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Schaeffler and Heinzmann develop next-level electric bicycle propulsion

Written by Kfir Kedem – September 08, 2021

Reviewed by Asaf Kedem

German automotive manufacturer Schaeffler has partnered with German electric motor manufacturer Heinzmann to produce a revolutionary electric bicycle propulsion system. Until now, electric bikes still had very similar drivetrains to normal bicycles. Either a chain or a belt is connected from the pedal-crank to the rear wheel.


The all new system has no chains and no belts. This drive-by-wire system transfers the electric current from the pedals to the rear in-wheel motor to feed it with propulsion energy. Being less direct than a chain, this system is less energy efficient, however the lack of chain can prove to be convenient in certain commercial applications.


Auto Trendy’s take:

This new system is truly unique. Its application may not be obvious to the regular cyclist, however it has major benefits for the last-mile bike market. The electric bicycles that are being used for last-mile deliveries are becoming more and more complex. Some don’t even look like bicycles anymore as they have 3-4 wheels. This new propulsion system could mean that we see far more complex cargo bikes that can carry far more loads and have drivers able to pedal from positions that were not physically possible before.