better reliability and a more attractive product. It will not lead to 150 million people going to work on them in Europe or the Americas, copying China today. Indeed, the Chinese eBike market is saturating, with cities often restricting bikes, citing congestion and accidents. Around the world, accidents with two wheelers have not dropped in the manner seen with four wheelers. However, many new variants on the bike become possible with this beautifully engineered system, and cost reduction may occur with parts standardization on many vehicles.

Like all good engineering it ends up simple.

Look for more innovative technologies like these at the forthcoming IDTechEx Show! on November 16-17, 2016, in Santa Clara, California.

Return to: 2016 Feature Stories