The Valeo Smart e-Bike System
An interview with Jérôme Mortal, Special Vehicle Applications Director
As a major player in the mobility of tomorrow, Valeo develops and offers technologies that are greener, safer and more affordable. The Group is already a leader in low-voltage electrification with its 48V system, which equips small city and family vehicles, three‑wheelers and autonomous delivery droids. Jérôme Mortal is Special Vehicle Applications Director at Valeo and the brains behind the electric assistance system for bikes. We spoke to him at the unveiling of the Valeo Smart e-Bike System.
Can you tell us about the bike electrification system project in a few words?
In three words, the electric bike system is simple, efficient and safe (to use). Our goal is to offer a solution that makes life easy for the cyclist and does away with all the hassles of using a bike – changing gears, which can be tricky in certain situations, regular servicing, and security, which means carrying around heavy locks.
In what way is this Valeo technology innovative?
Thanks to all our expertise in vehicle electrification, we have invented a totally unique system entirely from scratch. The technology comprises three main components – an electric motor, an automatic gearbox and a dedicated algorithm – all built into a single unit in the pedal assembly. This innovative design does away with derailleurs, sprockets, handlebar gear shifts and chains. So all the cyclist has to do is pedal. The gears change automatically and the system’s algorithms instantly adapt to the amount of electric assistance the cyclist needs. Without all their traditional parts, bikes are very easy to use as they don’t need to be serviced. Our system is also equipped with a high-security anti-theft device, which means that the rider no longer needs to use a lock.
In concrete terms, what will this technology provide? How will this technology shape the mobility of tomorrow?
Valeo’s solution responds to the huge shifts in lifestyles and habits we’re seeing today, whether we’re talking about global urbanization, citizens’ strong expectations for safe, affordable low-carbon mobility, or the digitalization of our lifestyles – with the increasing popularity of online shopping and home delivery.
Developing an electrification solution for bikes is the logical next step for Valeo, the leader in low-voltage electrification systems. The Valeo Smart e-Bike System can be easily adapted to different uses. The technology can be fitted to a cargo bike, keeping pace with the growing delivery market, but also to a mountain bike or city bike to meet the needs of users looking for an individual means of transportation that ticks all the boxes in terms of ease of use, robustness and safety.
When will we see Valeo’s technology on city, mountain and cargo bikes?
We are currently presenting the technology to bike manufacturers and having them test it, and there is a great deal of enthusiasm for our solution. City bikes and cargo bikes equipped with our technology will be available for purchase by the end of 2021.