As Easy as Riding an E-Bike
Cars. Trucks. Delivery vehicles. Even 3-wheelers and droids.
If it moves, chances are that Valeo has electrified and automated it.
Valeo's e-Bike technology works off-road (Images: Valeo)
That’s the point. The greater the volume, the lower the cost—and the more robust the technology becomes.
“We are leveraging and adapting the technological platforms that we developed for the automotive industry, both those dedicated to ADAS and to low-voltage electrification,” explains CEO Jacques Aschenbroich.
Pedal Assist with a Twist
The latest transport to get Valeo’s electrification treatment is one of the oldest: bicycles.
In partnership with gearing specialist Effigear, the French supplier has adapted its 48-volt technology for two-wheelers with an integrated system that teams an electric motor and a 7-speed automatic gearbox directly into the pedal assembly.
Three in One
Valeo is showcasing the technology with three prototypes: a city bike, mountain bike and cargo bike—with a load platform and regenerative braking—to better carry your stuff.
Zen and the Art of No Maintenance
In the city (Paris!)
Bike chains can be a pain. No worries. Valeo’s system does away with them—in favor of a simple belt—and eschews about 50 other parts, including derailleurs, sprockets, handlebar shifters and related cables.
Described as a world first for electric bikes, the adaptive automatic transmission uses an algorithm to adjust to a user’s riding style and provide the needed electric assistance, according to the supplier.
Integrated motor/transmission assembly
The motor generates 96 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to multiply the cyclist’s effort by eight. This compares with a relatively pedestrian fivefold bump for most other e-bikes, according to Valeo.
In the cargo variant, the electric assistance allows a cyclist carrying a 330-lb load to climb a 14% gradient. There’s also a boost function that provides even more power.
Economies of e-Scale
Producing some 30 million 48-volt electric system per year, Valeo boasts a 40% global market share for the technology.
You could say the company has a lot riding on electrification.
In-car video shows that the backup pilot of an Uber Technologies self-driving car was not watching the road just before the vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian last Sunday night.
While there is a burgeoning proliferation of companies that are in the LiDAR space, each with its own take on utilizing laser pulses to create a precise map of its surroundings for purposes of ADAS or full-blown automation, a Seattle-based company has a distinction that certainly sets it apart from its competitors.