IT Specialist Darfon Providing One-Stop Shopping for E-bike Industry

TAOYUAN, Taiwan – The statement ‘Taiwan’s bicycle industry is entering a new era’, made by Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA) chairman Michael Tseng last October certainly applies to IT specialist Darfon Electronics Corp. Known for their e-bike brands Votani and Besv, the Taiwanese company Darfon aims to expand its presence in the e-bike category by offering electronic, digital, IT and other advanced technologies. Darfon CEO Andy Su explains how and why.
Darfon CEO Andy Su showing the company’s battery range with 360Wh batteries for e-road bikes, 417Wh and 504Wh batteries for e-city/e-trekking bikes and 720Wh batteries for e-MTBs. – Photo Bike Europe

Darfon has been in the e-bike industry since 2011. “The e-bike market offers us a strong growth potential,” says Andy Su. “In the past two decades, we have been deeply involved in the IT industry. We have established a very solid foundation for electronics, digital information, system integration, our global supply chain and quality management. We can use our advantages and experience in these areas. Thanks to our access to the industrial base of Taiwan’s existing bicycle industry, we are coming up with new ideas, products and services for the e-bike industry.”

“We expect the bicycle industry to integrate more and more electronics, digital, IT and other advanced technologies to meet the customers’ needs for intelligent, diversified and differentiated products,” claims Andy Su. “Eventually it will reshape the e-bike future. It fits our vision and mission, based on Darfon’s IT and AI capabilities. Therefore we will continue to integrate and provide one-stop shopping services, in order to create a future e-bike riding experience, and support e-bike industry development.”

Shimano’s global battery partner

“Over the years we have clearly defined our position, starting from our core competitiveness of electronic control and battery power, working closely with international manufacturers to develop various e-bike solutions, and actively striving for new e-bike business opportunities,” continues the Darfon CEO. “For example we are one of the few manufacturers that can provide batteries, intelligent chargers and mount designs and products at the same time. Customers can easily solve different supply problems when they work with us. At the same time, we provide optimized batteries and power supplies.”

Darfon is currently a Shimano global battery partner and a partner for the Panasonic e-bike charger. At Eurobike 2019 Darfon presented a full range of Shimano compatible batteries as well as 360Wh batteries for e-road bikes, 417Wh and 504Wh batteries for e-city/e-trekking bikes and 720Wh batteries for e-MTBs.

Brand value

“The next generation batteries with 21700 cells has arrived to support a wider differentiation in e-bike categories. In cooperation with strategic partners, we now supply 21700 720Wh batteries which can be fitted to all frame sizes,” explains Su. “We believe that product and market differentiation and versatility will increase a brand’s value. Therefore, Darfon is going to provide e-bike brands customized products such as 48V and dual batteries for flexible applications. Besides the batteries we can also supply a variety of chargers as well as a complete product portfolio including mounts and cables. Based on two decades IT industry experience, Darfon can offer strong IT and electronic know-how the bicycle industry often lacks. At Darfon Electronic we have also strengthened our advanced intelligent technology for future development.”

Kenstone Metal

To accelerate its strategic development, Darfon acquired the Taiwanese assembler Kenstone Metal early 2019. “This gives us the ability to design entire e-bikes, frames, batteries, electronic control systems, HMIs and apps. We are capable to test and verify new designs in-house. Established in 1979, Kenstone has specialized in assembling bikes and custom painting design for premium brands. This makes it possible for us to provide fast and flexible production lines and complete support. However we can also improve the quality and diversity of services, and thus maintain a long-term cooperation with our customers.

“Our customer base mainly covers high-end mainstream brands in Europe and North America. With production bases in Taiwan and Germany, we provide bicycles with the best quality and fastest response to meet the needs of customers seeking new designs and innovations. Darfon’s alliance with Kenstone allows us to provide integrated services from design to assembly based on the synergy between the two sides in terms of technology, process and management, and further leveraging each other’s channels to create a win-win situation.”