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.
So perhaps with Trek's involvement they are positioning Gary Fisher to be credited with the invention of the e-bike?
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.
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: