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An electrical drive is described as an electronic device meant to regulate specific characteristics of the motor in order to convert electrical energy into mechanical power in a precise and controllable manner. It consists of a sophisticated electronic system or a combination of different systems for the purpose of motion control.
An e-bike has a standard specification to meet, so that it does not come in the same category as a motorbike. The standard varies from place to place, but in Europe, especially Sweden, the present limit is 250 W maximum continuous power and 40 kg/88 lb. maximum weight with no limit on the peak power.
In contrast, in the United States, this limit is 750 W. Though the usage of e-bikes is a new idea in Europe, it is rapidly gaining traction in India and China. In China, e-bikes already outnumber vehicles four to one.
The earlier version of e-bikes or technically low-quality e-bikes operated mostly on less effective lead acid batteries, which has less sturdiness to give full power to the motor, besides they are heavy and bulky, but in newer models there have been mostly selected NiMH, NiCad, and Lithium-ion batteries, because they are light, powerful, and dense in their capacity, giving possibility to drive long and fast, giving maximum durability in terms of power and performance.
China has been mass-producing hub-based electric motors in significant numbers to meet the demands. The demand is getting bigger and bigger. In the start there was just one brand which was producing commercially these e-bikes, whereas now it has increased to many numbers, already by the end of 90s there were 50 brands operating in commercially producing such e bikes on global level.
The advantage of e-bikes has become more prominent in recent times. The big companies’ involvement helped to make it even better. They have tried to include many sophisticated technologies in the design of this e-bike. Brushless motors replaced the brushed ones to make it durable, efficient, and noise-free.
Slowly, e-bikes have gained popularity in Europe, and Germany is leading the way by replacing regular bikes with complete overhauls. That is why e-bikes are stealing market share from traditional bicycles. This is also true in India and China. In China, they are gradually displacing other two-wheeled transportation vehicles that run on fossil fuels.
The subsidies given by the government in promoting these e-bikes, helping to make them affordable. This is also helping at the same time breaking the dependency upon oil and foreign markets, and at the same time stabilizing global temperature thereby preserving the wellbeing of the planet.
The Mild and Hub drive-based systems in the e bikes have been one of the most recent technological integration in the drive systems. A hub-drive eBike has the motor mounted on the front or rear wheel, with the motor conveniently housed in the wheel hub. Propulsion is provided by the motor, which spins the tyre on which it is attached. depending on whether the hub motor is on the front or rear wheel, the eBike either feels like it is being pushed or pulled along.
The Global E Bike Drive Market can be segmented into following categories for further analysis.
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost all the sectors around the world as the whole ecosystem has gone into lockdown. The increasing demand for e-bikes had a positive impact on the e-bike drive market as most people preferred over individual mobility rather than using public transportation.
Most e-bikes available in the market are equipped with hub motors which require low maintenance and do not affect the elementary design ,but they make the wheels heavy and the sealed nature of these motors increased the chances of overheating hindered the market growth. Battery maintenance is also one of the major concerns in e-bike drive systems due to its limited life span of around 2-3 years.
However vehicle electrification is one of the greatest developments in the automotive power drive unit sector and the concerns about environment protection has prompted the battery research that extensively drove electric mobility across the globe will increase the growth of e-bike drive market.
The implementation of lithium-ion battery technology has resulted in lighter and cost effective e-bikes increasing the demand for e-bikes. Some manufacturers are engaged in R&D on gearless direct drive motors utilized with regenerative braking systems to easily recharge the Li-ion battery while braking increases the lifespan of the battery.
Besides, light weight and low cost benefits in comparison with electric cars are driving the market growth of e-bikes and thus the ebike drive unit market. At the same time, manufacturers of e-bike drive units are continuously focusing towards the product innovation to reduce the overall weight and cost of the drive system which inturn improves the performance of e-bike as well as made cost effective for consumers. The growth of the ebike drive unit market is mainly governed by the e-bike sales and its growth prospects.
