The name developed organically. We selected the name Bio‑Hybrid back in 2016 before the world debut of the concept. It represents the hybrid transmission of human pedaling (Bio) and variable and electrically assisted power.
We are currently positioning the Bio‑Hybrid somewhere between a bike and a car, or, more specifically, between a pedelec and a small electric-powered city car. It’s a new concept that eliminates the disadvantages of the bike – stability, weather protection and cargo transport – and those of the car – footprint, emissions and costs – and can be integrated into the existing urban infrastructure.
In addition to passenger and cargo transport, the focus is also on the active driving experience. Furthermore, this mobility solution is also emission-free (exhaust and noise) and also promotes good health. The increasing change toward urban mobility (more people, more traffic, higher economic density) is resulting in a growth market, which we want to serve with a new mobility solution.
The trend is clearly pointing toward new, compact mobility solutions and offers great opportunities for small vehicles that can close the gap between the electric car and bike. We are currently examining other potential areas of application, concepts and solutions. As a product, the Bio‑Hybrid offers enormous potential.
The vehicle’s performance is currently regulated under German law in the same way as a pedelec, which means it can be powered electrically up to 25 km/h. This varies from country to country, or, in the case of the US, from state to state. Of course, you can also drive faster with the Bio‑Hybrid but that then requires your own muscle power.
The Bio‑Hybrid is equipped with an automatic transmission, so that the driver can easily get on and off – just like on an e-bike. An adjustable pedaling rate is also planned. Depending on their individual riding style, the driver will be able to choose the optimum setting for their fitness level.
We aim to ensure the smallest possible turning circle. This results from the width of the vehicle, the wheelbase, wheel size, steering construction and the space required for pedaling. We have managed to find a compromise at approx. six meters. This makes it possible to turn into a one-lane road in a single maneuver.
Yes, there will be an electric reverse gear at the touch of a button. This will make parking and maneuvering the Bio‑Hybrid an easy task.
Unlike with bicycles, where the human spine absorbs the shocks, the seat needs to be equipped with shock absorbers. As a result, the Bio‑Hybrid is fully sprung and shock-damped. Measures have also been implemented to manage lateral motion. All four wheels feature hydraulic brakes.
The Bio‑Hybrid will have a holistic security concept, which also includes an anti-theft mechanism. In the future, the Bio‑Hybrid can be unlocked and locked via an app. If it is moved or lifted, it will sound an alarm, thanks to integrated speakers. The Bio-Hybrid’s location can be detected at any point via GPS. It can be parked like any other cargo bike or bicycle. The aim is that cities will start creating parking spaces for vehicles such as the Bio‑Hybrid. In theory, one car parking space could accommodate three Bio-Hybrids.
It is safer than a normal cargo bike due to its roof construction, higher driving stability thanks to its four wheels, its own specially designed tires and high-quality braking system. We are currently planning a safety belt for children on the back seat.
Depending on the route, amount of electricity you use and pedaling frequency, you can travel about 50 kilometers. Don’t worry: the app and operating concept are highly intuitive and you will always be informed of the range, vehicle status and battery capacity. With a second battery you can reach almost 100 kilometers.
If you want to charge your Bio‑Hybrid battery at home on a normal power outlet, according to current calculations, a full charge cycle would take about three hours. The battery capacity is 1.2 kWh.
Using a normal power outlet at home. The interchangeable, rechargeable battery system makes it very easy to use. The battery can be removed.
Just like any pedelec, the Bio‑Hybrid can also be propelled solely by pedaling.
The app will be developed for iOS and Android, thus accounting for 99 percent of smartphones. For smart watches, we initially developed an app for the Apple Watch. We are keeping a close eye on the smart device market, which continues to grow in popularity, and will provide updates to meet new requirements and user demands.
Thanks to the underbody and roof construction, including the front windscreen, wheel covers on the tires and the front end, the rider in the Bio‑Hybrid remains almost dry and protected from the wind in rainy weather, when compared to a bicycle. In addition, a door system, which increases weather protection even further, is also being planned.
