The name developed organically. We selected the name Bio-Hybrid back in 2016 before the world debut of the concept. It represents the hybrid transmission of human pedaling (Bio) and variable and electrically assisted power.
We are currently positioning the Bio-Hybrid somewhere between a bike and a car, or, more specifically, between a pedelec and a small electric-powered city car. It’s a new concept that eliminates the disadvantages of the bike – stability, weather protection and cargo transport – and those of the car – footprint, emissions and costs – and can be integrated into the existing urban infrastructure.
In addition to passenger and cargo transport, the focus is also on the active driving experience. Furthermore, this mobility solution is also emission-free (exhaust and noise) and also promotes good health. The increasing change toward urban mobility (more people, more traffic, higher economic density) is resulting in a growth market, which we want to serve with a new mobility solution.
The trend is clearly pointing toward new, compact mobility solutions and offers great opportunities for small vehicles that can close the gap between the electric car and bike. We are currently examining other potential areas of application, concepts and solutions. As a product, the Bio-Hybrid offers enormous potential.
The vehicle’s performance is currently regulated under German law in the same way as a pedelec, which means it can be powered electrically up to 25 km/h. This varies from country to country, or, in the case of the US, from state to state. Of course, you can also drive faster with the Bio-Hybrid but that then requires your own muscle power.
We hope to equip it with an automatic transmission, which will mean that the driver won’t have to worry about changing gears at all. The transmission underlines a key requirement of the Bio-Hybrid, which is that it should be intuitive to use. We plan to integrate an adjustable pedaling rate but how many stages it will include is still under review. It is also possible to maneuver forwards and backwards using electric power only, without pedaling (up to 6 km/h).
We aim to ensure the smallest possible turning circle. This results from the width of the vehicle, the wheelbase, wheel size, steering construction and the space required for pedaling. We have managed to find a compromise at approx. six meters. This makes it possible to turn into a one-lane road in a single maneuver.
Yes, at the touch of a button on the Bio-Hybrid steering wheel. Up to a speed of 6 km/h, the reverse gear is fully electric.
Unlike with bicycles, where the human spine absorbs the shocks, the seat needs to be equipped with shock absorbers. As a result, the Bio-Hybrid is fully sprung and shock-damped. Measures have also been implemented to manage lateral motion. All four wheels feature hydraulic brakes.
The Bio-Hybrid has an anti-theft mechanism. In future, it will be locked by app and will then sound an alarm via its integrated speaker if it is moved or lifted up. The Bio-Hybrid’s location can be detected at any point via GPS. It can be parked like any other cargo bike or bicycle. The aim is that cities will start creating parking spaces for vehicles such as the Bio-Hybrid. One car parking space could accommodate three to four vehicles.
It is safer than a normal cargo bike due to its roof construction, higher driving stability thanks to its four wheels, its own specially designed tires and high-quality braking system. We are currently planning a safety belt for children on the back seat.
Depending on the route, amount of electricity you use and pedaling frequency, you can travel about 50 kilometers. Don’t worry: the app and operating concept are highly intuitive and you will always be informed of the range, vehicle status and battery capacity. With a second battery you can reach almost 100 kilometers.
If you want to charge your Bio-Hybrid battery at home on a normal power outlet, we expect a full charging cycle to take less than three hours. The battery capacity is 1.2 kWh.
Using a normal power outlet at home. The interchangeable, rechargeable battery system makes it very easy to use. The battery can be removed.
Just like any pedelec, the Bio-Hybrid can also be propelled solely by pedaling.
The app will be developed for iOS and Android, thus accounting for 99 percent of smartphones. For smart watches, we initially developed an app for the Apple Watch. We are keeping a close eye on the smart device market, which continues to grow in popularity, and will provide updates to meet new requirements and user demands.
Following the world debut at the CES in Las Vegas, we will be building up a small test fleet in 2019. We are working toward starting series production from the middle of 2020.
In developing the Bio-Hybrid and preparing it for series production, many factors and the exceptionally high quality standards of Bio-Hybrid GmbH come together. The maxim here is care over speed. For this reason, we decided on a realistic scenario of launching series production from middle of 2020.
Both vehicles are based on the same platform, which means that we can carry out tests on both versions in parallel.
Yes – as a company. But not as a private individual, unfortunately. Contact: email@example.com
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Cities must continue to change – and they will. Even today, cities such as London, Paris and Singapore are investing hundreds of millions in expanding their cycle route networks. Copenhagen, with its three-meter-wide cycle paths, is already a model city in this regard. High-speed cycle paths, which already link cities in Germany’s Ruhr Valley conurbations, make it possible to expand to the Bio-Hybrid, with its higher speeds. In Germany, there are already discussions about permitting speeds of up to 40 km/h on cycle lanes. All of this leads us to believe that our concept has great potential to change urban mobility in favor of a new mobility mix.
The e-mobility that we are familiar with in terms of electric cars will not be enough to guarantee the sustainable, energy-efficient mobility for tomorrow. Furthermore, the Bio-Hybrid can also be integrated into the future world of hyper-connectivity. Urban planners will not be able to avoid considering new forms of individual mobility. This will also go for couriers, delivery companies and cargo transport as a whole. We are thinking about use case scenarios at this point.
Mobility is not only a basic human requirement – it also correlates closely with economic growth. This not only applies to passenger transport, but also to cargo transport. Current trend research shows that the demand for a flexible, environmentally friendly and cost-effective supplement to the classic family car is growing in cities more than anywhere else. For this reason, there is more potential in terms of higher speeds, digitization, connectivity and lifestyle. We are part of a new standard for mobility.
The price will vary depending on the platform, power unit, features and specifications of the customer, as well as its designated use. We imagine that the relevant target groups/customers would be prepared to pay between 5,000 and 10,000 euros for new and innovative mobility and vehicle concepts. Unfortunately, I can’t provide any more details at this point. Our POS strategy is currently being aligned internally with our overall roadmap.
We can imagine providing direct sales via the website and sales via retailers, as is the case with bikes. There, we could also carry out maintenance and repairs. We are open to partnerships here.
As an industry pioneer, Schaeffler presented the Bio-Hybrid series back in 2016 as a vision of individual transport in an urban environment. Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid GmbH is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Schaeffler Group. It aims to develop the Bio-Hybrid to be ready for series production and general distribution. To do this, it works with the flexibility of a start-up but can draw on the combined technical expertise of the Schaeffler Group as a whole.
In terms of development, the company can draw on its many years of expertise both in engineering and in manufacturing. In conjunction with our holistic and systemic approach and our electromechanical expertise, we are in a position to be able to develop interdisciplinary concepts. By dovetailing our industry and automotive expertise, our interdisciplinary development work and a wide network, Schaeffler is able to create projects with a 360-degree, comprehensive approach. The technical problem-solving expertise is already entrenched in our company history. Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid GmbH will draw on existing expertise, shoring up its profile with the right partnerships and cooperations.