Bosch Electric Bike Drive System. Future of e-bikes?
Bosch electric bike drive system came up to the market unexpectedly. It has been launched at the Euro Bike show in September 2010 where not only Bosch launched their product but already couple of major bike manufacturers introduced their first ebikes being powered by Bosch E-bike drive. In the first row the cult bicycle brands such as Cannondale and Scott showed their first ebikes. What’s more important both powered by the Bosch electric drive system.
Bosch e-bike drive offers a complete solution for bicycles. It provides the motor, battery, control unit which is built in the motor and the sophisticated control panel on the handlebar.
Bosh e-bike motor
The heart of the system is the motor. It’s a centrally located crank drive system which is kind of similar to the Panasonic drive used in many electric bikes, mainly those German made by Derby Cycle. In fact it’s a totally different system from the one presented by Panasonic. Both of these drives have something in common. They are both pedelec drives. It means that the bicycle is assisted by the electric drive only when rider is actually pedalling by moving cranks. The motor standard output is a 250W but in the peak time it can reach even 500W output. It is obviously legal system which allows reaching the speed of 25km/h. Once the rider goes above this speed the motor shuts down. It is therefore particularly helpful in very hilly areas or during those days when wind isn’t our best friend. How this motor works, we have no idea but all we know it’s German and of the best efficency we can imagine. That is anyway something you would’ve expected from company like Bosch.
Also comes from Bosch. It is the latest technology lithium ion battery. Bosch does not reveal too much secret about what’s specific inside but as claimed by Bosh these are the same cells that sit in their power tools. High energy density and low weight these are the main characteristics. It is claimed that the battery will last approx 500 cycles. It’s maybe not the very impressive figure but it is enough to serve throughout two year period with using it 5 times per week. Currently the battery is only 36V 8Ah which also does not seem to be a lot however considering the efficiency of the Bosch ebike drive it actually may be enough to cover good 30-35 miles.
Fitted very nicely on the handlebars it’s a LCD screen surrounded with couple of buttons. These are so called the magic buttons as these can actually make the Bosch ebike drive very funky and fascinating. The available power settings allow choosing from Eco, Tour and Sport modes. Additionally each of those has an additional ‘3 gears’. Each from those modes gives different power characteristics to the drive making the ride even more enjoyable. The control panel obviously has other gadgets as well such as the speed meter, current battery condition etc.
Bosch electric bike drive is really impressive. It’s a probably the best pedelec drive available on the market. It has a great climbing ability and functionality which you expect from the drive of 2011. It naturally has some drawback such as small battery size. The big disadvantage o fit is that you also always have to keep pedalling so it’s a typical pedelec. Pricewise (always fitted with bikes costing around £2500+) it’s certainly not the most competitive e-bike drive system. Performance wise it is indeed probably the best you can get. Next few years will really show how many manufacturers will adapt this drive system and how successful it is.
All the above images are the intellectual property of Bosch Gmbh Germany