Rotor developed Etor, a new open standard design for the interface of spindles and crank arms intended to address issues plaguing older standards in e-bike drive systems. It is the outcome of a collaboration with the well-known lightweight, removable e-bike drive system manufacturer Fauza to withstand the very high loads generated by e-bikes – August 2021
Bafang launched its new H700 automatic dual speed rear drive system for the eCity segment with highly-integrated built-in automatic dual speed motor.This system is very clean, compact and has dynamic rear-motor as the core part that automatically adjusts the gearbox ratio by detecting the speed of the vehicle during cycling – August 2021
Maxon developed BIKEDRIVE Air, a light and invisible e-bike drive system consisting of a mid-mounted motor, integrated battery and control element.This e-bike drive system is more compact, weighs only 3.5 kg and can be integrated into elegant frames by the manufacturers.This system is also used to build extremely lightweight, racing, gravel, urban and mountain e-bikes – June 2021
Mahle, an E-bike drive system manufacturer has developed a new kind of magnet-free electric motor that does not require rare earth elements which is suitable for all vehicles. The feature of this new motor is the inductive and contactless power transmission, which allows the motor to operate wear-free and particularly efficient at high speeds of about 95% efficiency at almost all operating points – May 2021
Eunorau launched its low-cost, powerful, full-suspension all-wheel drive (AWD) unit ebike all around the world. The base level Defender S has a single 750W bafang hub motor, while the Defender S Pro sports has two 750W Bafang hub motors. With dual motors, the Defender S Pro has a peek of 1,500 watts from the combined motors – March 2021
Bosch ebike systems introduced its Performance Line CX drive unit with either Derailleur system or Hub gear system which offers a unique eMTB experience. This drive system is very compact, lightweight and with a torque of up to 85 Nm combined with high quality materials and high-end sensors – January 2021
Fazua GmbH launched its new Evation drive unit for e-bike which is the founding father of the latest eMTB light concepts. This slim drive unit bundles the motor and battery into one solid unit and can be easily removed from the frame.These systems are equipped with firmware to improve the efficiency, power delivery and background noise of the motor with 1.3 kg bottom bracket including gearbox and sensors – September 2020
The most recent electric bikes have been integrated with an accumulator battery with a capacity of 245-watt hours or more that is considered to be one of the best-in-class experiences provisioned by the manufacturers. Hud and Mid drive motors are one of the newest entries into the drive systems market. It attains a 100rpm, power delivery is up to 50% higher than the requirements in the current market.
There are new modes included in the drive systems which includes the EXPW being one of the most recent trends in the market. With EXPW mode, the unit better harnesses the motor’s power with improved cooling effects. It not only improves assist torque in all ranges; compared with conventional models, it also better maintains assistance up to high rpm. This improves robust support to riders recovering from tight turns or climbing challenging steep slopes.
The X20, with its integrated motor and battery, is the lightest e-bike drive system on the market, according to Mahle.
On a white background, a Mahle X20 hub motor. With the hub motor delivering directly to the wheel—a power output comparable to that of a mid-drive motor—the X20 unit also establishes a new bar for power-to-weight ratio.
The motor system, according to Mahle, offers a very natural pedal sensation.
The X20’s motor is perfectly matched to the design of gravel bikes and urban e-bikes, with such a compact package. The motor can also be disengaged from the system with a single click.
A joint venture firm will be established by Yamaha Motor and Hero Motors Limited to produce Hub-mounted drive units for electrically powered bicycles (e-bikes). Hero Motors Limited is the owner of Hero Cycles, India’s largest bicycle manufacturer.
By the end of November, the joint venture is expected to be operational, with Hero Motors owning 90% of the shares and Yamaha Motors owning 10%.
The hub-mounted drive units, which place the electric motor in the centre of the drive wheel, are used by roughly half of the e-bikes currently available in Europe, the region with the largest market for them.
Yamaha entered the joint venture agreement with the expectation that, as the market for e-bikes expands globally, so will the importance of these hub-mounted drive units.
Yamaha currently sells exclusive center-mount drive units, which are located right next to the pedals in the middle of the bicycle’s chassis.
