Do you remember that time 14 months ago when the French company Valeo announced the development of a new e-bike mid-drive system featuring an integrated automatic transmission? Electrek remember.
And now this drive unit is ready for production. It will soon be available on several e-bike models thanks to partnerships with more than a dozen e-bike manufacturers.
Fourteen, to be exact.
This is the number of companies that have committed to integrating Valeo’s new e-bike motor into future e-bike models.
Companies include players such as Fuell, Cycleurope and VUF Bikes.
Paris-based Valeo developed the new drive system with help from transmission manufacturer Effigear. Together, their technology combined to incorporate a seven-speed automatic transmission directly into the mid-drive engine, creating a single power and transmission unit.
The resulting drivetrain can be integrated directly into OEM e-bikes in the same way as typical mid-drive motors like those from Bosch or Brose.
Its seven gear ratios are designed to run on a 48V system, and Valeo offers a downtube-mounted battery as part of the complete powertrain.
The engine is quite powerful, with Valeo claiming it is capable of generating up to 130Nm of torque. In fact, the company claims the new drive is “up to 60% more powerful than competitors,” though you might not know that from looking at the sticker.
Almost all e-bike motors in the EU are listed as “250W continuous”, regardless of their actual power. This is due to EU laws which limit the maximum continuous power of e-bike motors to 250W.
In reality, many European-made e-bike motors are typically in the 400-750W range.
Because there are no regulations related to the torque generated by different e-bike motors, the torque figure is more useful for actually comparing the actual horsepower of different e-bike motors in Europe.
Another benefit of Valeo’s system is that its integrated automatic transmission completely eliminates the need for a derailleur. This makes a belt drive setup a simple and effective option. Riders then enjoy a number of unique advantages over chain drives, such as quieter operation, longer lasting components, and cleaner operation without the need for lubrication.
According to the company, the new transmission will go into mass production in May this year. Based on its current order book, Valeo expects to deliver 100,000 units by 2024.
The company will also provide service to end customers who use bikes equipped with the system, as the company explained:
“Alongside the launch of electric bicycles equipped with the Group’s 48V technology, Valeo will also put its expertise at the service of after-sales. To facilitate upkeep and maintenance of the transmission system, Valeo will deploy the necessary technical assistance to all the bicycle distribution networks chosen by the bicycle manufacturers, where the Group’s customers are located.
To get a better idea of how the e-bike drive and automatic transmission work, check out the company’s explainer video below.
FTC: We use revenue-generating automatic affiliate links. Continued.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.