Ever wished you could go further on your electric bike? Maybe you have a long commute, or you're doing deliveries on an electric cargo bike, or you're planning a long tour. Whatever your reason for needing a bigger range, Bosch are listening: they've just announced a dual battery setup, and also a compact travel charger.
Bosch currently make 300Wh, 400Wh and 500Wh batteries to go with their range of mid motor drives. That big battery gives a pretty decent range, but clearly having two of them bolted to your bike is going to pretty much double that. And that's what Bosch have done, uniting two batteries with a Y-cable connector.
You can have either two frame-mounted batteries, or one frame mount and one rack mount, and you can mix and match any of the current Bosch batteries. Both batteries can be charged at once from the same charger. It's not currently a retrofittable system, so if you already have a single-battery Bosch-powered bike you can't just slap another battery on. Sorry.
The dual battery setup works with either the Intuvia or Nyon display (no word whether it's also supported on the new Purion display) and the controller intelligently manages the two batteries, switching between them when charging and discharging.
Two of the biggest Bosch batteries would give you a whopping 1,000Wh of power available: That would probably be enough for 200km on the flat, or 100km off-road in the mountains. The only obvious downsides are the weight – those 500Wh batteries are not far shy of 3kg each – and the extra cost: retail price for a big Bosch battery is £700.
New compact charger
Say you've fitted your two batteries and still burned through them: what next? Obviously if you're a touring cyclist you'll most likely be taking a charger with you anyway, but that's not necessarily true of other users: the chargers are bulky and take up plenty of room. With that in mind Bosch have announced a slimmed-down version of the charger specifically designed to be more portable. It's 40% smaller than the standard charger, and weighs just 600g. It'll work with all mains voltages and it's dustproof too.
The downside? It's only a 2A charger, as opposed to the full sized one's 4A output. That means longer charge times, so you'll be needing a lesiurely lunch to get some juice back in your bike. A half charge will take between two and three-and-a-half hours, depending on the battery capacity, and a full charge from flat up to eight hours.
Nyon display: now with range mapped
Bosch's top-tier Nyon display already has a whole host of clever features, including mapping and smartphone connectivity. A new premium smartphone app (€ 5.99 from the Apple App Store or € 4.95 from the Google Play Store) will add the ability to map your range. The app will take your battery status and the topography of the area into account, and draw you a map showing how far it thinks you'll be able to get. If you're into your touring or you're not sure how hilly a mountain bike ride is going to be, that sounds like a genuinely useful feature. We haven't tried it yet, so we can't comment on whether it's accurate or not!