Italian tyre and wheel manufacturer Vittoria has announced that it's entering the e-bike market via a merger with Milan-based startup Zehus, which specialises in self-charging hub-based ride assist units.
Zehus is closely tied to the Polytechnic University of Milan, and has a vision for the future of transportation that aligns with Vittoria's. This merger will create a new company called VZ Industries Limited which will work out of Taiwan to produce Zehus' flagship product, the Bike+ all-in-one.
The Bike+ all-in-one is the manifestation of the Italian startup's ideas for the future of urban transport, and now with Vittoria's help, the first VZ Industries Bike+ units be available for purchase in September 2016.
Zehus is an acronym for Zero Emission Human Synergy, and their self-charging Bike+ unit reflects that synergy.
The unit is a rear hub motor, battery, and sensor all-in-one - which they claim was the first of its type in the world when it was launched in 2014. The standout feature of this device is what they call the Human Electric Hybrid feature, which not only gives cyclists a boost of power when they need it, it recharges itself via energy created when the rider pedals or brakes.
The unit also contains a Bluetooth connection which allows it to communicate with the rider's mobile device to relay information such as the battery's level of charge, and your journey data. The rider will also be able to control the amount of power the Bike+ will use to assist pedalling, and can even lock the rear wheel in place.
Talking about the merger, Vittoria's President and Chairman Rudi Campagne mentioned the future of green transport and how this project aligns with that future in a press release: "Rather than simply a plug-powered recharging mechanism humans will need to use and recharge energy as they ride, for the most eco-friendly solution."