Bosch just announced one of the biggest updates in years to its electric bike drivetrain lines, including some smart new technology and a new bigger battery.
The new updates are included in Bosch’s MY2022 announcement released today.
On the hardware side, Bosch is introducing a new PowerTube 750 Wh battery that should take the driver further than ever before.
The largest battery from Bosch was previously its 625 Wh packs, which still lagged behind the usual 672 Wh packs (48V 14Ah) that can be found on many other e-bikes in the industry.
The new 4.4 kg (9.7 lb) battery from Bosch expands Bosch’s best in-frame offering to date by 20% more capacity and range.
The company is also introducing a new Kiox 300 display. It offers all the relevant information for the driver and can be moved to new positions around the handlebars as required.
The buttonless Kiox 300 display can be combined with a new remote control that is operated with the driver’s left thumb. It enables the rider to change parameters on the bike, such as the power level of the pedal assistance. Color changing LEDs give the user a quick visual reference to confirm which power level has been selected.
With the switch from hardware to software, Bosch is now making its e-bikes significantly smarter with a multitude of new functions.
The Flow app from Bosch was developed to digitize the e-bike ownership experience. Instead of having to take the bike to an authorized Bosch dealer for minor updates, the rider can now carry out over-the-air updates (OTA) himself via the app. In this way, drivers can take advantage of the new Bosch functions, which are continuously being developed and used.
All of this is part of Bosch’s goal of bringing e-bikes into a more digitally adaptable form, as Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems, explains:
“In the future, the eBike will automatically adapt to the personal needs of the driver. It adapts to our riding style, suggests routes that we enjoy and guides us safely from A to B. It gets to know our preferences and interests and offers a perfectly tailored eBike experience. “
The app is also useful for adjusting driving modes, automatically recording driving activities and integrating with fitness apps. Automatic recording of riding activity is particularly interesting as it uses the bike’s sensors to automatically start recording activity, so riders don’t have to pull out their phone and manually click “Record” to track each ride.
Bosch is also striving to integrate bike-to-X communication into the Internet of Things (IoT) framework in order to add interesting features. By connecting to other cars and trucks, the e-bikes could give early warning signals that would help protect drivers better.
According to butcher:
“While car-to-x communication is advancing slowly, bike-to-x communication will certainly remain a pipe dream for many years to come. But we see great potential here to make eBiking even safer. “
Other safety precautions include a “digital guardian angel” that is to be integrated into Bosch’s e-bike systems in order to call for help in an emergency.
GPS-based anti-theft solutions and remote locking of a stolen e-bike were presented as options made possible by the new technology.
“We are convinced that the fully networked, smart eBike will redefine the mobility of tomorrow, both for short distances in everyday life and for long journeys in leisure time. The smart system equips the eBike with more intelligence, comfort and safety for the mobility of the 21st century. This is how we are realizing our vision of the eBike mobility of the future step by step. “
Some of this could be groundbreaking for e-bikes, like the digital guardian angel and e-bikes’ ability to alert cars to their presence.
Other things feel like features Bosch is catching up on, like over-the-air updates. Cheap e-bikes have been able to do this for years, and it smells like Apple selling iPhones for years before it gives us common copy / paste functions. If you want to have a smart e-bike, incorporating over-the-air updates is pretty much a requirement these days.
But there is no denying that Bosch is laying the foundation for an incredible connected e-bike system. The real test will be to see what additional features they can offer users to really bring e-bikes into the 2020s.
Oh yeah, and it’s great to see the battery go up too. Another 20% range is a nice boost. It’s more than most people need to drive around town, but driving off-road eats up battery capacity for breakfast. So I’ll take whatever extra 20% I can get please and thank you.
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