Cycling with style

Written by: Tim Fryer | Published:

There are many technology driven consortia and organisations that are looking for solutions to the problems caused by increased traffic congestion in urban centres. Schaeffler has joined the party by unveiling its solution: the Bio-Hybrid concept vehicle.

Regardless of the type of transport – whether a car, train, aircraft or bicycle – the volume of traffic in city and urban centres continues to increase at a rapid pace and is changing the ways in which people move around. At the same time, the desire for emissions-free, clean mobility is leading to a political rethink and is giving rise to new, individual mobility solutions in urban centres. On this basis, Schaeffler has analysed areas of application and future requirements for individual forms of mobility according to its holistic strategy “mobility for tomorrow”. The result is the Bio-Hybrid concept vehicle.

“All-electric mobility will not be sufficient to guarantee sustainable, energy-efficient mobility for tomorrow in the passenger car sector,” said Prof. Peter Gutzmer, Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer at Schaeffler AG. “The Bio-Hybrid shows how Schaeffler envisages a solution for urban mobility. It is similar to a bicycle, but without the disadvantages in terms of weather protection and storage space. Thanks to the pedelec drive system with a restriction of 25 km/h, the Bio-Hybrid can be operated without a driver’s license and can also be used on cycle tracks.”

The Bio-Hybrid in detail

The Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid combines the advantages of stability and weather protection with the energy consumption and space utilisation of a pedelec (pedal electric cycle or e-bike). Due to an electrically-assisted drive system (up to 25 km/h)* with a minimum range of 50 kilometres**, the driver can travel in a sporty but comfortable manner. The Bio-Hybrid has two front and two rear wheels, providing increased safety and driving stability. The vehicle can also be driven on cycle tracks due its compact dimensions (2.1m long, 1.5m high, 85cm wide).

The electric reverse gear system also enables manoeuvring without any problems. In combination with its portable battery system, variable luggage compartment and automatic gearshift system, this 2-seater can be integrated into existing infrastructure and day-to-day life. The extravagant design underlines the lifestyle character and matches the innovative roof construction, which can be easily stored under the seat using an intelligent swing mechanism. With the weather protection roof retracted, the Bio-Hybrid is transformed into a stylish cabriolet, allowing the driver to enjoy the fresh air. Thanks to an integrated smartphone connection, the driver is able to link to a large number of apps and can access information such as weather reports and traffic updates at any time.

Prof. Gutzmer added: “Important prerequisites with regard to infrastructure must be fulfilled before this type of individual vehicle can become established in the market. 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 that connect cities, for example, in the Ruhr area in Germany, 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 40 km/h. 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: 50-100 kilometres


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