Rehau’s E-Bike Body Project Goes Consumer-Direct
BAYREUTH, Germany – The car parts manufacturer started its e-bike project already in 2013, which two years later led to the introduction at Eurobike. Over the past years, Rehau, the billion-dollar polymer specialist that is behind the development of advanced composite body’s for e-bikes, has drastically adjusted its business model. Instead of producing and selling these body’s to e-bike OEMs, Rehau now opts for the direct sale to consumers of complete electric bikes under the Nuvelos brand name.
That direct to consumer sale of Nuvelos e-bikes is taking place online as well as at a Bayreuth, Germany based Flagship store which has been opened recently. Here the complete Nuvelos line-up, which holds four models, are on display and ready for test drives.
‘Impact resistant’ car parts maker
The German automotive component maker Rehau is a 3 billion euro company that employs a staff of 19,000. The concept for developing the e-bike body derived from Rehau’s core business which is in making bumpers for cars. The phrase ‘bumper’ is nowadays, according to Rehau, hardly applicable to the current ‘impact defense systems’ on cars. Such impact resistant parts are now an integral part of a car and holds lots of other components; from lights to sensors.
The Rehau concept
Some 50 years ago a car bumper was like a bike frame; a unit on which lots of other parts were bolted on. According to Rehau’s concept the bike frame can be turned into a ‘body’ that holds the e-bike drivetrain, battery, motor-controller as well as cables.
Injection molded body’s
The Rehau e-bike body comes in two sizes; M and L. The weight of the body stands at about 3.2kg. The Rehau e-bike body is manufactured through an injection molding process. The automotive supplier claims to have a production system in place allowing for customization without the need for large series production. “The master designs are adaptable to different e-bike models and to different e-bike drive systems.”
The Nuvelos e-bikes come in four models ranging in retail prices from 3,000 to 4,500 euro. They have 27.5-inch tyres, Shimano Steps mid-motors and 504Wh batteries. The frames or body’s consist of two injection-molded support channels that are joined together to create a stable structure. This hollow structure, which houses the battery, cable and motor, has an innovative, planar design and is resistant to deformation. “We have developed a bicycle frame that integrates many functions, taking advantage of the benefits of injection molding over conventional metal constructions. Nuvelos merges an innovative design with cutting-edge technology,” says Alexander Oelschlegel, Nuvelos Project Manager.
Nuvelos e-bikes are manufactured in Europe. Their composite bodies are 100 percent recyclable, claims Rehau.