Hero Relaunches Europe Made A2B E-Bikes
MUNICH, Germany – Earlier this week HeroEco – a wholly owned subsidiary of Hero Group which, among other companies, also owns the leading bike maker in India – celebrated the world’s relaunch of the A2B e-bike brand in Munich. Here it was announced that production will remain in Europe as: “A2B is on the way to become a global e-bike premium brand.”
The A2B e-bike brand, which was set-up by the in 2011 bankrupted Ultra Motor, is since the start of 2012 owned by HeroEco Group. The world relaunch, supervised by HeroEco Group managing director Naveen Munjal, also included several major changes. First of all the entire A2B range is expanded to a total of 15 models. Secondly, there are more categories as there are now, next to throttle operated speed pedelecs, also regular 25 km/250 Watt pedal assisted e-bikes. Thirdly, A2B is now clearly focused on IBDs; distributions through motorcycle dealers has been stopped.
Production in Germany
Under the Ultra Motor flag A2B was based in the UK. Despite being part now of the in India headquartered Hero Group, A2B will remain European. HeroEco Ltd. general manager Fernando Küfer stipulated that: “A2B is European and will even become more European due to our plan to move the production to Germany”.
German-speaking markets first priority
HeroEco manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Horst Schuster, is the man behind the plans to shift the entire A2B production to Germany because, as he said: “The German-speaking markets are our first priority because this is value-wise the largest e-bike market in the world.”
He also pointed out that the current three A2B year 2013 top models ‘Obree’, ‘Orsted’ and ‘Entz’ that will become available to dealers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland this autumn, will already be Made in Germany. For this production HeroEco is looking for a partner as the company doesn’t want to set-up its own facility as the company’s ‘mother’ in India owns an ultra-modern production facility for e-bikes and e-scooters.
AEG e-bike system
The Made in Germany label comes also as the A2B e-bikes are equipped with the drive-trains and batteries from Germany. The A2B ‘Entz’ model is the world’s first e-bike that has the new AEG e-bike drive system. Next to that it features Fallbrook’s NuVinci continuously variable transmission in combination with a Conti belt drive.
All other A2B models are fitted with Neodrives – an e-bike system from German mobility company Ulrich Alber GmbH. Country manager Schuster further said: “60% of all e-bikes sold in Europe are Made in Europe. We are not only relying on German made drive systems and batteries, but also on German design.” Responsible for the design of the A2B e-bikes is Berlin-based Norbert Haller. He was already the man behind the A2B design when the brand was owned by Ultra Motor.
More on the A2B relaunch is in Bike Europe’s May edition.