This really a CleanMPG big deal! Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – July 21, 2017 Bicyclists on a short commute enjoying the great outdoors Continental’s focus on a lower carbon intensive transportation future has now expanded into a new direction. While we have reported on a number of the brands 48V mild hybrid initiatives for the automotive industry, they are not moving into the E-Bike space with a light weight and hopefully low cost 48V electric drive with automatic transmission. According to estimates provided by Continental, by 2023, global sales of bicycles with an auxiliary or integrated electric motor will exceed 40 million units! In the development of its components, systems and solutions, Continental has drawn on the technological expertise of its drive developers and bicycle specialists, and the company is now set to unveil its latest motor for e-bikes to the general public at Eurobike 2017 in Germany at the end of next month. Whether you’re cruising through the countryside, commuting in the city, e-bikes are an excellent alternative with countless advantages: They’re fast, practical, environmentally friendly, reduce congestion, and cost a fraction of what a new automobile would cost. Urban citizens use bikes with electrical assistance to commute or shop. Most importantly, e-bikes are an attractive and emission-free alternative to lower mile car travel. Modular System Continental already offers a wide range of platform solutions for bicycle manufacturers. With its e-bike system, manufacturers can combine motor units, batteries, displays and controllers from a vast and modular product range to create different drive systems for e-bikes and choose between various integration concepts. With years of R&D, the result is a world first all-new e-bike system combining the first industrially manufactured 48V drive with intelligent, fully automatic and continuously variable transmission. At the end of 2016, the technology company commenced volume production of the first 48-volt hybrid drive for Renault’s Scénic and Grand Scénic models and now also applies this expertise from the automotive industry to the production of high-quality, innovative and robust e-bike products. In Germany, the demand for bicycles with auxiliary electric support has reached more than 600,000 units sold last year alone! Manufacturers and retailers saw sales grow by 13 percent compared to 2015, according to figures from the German Bicycle Association (ZIV). There are now more than 3 million E-Bikes on the road in Germany. E-bikes are also accounting for an ever-increasing share of the overall bicycle market, with 15 percent of all bikes now electrically powered. Experts from the ZIV expect to see this share rise to between 18 and 20 percent in the medium term, followed by a further increase to a projected share of up to 30 percent in the long term. The market for electrically powered bikes is also growing in other countries. Continental expects to see the strongest growth in markets where E-Bikes are yet to gain a foothold, such as Italy, France and the United Kingdom. But E-Bikes are driving much more than just economic growth in the bicycle sector: They are also fueling technological progress, as bikes with electrical assistance have given the industry fresh impetus to innovate. From its humble beginnings as a niche product, the E-Bike has become a lifestyle choice. The era of clumsy systems attached to the frame is long gone. Customers can now choose between a variety of stylish designs and models fitted with modern, slimline drive technologies. Manufacturers offer a wide range of bicycles for any lifestyle, from city, urban and mountain bikes, to sporty racers, folding commuter bikes, and trekking and transport models. Given the environments heating up and oil at the heart of so many political issues, imagine a world where half the commuters ditch their efficient and not so efficient vehicles for super-efficient e-bikes? Even I can vouch for the fact that experiencing the outdoors from a bicycle is a heck of a lot more interesting than from inside a comforting cage we are all so used too.