Claus Fleischer

"Mobility of the future"

More than 3 million pedelecs on German roads alone seem to indicate clearly where we are headed. In Central Europe, the mid-term projection is that one in three new bicycles sold will be an eBike.

Claus Fleischer

"Mobility of the future"

More than 3 million pedelecs on German roads alone seem to indicate clearly where we are headed. In Central Europe, the mid-term projection is that one in three new bicycles sold will be an eBike.

Claus Fleischer on the mobility of the future

Claus Fleischer has headed the Bosch eBike Systems product division since 1 July 2012. A mechanical engineer by training, he has over 20 years’ national and international experience with the Bosch Group. Fleischer is an enthusiastic mountain biker and racing cyclist with a special liking for mountaineering.


4.05 million bicycles

were sold worldwide in 2016


2.6 billion euros in sales

thanks to the growth in eBike sales


605,000 eBikes

were sold in Germany in 2016 alone


13% more eBikes

were sold in Germany in 2016 compared to the previous year


15% market share

of eBikes in the overall bicycle market


3 million eBikes

on German roads

Mobility of the future

If you ask specialized bicycle retailers which eBikes are especially popular at the moment, very often the answer is: "Bosch bikes". But Bosch itself does not make any bicycles. No, Bosch is the supplier of the core component for pedelecs to over 60 bicycle makers and brands worldwide: the e-drive. The Bosch Group and eBikes have become inseparably associated. How has the technology group from the Stuttgart region been able to gain market leadership in the premium segment of eBike drives in so little time? What is the idea behind this business venture? The answer to the above is made evident by the mission statement to provide innovative and inspiring mobility solutions for people.

Mobility is part of our lives

For almost  130 years, Bosch has been in the business of making "technology for life".  Mobility is essential, whether we go to work, shopping, or on vacation – we are constantly on the move, day-in, day-out. Mobility is a basic requirement for people, society, industry and trade. Within just a few short years, pedelecs have become an important factor in ensuring individual mobility, which is at the same time healthy, efficient and sustainable.

The evolution of (e)bikes

Society is changing. This change is characterized by urbanization, awareness of ecological and health issues, and demographic transformation. These mega trends have a massive impact on our individual and commercial behavior. Innovative technologies, new solutions, and decisive improvements in existing products are making everyday life a whole lot easier for us. One such helpful evolutionary step is the electrification of bicycles. Over the next few years, electric bicycles will play an increasingly important role in terms of our personal mobility, leisure and the transport industry.

Beginnings

The world population is growing, resources are dwindling, and the climate is changing. For us at Bosch, this begged the question, how do we meet these challenges? For us electric mobility is essential. But how to ensure that e-mobility becomes more than just a local solution? How to give individuals an experience of its benefits? The electrification of bicycles has been an important step for us. In this endeavor, essential Bosch technologies could be resorted to. Lithium-ion batteries came from the power tools division, in the form of cordless power tools. Electric motors and advanced sensor technology were available from the automotive division. We optimized the communication between components, developed a dedicated software solution and in 2011, after extensive testing, it was time to raise the curtain on the first Bosch eBike drive system.

Enthusiasm and innovation

To cycle with a gentle electric tailwind, to combine muscular energy and the power of an electric motor – the 'bio-electric hybrid' is enthralling. Initially, our focus was on the batteries, on the balance between size and weight and electric capacity to make a power source of this kind viable in everyday use. But Bosch did more than simply develop batteries. The eBike product lines were designed for various usage profiles. Every year, we optimized and expanded our portfolio. The range went from drives for urban pedelecs to high-performance e-mountain bikes. Our Nyon onboard computer,  was a true milestone in innovation: the move into networking eBikes.

Electrification, automation, networking

The Bosch eBike Systems portfolio is in line with the strategic principles of the Bosch Group. Electrification, automation, and networking are the future of mobility. With the eBikes, we have achieved these. Automatic shifting and networking eBikes via smart phone apps and an online portal have opened up new possibilities. eBikes are pioneering e-mobility – and they are a big success. Other products, such as e-scooters and electric cars will follow.

Cycling infrastructure: it's now up to the political decision makers

To ensure a viable future for e-mobility, we need certain framework conditions, such as a bicycle-friendly infrastructure, charging stations, and safe parking. These are the topics that need to be addressed by the political decision makers. Cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam are showing the way, many others are following suit. This is a truly cheering development, which is driving the renaissance of cycling.