Intra Drive, a Scottish e-bike technology company, is close to bringing its innovative 8-speed integrated drive unit to market and is now looking for investment through a Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign.
Since making its debut at Eurobike in 2021, Intra Drive has been working on establishing a European supply chain and refining its mid-motor unit that is teamed with a multi-speed gearbox.
The company is now hoping the product will hit the market in the "upcoming months".
The latest iteration of the Intra Drive e-bike drive unit continues to boast seamless integration into the Shimano EP8 mount, meaning it should be easy for brands to adopt and for consumers to fit. The redesigned motor comes with enhanced efficiency that simplifies manufacturing; a lighter gearbox; integrated electronics; and an innovative display interface.
Much like conventional gearboxes, the Intra Drive unit employs robust steel spur gears nestled within a sealed enclosure and lubricated with oil to shield them from environmental elements.
The brand's claim is that the reduction gearing arrangement is capable of delivering substantial torque output, all within a remarkably compact design (the total weight of the system is 4kg).
The sequential gear change system harnesses an electric actuator nestled within the gearbox, which is said to ensure swift and consistent gear shifts. The transfer of power to the rear wheel can be delivered either through a heavy-duty chain or a belt, and the gear transitions should be at 20% intervals.
And talking of gears, the standout feature of Intra Drive's 8-speed gearbox is its impressive 470% gear range, which is 20% more than the rival 7-speed Valeo system – introduced in 2020 - claims. The Intra Drive is also smaller than the Valeo, and its max peak power is stated to be 600W.
Intra Drive says the sealed, one-piece gearbox ensures dependable shifting even in harsh conditions, significantly extending service intervals compared to traditional derailleur gearing.
The firm is also expressing a commitment to a circular economy model, which involves trying to minimise environmental impact over the product's lifetime. This includes provisions for repairability, the availability of spare parts, and long-term customer support.
"We've made significant strides in industrialising our powertrain technology, have established a robust supply chain, and eagerly anticipate providing pre-production units to bicycle brands in the upcoming months," Mark Ravilious, the Founder of Intra Drive, said to Bike-EU.com.
Intra Drive was founded in 2016 and has got support from - among others - Scottish Enterprise, and Niche Vehicle Network. It successfully concluded a seed investment round in November 2022.