Another fascinating field are the drive developments. A variety of motor prototypes elated the prime enthusiasts but they disappeared in a garage before even reaching the pre-series. In Germany Heinzmann was quite successful with motors developed specially for pedelecs. Other companies bought motors for the series in Asia or / and used them for purposes other than intended. An example is Hercules, who used a long time a wipermotor for the “Electra Classic”. Beside the state-of-the-art solutions I found projects, which where ahead of its times.
These are the ones I´ll introduce here since they are of interest for my project “e-bikeP23”.
In 1990 M. Kutter patented the EVO-Drive and founded his company Dolphin E-Bikes. Concerning riding performance his vehicle was regarded as one of the best bikes in the European market right from the start. The vehicle was refined continuously and it kept its leading position for a long time. While the main customer group for other bikes were seniors this pedelec is bought mainly by younger people – thanks to its speed of ca. 40 km/h and its special drive system.
From an actual point of view, the vehicle itself eventually could get a face lift. Focusing explicitly the drive system, it´s still as innovative as 22 years ago. Due to H. Neupert it has a profound development potential regarding the software as well as the hardware.
2. Transverse Flux Machine
A maschine, which caused a stir already in the 90s was the transverse flux maschine. A prototype was built by W. Hill from Optimotor, Karlsruhe / Germany. Its time to reach production comes now due to Ed Benjamin from LEVA. Like the EVO-Drive this machine laked a sufficient software and hardware in the 90s.
16 years had to elapse before the hopes raised by the prototype turned into reality. Now the missing enhancements seem to be done successfully, amongst others by Motor Excellence from the United States Certainly it will be exciting when the first vehicles with this drive will cruise in the streets.
Update: Due to latest news Hoganas from Sweden will present different transverse flux machine at Eurobike 2012. It´ s designed for the rear hub and 36V.
3. Electronic Transmission
In 1997 Dr. A. Fuchs developed his electronic transmission -an electrical power transmission, which is controlled electronically. Chain or drive belt is not necessary any more. A range of functioning prototypes were built under his supervision in the last 15 years. Additionally designers picked up the concept and created award-winning models.
A pre-series-drive can be developed in less than one year due to Dr. Fuchs. Despite intense efforts no producer has been found up to today.