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Interview: Bosch Is Holding No Punches in Shaping the Future of the E-Bike Industry
Let’s face it, e-bikes are here to stay. One team that has been a staple of the industry seems to be Bosch. Well, I decided to check in with the manufacturer and find out just how far things are going to be taken. And oh, how grand the future will be.

Interview: Bosch Is Holding No Punches in Shaping the Future of the E-Bike Industry

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In the spirit of EV month, I’ve decided to conduct an interview with one of, if not the most dominant e-bike component manufacturers in the industry, Bosch. In the following questions and answers, you may find that the future of this industry is far more complex than previously anticipated.

Furthermore, once you’re done reading through everything, you too may conclude that the bicycles most of us grew up with are but a thing of the past compared to their modern cybernetic counterparts.

autoevolution: While some manufacturers focus on making components smaller, Bosch seems to be making them bigger and bigger, with good reason, of course, but where’s the limit? How much power do we want or need?

Claudia Wasko: Let me please differentiate between the two important components of our e-bike system:
  • Drive Unit: I do not agree with your statement that our drive units are getting bigger and bigger. Just to provide you an example – the 4th generation of our Performance Line CX (developed for the eMTB segment) has seen a decrease of remarkable 25% in weight (now 2.9 kg/6.4 lbs) and 48% in box volume (now 1.2l) in comparison to its predecessor.
As mentioned earlier, we also plan to address the light eUrban, eMTB, and eGravel segment with a dedicated product in the future.

  • Battery: Yes, we are confronted with conflicting goals – the desire for more battery range versus the demand for decreased system or battery weight. But we are very satisfied with the solutions we came up with.
  • Our 625 Wh batteries of our 3rd system generation have approximately the same dimensions as the 500 Wh batteries of our 2nd system generation, which means we achieved a higher level of energy density.
  • Our 400 Wh frame battery is significantly smaller in height (3rd generation in comparison to 2nd generation)
  • In addition to our future roadmap, we include compact design batteries with lower capacity levels and new cells for slim e-bike frames.
But, yes - we added a 750 Wh battery to our portfolio for MY23, but the PowerTube features optimized integration and is up to 4 mm (0.16 in) shorter than the previous system generation.

ae: What are some changes Bosch is looking to implement for the industry to ensure they remain an industry leader?

CW: Our Product Portfolio: Well established, the comprehensive product range for all bike types and no portfolio gap (e. g., light eMTB, eGravel, eUrban, eRoad, eKids) including modular HMI & remote portfolio featuring 100% connectivity.

Connectivity and digital features: Our new smart system combines high-quality e-bike components with digital functions. The new eBike Flow app is the key to a connected biking experience. It connects you to your e-bike and your e-bike to the internet. Via Bluetooth, the app can be easily connected to the LED remote.

We provide a safe and sustainable mobility solution: Bosch invented ABS for e-bikes (MY2018).

For Bosch eBike Systems, the topic of battery safety has top priority. Bosch eBike Systems are one of the only e-bike systems in the world that have gone through rigorous testing to obtain UL classification to the UL2849 standard, which means our product meets the constructional and test requirements set by the standard for preventing electrical, fire, and shock hazard.

Bosch puts sustainability first. Sustainability starts at the very beginning. Right from the development stage of a product, we prioritize its resource requirements and environmental impact. Starting with the selection of environmentally friendly raw materials and the use of recycled materials, through energy-saving manufacturing steps to the design of the packaging as sustainable as possible.

We focus on IBDs (Independent Bicycle Dealership) as one important consumer touchpoint and offer industry-leading, multilevel service support (dealer portal, hotline, tech reps) that strengthens our edge through product and call center availability, expedited warranty processing, and on-demand training.

ae:

I see Bosch is unveiling their new “smart system” and Flow App, which clearly takes cycling to a whole new level, so my question is, at what point are bicycles going to be considered much more than what they are?

CW: Mobility will continue to play a decisive role in our lives in the future. Our ideas about mobility will be revised and practiced differently, electrified, automated, connected, and personalized mobility that meets people’s general needs for safety, sustainability, and health. Already closely associated with these values today, the e-bike will play a key role in shaping the mobility of the future.

Connecting the e-bike with digital services is an elementary steppingstone on the way to future mobility. By introducing the smart system, we are expanding the ways to connect cyclists and the environment with the e-bike.

In the future, e-bike riders will not only be connected while cycling but also when their e-bike is parked. The rider might want to make sure that their bike is still there when they return to it. This can only work if the bike is connected to the internet to give the owner this information. Another advantage of a connected e-bike is the ability to communicate with other road users as well as the entire environment.

Final Word: The level of attention that the timeless bicycle is now getting and how they are being transformed into a mobility machine rather than a pastime activity makes me feel like I should stop riding my 100% eco-friendly Focus MTB. Maybe I should put it up on a shelf to sell in 50 years as a relic of the past.



Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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