French automotive giant enters e-bike drivetrain market


PARIS, France – Increasing e-bikes sales are still attracting more and more automotive suppliers to the industry. The latest newcomer is French Valeo, who saw a hike in e-bike sales on their home market. The company has adapted its 48V motors for the electrification of bicycles.

Valeo’s CEO Jacques Aschenbroich, commented: “One of our key strategic focuses is accelerating expansion in the emerging markets for new ‘zero-emissions’ mobility. This includes e-bikes, but also other categories like small electric city vehicles, electric motorcycles and scooters. We are leveraging and adapting automotive platforms dedicated to ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) and to low-voltage electrification (48V).” Adaptive automatic transmission The Valeo Smart e-Bike System integrates both an electric motor and an adaptive automatic transmission. With this new electric assistance system, the e-bike adapts to the cyclist automatically. The gears change automatically and the system’s algorithms instantly adapt to the amount of electric assistance right from the first pedal stroke. The e-bike 48V drive systems is the next in line which Valeo developed for hybrid cars, rechargeable hybrids cars, all-electric cars, e-trucks, autonomous shuttles, electric three-wheelers and delivery droids. Valeo developed the integrated 7-speed adaptive gearbox in partnership with Effigear, known in the e-bike industry as former developing partner of Mubea e-bike systems. All integrated in one unit, the 130 Nm torque motor multiplies the cyclist’s pedal power. Forward and reverse Used on a cargo bike, Valeo’s electric assistance allows a cyclist carrying a 150kg load to climb a 14% gradient without much effort, whether moving forward or reversing. According to Valeo their electric motor is also more efficient than the 24V or 36V motors installed on the vast majority of e-bikes available today. The adaptive automatic transmission uses an algorithm to understand and instantly adjust to each person’s needs, taking into account their riding style and journey. The gears shift smoothly, with no buttons or levers needing to be pressed. The systems also includes an anti-theft function. Network of 189 plants On Valeo’s home market France the e-bike represents 15% of the sales volume and 45% of the value. In the month following the end of the first lockdown in France, bike traffic soared by 32% across the coutrny as a whole and 72% in Paris compared to the same period in 2019, according to the Vélo & Territoires network. Reason enough for this automotive supplier to enter the e-bike drive train market. In 2019, the Valeo Group generated sales of €19.5 billion and invested 13% of its original equipment sales in R&D. Valeo operates 189 plants, 20 research centers, 43 development centers and 15 distribution platforms, and employed 109,000 people in 33 countries worldwide. Valeo is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.