Automotive supplier Mahle presents “lightest e-bike drive” – with artificial intelligence
An e-bike drive that weighs just about as much as three packs of flour – that’s roughly what the new drive from the automotive supplier Mahle is all about. This should make it the “lightest e-bike drive on the market”. The manufacturer promises “an unprecedented drive solution” with the use of artificial intelligence.
E-bikes usually weigh more than 20 kilograms – the electrical components make up between seven and ten kilograms. However, the Stuttgart-based automotive supplier Mahle launched a drive on Wednesday that, according to the manufacturer, weighs just 3.2 kilograms including the battery. According to Mahle, it is the “lightest e-bike drive on the market”. The motor of the new drive with the name Mahle X20 is therefore 1.4 kilograms.
For comparison: At Yamaha, the drive unit of its e-bikes weighs around three kilograms, depending on the product type. The same applies to the battery. Bosch specifies a weight of three to four kilograms for the electric motors in its e-bikes. The Bosch batteries also weigh between two and a half and three and a half kilograms. “As the battery capacity increases, so does the weight,” the manufacturer writes on its website.
E-bike drive: Artificial intelligence tailors the riding experience to the rider
Jochen Sommer, head of Mahle Smart Bike Systems, is convinced of the newly released drive. In a press release published on Wednesday, he said: “With the X20 we are opening a whole new chapter as we combine weight advantage, aesthetics and customization in an unprecedented drive solution.”
The drive system is “installed invisibly in the frame and hub”, with artificial intelligence intended to enable a “customizable driving experience perfectly tailored to the driver”. Because a sensor package measures acceleration, speed, torque, temperature and cadence and adapts the drive to the driver. The pedal feel should be natural and similar to that of a classic high-performance sports bike.
The motor of the Mahle X20 is perfectly tailored to the construction of gravel bikes and urban e-bikes and can be separated from the system with one click. This should make it easy to disassemble the rear wheel without special tools.
According to the manufacturer, the hub motor brings a force of 23 Newton meters to the wheel. Otherwise, a mid-mounted motor with a torque of 55 Newton meters is required for the same performance.
Range can be extended with an additional battery
The X20 is said to have a range of up to 200 kilometers. The energy content is 236 or 350 watt hours (Wh) and thus in some cases significantly below the e-bike drives from Yamaha (300 to 625 Wh). The drive is available with two different batteries, which are called iX250 and iX350.
The battery should be charged to 80 percent within an hour. And if necessary, the range can be optionally increased with aso-called range extender with an energy content of 172 Wh. The additional battery in the form of a drinking bottle weighs one kilogram and is attached to the frame of the e-bike. It can also be used as a power bank with a docking station, for example to charge a laptop or smartphone. The X20 has been available since Wednesday (April 20, 2022). Mahle has not yet named the price.