Software as a Service – a New Look into E-bikes

Until now e-bikes are seen only as hardware that provides a means for transportation. The addition of electricity and circuit boards to a 200-years old invention can open doors that haven’t been discovered before. E-bikes can be so much more when some “smarts” are added to them and we are on our way in doing that. 

Background photo credit: Markus Spiske

The Mechanical Foundation

It goes without saying that a sound mechanical structure is a prerequisite for a well-functioning e-bike, no matter if it’s a frame, wheels or in our case, the drive unit. 

Revonte ONE Drive System is based on robust and time-tested mechanical design, which is further refined to match the demands of an e-bike drive train. No matter how advanced or ingenious the drive units design is, there’s a limit when it comes to versatility

A drive unit that functions solely on mechanical principles is inherently limited. One does not simply have the space needed to add extra gears, differentials, cogs and, belts into the mix. If the motor compartment is limited in the automotive world, the real estate inside of an e-bike drive unit is truly at a premium.

Software in Command

When electronics are added to the mix and highly developed software is put in command, several limitations are overcome and possibilities grow almost exponentially! 

When the motor provides the working basis for the drive unit and the finer actions are left to the smart party – software that is – a whole new level of possibilities are brought to the table, such as:

  • Automatic and stepless function – the thing Revonte ONE Is known for. On the other hand, software preferences allow the use of traditional indexed shifting, if one wishes so.
  • Ride-diagnostics include tracking, mapping functions and service needs of the bicycle. 
  • Anti-theft feature. The bike can be disabled remotely in case if it ends up in the wrong hands. 

Software at Your Service

Besides the features listed above, the software-first approach enables a wide range of possibilities – some that have only been thought of before and some completely new. 

For example, the shared economy model is growing rapidly since people prefer to pay for the service and utility functions of products. In certain cases, owning something is more of a liability than an asset. With the growing density of cities and other changes in the urban landscape, the shared economy model simply makes sense. A small number of cars already work in this way. Bicycles are catching up and possibly even taking the lead soon! The highly adaptable software platform enables service providers, housing cooperatives and alike to harness the power of e-bikes to a large group of people with only a nominal fee compared to buying and owning a bike. 

The shared economy model has a lot in common with rental use. One could argue that it’s renting with the exception that it’s limited to a certain group of users. Since the commonalities are clear, the software can be easily adapted to be used as a platform for operating a rental fleet of bikes. 

The Revonte ONE Drive System has been planned from the start to have continuous updates. In other words, the bike and the ride-experience get better over time! It’s the opposite of what happens to utility products by default! Several update packages will be available so that the end-user can choose what features he or she deems necessary and is willing to pay for – an approach which is standard practice in computer programs and phone apps. 

The Next Step

Inventing the wheel was the first necessary step in the birth of the bicycle. The invention of chain-drive, pneumatic tires and gears have been some of the major milestones in the later developmental arc. 

It can be argued that the addition of electrical assistance and smart features provided by the software is the next big step! It enables features and possibilities that haven’t existed before and on top of that, one can choose the right combination of features and services that are considered beneficial and necessary – just like on a smartphone. 

Here at Revonte, we are taking the leading role with the revolutionary Revonte ONE Drive System. The first wave of e-bike manufacturers to use our drive system has been announced already. The latest addition broadens our operating field to cargo e-bikes which are among the fastest-growing sectors in both bicycles and logistics. We are thinking beyond the hardware and are excited to see the possibilities that lay ahead.