With the Bio‑Hybrid, you will experience your city in a completely new way. And not just alone. The Passenger version of the Bio‑Hybrid can comfortably accommodate one passenger behind you. No matter if it’s one of your friends, grandparents or the youngsters. The Bio‑Hybrid fulfils all of the legal requirements for passenger transport according to the StVO reform to take people of all ages with you. We are currently working on concepts for an optional belt securing system and the integration of a child seat.
Following the completion of the concept design in 2019, the first trial vehicles were prepared with the functional features of the subsequent production models and subjected to extensive in-house testing. Now the prototypes are also made available to selected partners and companies for test driving and application tests. Thus, we’re pursuing the goal of starting production at the end of 2020.
There are many factors plus the very high quality level of Schaeffler Bio‑Hybrid GmbH that play a part in the development of the Bio ‑Hybrid and our preparation for its production launch. After all, nearly every component is purpose-built for the Bio‑Hybrid, so meticulous attention to detail before speed is the name of the game for us. That’s why we jointly opted for an ambitious – albeit realistic – scenario with an SOP (start of production) date at the end of 2020.
We are currently concentrating on test driving and test phases with selected partners and test drivers. However, the first test drives/events in Germany are planned for the second half of 2020. We suggest that you subscribe to our newsletter in order to stay up to date on the latest developments.
Cities must continue to change – and they will. Even today, cities such as London, Paris and Singapore are investing hundreds of millions in expanding their cycle route networks. Copenhagen, with its three-meter-wide cycle paths, is already a model city in this regard. High-speed cycle paths, which already link cities in Germany’s Ruhr Valley conurbations, make it possible to expand to the Bio‑Hybrid, with its higher speeds. In Germany, there are already discussions about permitting speeds of up to 40 km/h on cycle lanes. All of this leads us to believe that our concept has great potential to change urban mobility in favor of a new mobility mix.
The e-mobility that we are familiar with in terms of electric cars will not be enough to guarantee the sustainable, energy-efficient mobility for tomorrow. Furthermore, the Bio‑Hybrid can also be integrated into the future world of hyper-connectivity. Urban planners will not be able to avoid considering new forms of individual mobility. This will also go for couriers, delivery companies and cargo transport as a whole. We are thinking about use case scenarios at this point.
Mobility is not only a basic human requirement – it also correlates closely with economic growth. This not only applies to passenger transport, but also to cargo transport. Current trend research shows that the demand for a flexible, environmentally friendly and cost-effective supplement to the classic family car is growing in cities more than anywhere else. For this reason, there is more potential in terms of higher speeds, digitization, connectivity and lifestyle. We are part of a new standard for mobility.
The price will vary depending on the platform, equipment and the customer’s requirements profile as well as the intended purpose. We are currently in the process of internally aligning our point-of-sale strategy with the overall roadmap. We’ll inform you directly as soon as we can provide a price in earnest.
We can imagine providing direct sales via the website and sales via retailers, as is the case with bikes. There, we could also carry out maintenance and repairs. We are open to partnerships here.
As an industry pioneer, Schaeffler presented the Bio‑Hybrid series back in 2016 as a vision of individual transport in an urban environment. Schaeffler Bio‑Hybrid GmbH is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Schaeffler Group. It aims to develop the Bio‑Hybrid to be ready for series production and general distribution. To do this, it works with the flexibility of a start-up but can draw on the combined technical expertise of the Schaeffler Group as a whole.
In terms of development, the company can draw on its many years of expertise both in engineering and in manufacturing. In conjunction with our holistic and systemic approach and our electromechanical expertise, we are in a position to be able to develop interdisciplinary concepts. By dovetailing our industry and automotive expertise, our interdisciplinary development work and a wide network, Schaeffler is able to create projects with a 360-degree, comprehensive approach. The technical problem-solving expertise is already entrenched in our company history. Schaeffler Bio‑Hybrid GmbH will draw on existing expertise, shoring up its profile with the right partnerships and cooperations.