It’s been seven years since hGears, a global precision manufacturing company with a turnover of €135 mln in 2021 and plants in Germany, Italy and China, set its sights on the up-and -coming industry of micromobility. Today, sales numbers for e-bikes show growth figures of over 20% each year. But it’s not just the numbers that have changed, says hGears CCO Guido Tonin.
“Traditionally, e-bikes were associated with the elderly. For them, the addition of an electric motor to a conventional bicycle enabled them to stay mobile despite the physical limitations that inevitably come with older age. You could still ride a bike, and the electric motor would do the hard work. Nowadays, this has changed dramatically. The e-bike has become cyber. It’s now an extension of your body, rather than an aid. An e-bike is designed to make you believe that you are the hero. The bike enables you to perform at another level than a conventional bicycle would. Younger generations have collectively adopted this new philosophy of e-mobility, and new companies are jumping on the bandwagon.”
This is where hGears come to the party. With a wealth of experience in the automotive industry and e-drive applications, hGears put at the disposal of its partners in the micromobility industry its R&D, process engineering and broad manufacturing know-how. “There’s a lot of innovation that wasn’t there in the past,” says Tonin. “New companies are emerging, and with them come new ideas. It’s the realisation of those idea’s that bring great challenges.”
Much higher level of quality
Tonin points at the relatively straightforward issue of scale as a potential hurdle for newcomers. “Companies may be able to produce parts in thousands, where the market asks for ten or even a hundred times as many. Such is the rate of growth in the micromobility market. hGears have all the required tools and know-how to provide them with additional manufacturing capacity.” Secondly, says Tonin, comes build quality. “The current direction of the e-bike industry requires a much higher level of quality, as people want value for money and their expectations are rising. Imagine your car being built like many bikes are nowadays, would you be happy?"
"Such are the new demands that every part has to be inch-perfect. Of course, that’s what every manufacturer aims for, but in reality many companies with great product and marketing ideas simply do not have the resources and/ or the know-how to manage volume scale up programs with automotive standards."
Fast and flexible
As Tonin emphasises, it’s a matter of being fast and flexible. “We are very proud to be part of this innovation process. The future will bring us new and exciting developments in micromobility. Bikes will become lighter, new materials will be used. It is time to join forces and hGears provides those who are willing to benefit from our expertise with great opportunities to expand into this field!
This article is sponsored by hGears.