Yamaha aims to increase the entire strength and capabilities of its e-bike company and so assure future business growth by adding the hub-mounted drive units produced through this joint venture to its portfolio.
Porsche has announced plans to purchase a 20% investment in Fazua GmbH, a German e-bike drive system manufacturer, as well as a partnership with Pon Holdings’ Ponooc Investment B.V.
While the sports car manufacturer will remain a minority shareholder in Fazua for the time being, it has the opportunity to buy more shares and gain entire control. The sale’s terms were not disclosed.
Ponooc Investment is a Dutch company that focuses on sustainable energy and mobility solutions. Cannondale, Schwinn, and Santa Cruz are just a few of the bike brands owned by Pon Holdings.
Fazua has entered the North American market with its lightweight e-bike propulsion systems. The Evation mid-mounted 250Wh drive system weighs 10.1 pounds, and according to Fazua, it provides no resistance when riding without help.
In the first half of fiscal year 2021, the Shimano Group reported a net sales of 264,694 million yen, up by 65.2% as compared to the same period of the previous year with 160,255 million yen.
The increase in revenue is primarily due to the rising demand for bicycles and fishing as Shimano Group increased production capacity at the factories in Japan and overseas. As a result, net sales from the bicycle segment increased 73.4% from the same period of the previous year to 212,599 million yen.
Yamaha Motor Co.Ltd reported a consolidated net sales of 920.1 billion yen in the first half of fiscal year 2021, an increase of 234.6 billion yen or 34.2% compared with the same period of the previous year.
The operating income was 109.2 billion yen, an increase of 90.1 billion yen or 471.9% and an ordinary income was 115.1 billion yen, an increase of 94.3 billion yen or 454.8%. The increase in sales is primarily due to the trend of using electrically power-assisted bicycles to avoid using public transportation resulting in healthy sales of e-bikes in Japan and the European region.
Bafang Electric Suzhou Co.Ltd reported a net sales of CNY 526.995 million in the first quarter of FY21, up 43% as compared to the same period of the previous year of CNY 249.281 million.
Operating income increased to CNY 175.532 million, net income increased to CNY 150.261 million and the basic earnings per share from continuing operations increased to CNY 1.25 as compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.
The Mahle Group reported a net sales of 2,882 EUR million in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2021. At the end of 2020, the Mahle Group reported a net sales of 9.8 EUR billion with a net loss of 434 EUR million when compared with the previous year as the coronavirus pandemic influenced the decline of sales all around the world.
Albeit this pandemic, Mahle Group had a highest R&D ratio in Business unit electronics and mechatronics to develop e-bike drive systems to meet the increasing demand.
E Bikes are a part of the newest emerging technology in the complete global market of EV operations wherein the electrification has propagated towards better levels of compliance to emission regulations and alongside the possible Electrification adaptability on a global scale.
Bosch E Bikes Systems has been one of the most recent technologically entry into the Drives and systems integration of the market. It has brought upon new systems of enhancement which includes the Active Line, Active Line Plus, Cargo Line and Performance Line / Line CX.
Its controlled acceleration with barely noticeable pedal resistance at over 25 km/h or when switched off turns every trip into a delight, as well as making an elegant statement. The Active Line is a recipient of the Red Dot Design Award. The drive unit integrates perfectly into the bike’s frame and its lightweight component has better reactivity.
The innovative drive concept allows a very light drive unit, weighing only 2.9 kg. The multi-sensor drive unit concept takes more than 1,000 measurements per second to ensure a smooth power characteristic. The optional backpedal function helps make braking easier and more comfortable.
MAHLE Group has been another active stakeholder in the Electric bikes drive systems innovation and manufacturing systems in the global market of requirements.
It offers a platform for compact drive units with an optimized battery-concept, components for connectivity and customized motor control. It gives a required integrated weight of 3.5 kgs, delivering 250 watts of power at the touch of a button. An additional range extender battery with a capacity of 208-watt hours is optionally available.
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