HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, April 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As a leading innovator with a large number of technologies to make mobility more economical, environmentally-friendly and safe, Schaeffler is also working on new mobility solutions. With the bio hybrid, the automotive and industrial supplier is now debuting an innovative micro-mobility concept.
Mobility in transition
Irrespective of whether with a car, train, airplane or bicycle, the volume of traffic in urban centers continues to increase and is changing the ways in which people get around. At the same time, the desire for emission-free, clean mobility is leading to a political rethink and is giving rise to new, individual mobility solutions in urban centers. On this basis, Schaeffler analyzed areas of application and future requirements for individual forms of mobility according to its holistic strategy concept "mobility for tomorrow." The result is the bio hybrid from Schaeffler.
"All-electric mobility will not be sufficient to guarantee sustainable, energy-efficient mobility for tomorrow in the passenger car sector," says Prof. Peter Gutzmer, deputy CEO and chief technology officer at Schaeffler AG. "The bio hybrid shows how Schaeffler envisions a solution for urban mobility. It is similar to a bicycle, but without the disadvantages of weather protection and stowage space."
Thanks to the pedelec (from pedal electric cycle) drive system with a restriction of 15.5 MPH*, the bio hybrid can be operated without a driver's license and can also be used on cycle tracks, adds Gutzmer.
A micro-mobility concept from Schaeffler: The bio hybrid in detail
The Schaeffler bio hybrid combines the advantages of stability and weather protection with the energy consumption and space utilization of a pedelec. Thanks to the electrically assisted drive system (up to 15.5 MPH) with a minimum range of 30 miles**, the driver can travel in a sporty and comfortable manner. The new vehicle platform with two front and rear wheels provides increased safety and driving stability. The bio hybrid can also be easily driven on cycle tracks due its compact dimensions: 6 ft. 11 in. long, 4 ft. 11 in. high, 33.5 in. wide and a track width of 33.5 in. The electric reverse gear also enables maneuvering without any problems. In combination with its portable battery system, variable luggage compartment and automatic gearshift system, this 1+1 seater (2 seats) can be integrated into the existing infrastructure and day-to-day life. The extravagant design underlines the lifestyle character and matches the innovative roof construction, which can be easily stowed under the seat by means of an intelligent swing mechanism. With the weather protection retracted, the bio hybrid is transformed into a stylish cabriolet and allows the driver to enjoy the fresh air. With its integrated smart phone connection, the driver has access to a large number of apps as well as information – for example, about the weather and traffic – at any time.
"Important prerequisites with regard to infrastructure must be fulfilled before this type of individual mobility can become established on the market," said Gutzmer. "Metropolitan areas and major cities must continue to change – and they will. Cities such as London, Paris and Singapore are already investing hundreds of millions in the development of cycle tracks. High-speed cycle tracks will enable extension stages of the micro-mobile with higher speeds. There are already discussions in Germany about opening cycle tracks with a legal speed limit of 25 MPH. All these developments mean that our concept has great potential to change urban mobility."
* 250-750 watts nominal power (according to national legal requirements)
** Range according to current simulations: 30-60 miles
The Schaeffler Group is one of the world's leading integrated automotive and industrial suppliers. The company stands for the highest quality, outstanding technology, and strong innovative ability. The Schaeffler Group makes a decisive contribution to "mobility for tomorrow" with high-precision components and systems in engine, transmission, and chassis applications as well as rolling and plain bearing solutions for a large number of industrial applications. The technology company generated sales of approximately 13.2 billion euros in 2015. With around 84,000 employees worldwide, Schaeffler is one of Europe's largest technology companies in family ownership. It has a worldwide network of manufacturing locations, research and development facilities and sales companies at approximately 170 locations in 50 countries.