French auto supplier Valeo has developed what it says is the first system to integrate both an electric motor and an adaptive automatic transmission in an e-bike’s pedal assembly. The firm’s Smart e-Bike System also features an anti-theft system that disables use of the bike when activated.
Valeo was established in Saint-Ouen, just outside Paris, in 1923. It has grown to become a global automotive supplier, but since 2009 its strategy has centred on the reduction of CO2 emissions.
This has seen the firm focus first on small electric city vehicles, electric motorcycles and scooters, before expanding to last-mile autonomous delivery droids and now electric bikes.
Explaining the move, Chief Technical Officer Geoffrey Bouquot points out in a promo video for the new Smart e-Bike System that electric bikes are currently experiencing “unstoppable growth”.
While Valeo doesn’t currently build e-bikes itself, it has produced mountain, city and cargo bike prototypes to demonstrate its new technology.
Forbes reports that Valeo’s system features a 48-volt electric motor and seven-speed automatic, adaptive gearbox in a single unit located in the pedal assembly.
“From the first pedal strokes, our algorithms adapt to the right level of intensity to your needs automatically,” said Bouquot.
Valeo says its Smart e-Bike System “removes all the pain points” of cycling by eliminating derailleur, cables, sprockets and gear shifters.
The chain is also is replaced by a belt system, while the anti-theft element seems to disengage the pedals, leaving them to spin ineffectually when the bike is not in use.