Just 14 months after the unveiling of its advanced power-assist technology for bicycles, Valeo has won a total of 14 customers. These include La Manufacture Française du Cycle (through its Sunn brand), Ateliers Heritagebike, VUF Bikes, Cycleurope (the umbrella brand of Bianchi and Peugeot, among others) and FUELL. The technology is designed to combine efficiency, intelligence, comfort, robustness and ease of use in one solution.
As recently as December 2020, the Valeo Group announced it would revolutionise electric bicycle propulsion with its 48V system with automatic transmission. Just under a year later, the company is taking the next big step with this innovative mobility solution and will be mass-producing its technology from May 2022.
The current order volume should result in more than 100,000 units being delivered to customers in 2024. Valeo has adapted the 48V technology — originally developed for the automotive industry — to the needs of the bicycle industry. Assembly will take place at the Valeo plant in L’Isle d’Abeau (near Lyon), France.
The launch of e-bikes will be accompanied by Valeo’s aftermarket division. It is present in all the distribution networks used by bicycle manufacturers and will provide the necessary technical support wherever the bikes are in use, facilitating the monitoring and maintenance of the drive system.
About the technology
Valeo’s e-bike technology is new to the market and integrates a 48V electric motor and an adaptive 7-speed automatic transmission in a single module located in the bottom bracket. The system was developed in partnership with the French company Effigear. Valeo’s electric assistance is suitable for all types of bicycles — especially trekking bikes, mountain bikes and cargo bikes — and is very much on trend. This is because emission-free zones are increasingly being created in cities, investments are being made in bicycle infrastructure and sharing fleets are being made available. These measures — as well as the use of e-bikes — support the decarbonisation of mobility and the transformation of urban traffic.
The combination of transmission and motor in one unit is not new — Continental already tried such a combination a few years ago with the Continental Revolution. However, the manufacturer, which also comes from the automotive supply industry, has since withdrawn completely from this segment because the motor caused too many problems. So let’s hope that Valeo will have a much more long-term and thus sustainable success with the new drive system!