German automotive component and consumer appliance maker Bosch has created a new Powertrain system that will enable bike manufacturers to deliver electric bikes. Bosch has teamed up with Cannondale to create the initial electric bike models. At Eurobike this September, Cannondale will unveil their first electric bike that uses the Bosch Powertrain system.
The Powertrain system consists of a drive unit with sensors, battery pack with charger, and a handlebar mounted control computer. The modular nature and low space requirements of the electric bike components provide bike manufacturers with freedom on system design and positioning of the battery pack.
The electric bike system will situationally detect when you might want some motor support for pedaling. Three sensors in the drive unit measure your pedal force, pedaling frequency and speed of travel. Depending on the detected sensor data, the integrated controller will decide what level of help you require to pedal.
You can customize the motor assist level by selecting one of four drive programs. The four possible drive programs are Eco (maximum range), Tour (standard), Sports (dynamic riding) and Speed (maximum support) with four degrees of support offered from 0% up to 150%.
The central drive unit will give you pedaling support up to 25 km/hr with peak power at 350W. The battery pack includes a Li-ion rechargeable battery that weighs around 2.3 kgs. The battery will fully recharge in about 2.5 hours.
Bosch's goal is to become the ultimate leader in the electric bike market with this new Powertrain system. I will be anxious to check out the Cannondale version at Eurobike and see which other bike manufacturers follow suit.