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4107 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  MABman
The EU and Asia are on the forefront of the e bike charge. But American companies are starting to pay some attention to the movement, not just for models made available, but also by developing new technology like SRAM is apparently up to:

Rumour: SRAM and e-Bikes

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands - In the past few years, the US based component maker has put a lot of effort in the road race and MTB segments. It is now rumoured that SRAM is doing the same in electric bikes…

After presentations that took place at the Taichung Bike week held in the first weeks of December, it is said that next autumn SRAM will re-enter the e-Bike segment.

Experts in electric bikes remember SRAM's SPARC system; the company's first attempt to 'electrify' bicycles. Rumours indicate that at the upcoming Taipei Int'l Cycle Show the component maker will announce and probably show to selected customers its own e-Bike motor combined with its 3-speed hub.

It is speculated that this new hub motor with integrated 3-speed hub follows the project SRAM is working on this year with auto parts giant Magna and Trek. The result of that project was introduced at last September's Eurobike Show with the BionX hub motor and integrated SRAM 3-speed hub gear.

It is also rumoured that the new SRAM rear wheel internal geared drive train for e-Bikes will even feature a fully automatic shifting system.

(source: bike-eu)

So perhaps with Trek's involvement they are positioning Gary Fisher to be credited with the invention of the e-bike?
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But probably news of greater immediate impact:

Cheaper e-Bike Batteries after Mega Merger?

OSAKA, Japan - A mega merger has joined two of the biggest producers of lithium-ion batteries widely used in e-Bikes. The world's biggest maker of such batteries will arise from the merger of Japan's Panasonic and Sanyo Electric.

Following an earlier announcement on the upcoming take-over Panasonic has recently bought a majority share of just over 50% in Sanyo Electric. Panasonic paid some JPY 403.8 billion (€ 3.1bn) for the acquisition of its long time competitor.

Both companies are important manufacturers as well as investors in lithium-ion batteries for e-Bikes. It is speculated that the economy of scale effect in Li-ion battery production that results from the Panasonic - Sanyo merger could lead to lower prices for such batteries.

Lower prices for the high tech Li-ion batteries, which provide a wider range and an extended lifecycle, will give an extra push for this growth segment in the world's biggest bike markets.

Also, as both companies have invested substantially in the technology of lithium-ion batteries, the shared know-how could speed-up further battery developments.

The acquisition by Panasonic has been delayed for months due to a survey by Japan's competition bureau. Sanyo Electric has had financial troubles for some years and had to lay off thousands of employees during this period. But also Panasonic is currently reorganizing by closing numerous factories and by cutting 15,000 jobs.

(source: bike-eu)

While the SRAM innovation will answer the question of how to provide the anemic 250w legal motors the ability to have some get up and go and better hill climbing ability it will come at a cost that will not be cheap for a few years at least, think XX? But battery technology is key to the e bike and e vehicle development in general and this merger will be a very good thing as it will raise the tech bar and lower component costs at the same time. Right now a Lithium battery that will provide a decent range still weighs at or close to 20 lbs. and when that gets down to 10 there will be e biking in the streets I predict:thumbsup:
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I'm a bit confused. The SRAM 3 sp hub will be integrated with a rear elec hub motor?
Otherwise, it could be a front hub motor or and RC style motor that drives the pedal chain.
The BionX motor is rear only and in the past has used a cog and derailleur system so that the human input could match up with the power of the motor. The hub that was shown at Eurobike mentioned in the article is a 3 spd internal hub that is integrated into the motor but not activated by the motor, only by the front crank. The SRAM innovation will allow the 3 spd internal aspect as part of the motor gearing system which will in effect give the motor 3 spds. At least that is the way I read it.

The BionX system has been around for quite some time now and is highly regarded and it is no surprise that Trek went knocking on their door. What makes the BionX different than other hub motors is an internal controller which makes the system much easier to plug and play. They also have a good regen system with different levels. The regen thing is not a big addition to the distance you can travel per charge but it does make a really nice brake which is a help on a heavier bike. There are other systems hitting the market that imitate this system at a far lower cost as is always the case in a free market system.

SRAM and Treks interest in this is at this time appears to be centered on the EU marketplace. There has been a substantial increase in sales in England and on the Continent the last few years and many are diving for a piece of the pie. I am sure they will have some for sale here in the states but due to their anemic 250w motors and high pricing they will be a tough sell over here. Our regs allow 750w (1 hp) and some states go as high as 1000w which although the top speed is 20 mph with that type of wattage and the right battery you can get there in a hurry.

And yes one of the ways to do so is with motors from the RC world and this is an excellent example of that,
Bicycle drivetrain part Machine Circle Cable Crankset

but this type of work is only being done by small innovators at this time unfortunately.

But feeding a motor in to the existing gearing without an automatic function of the gearing is outside the regs worldwide. That is why SRAM's 3 spd will be automatic. At this time due to the fact that motor assist bicycles are way under the radar here you can get away with using the gears however at least for now.

Front hub motors have an issue with the fact that they can create enough torque to tear up the lowers of alu forks.
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But using a good torque arm will pretty much alleviate that. The bikes I have had set up with them handle well due to the weight bias with the battery in the back and the two wheel drive feature is a plus. There are some available with internal controller, regen and disc mounting also now.
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More SRAM. I hope they make a 750w version for the US market. Taipei&WT.mc_id=mail_bike_04 maart 2010
Mark Janet said:
I am happy to see this but i am decide which one is better for all.
Please tell me.

Reply hazy, try again.
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