Continental has announced it will be ceasing production of its electric bike motors in 2020.
The company made its decision public on Tuesday as it told the 100 members of staff working in its E-bike division that it would be phasing out production, just two years after first announcing its motors. Despite offering a comprehensive range, it did not make a big impact on the E-bike market with names like Shimano and Bosch being picked up as OE spec far more frequently.
A spokesperson for the German brand told the industry website bike-eu
about the plans to phase out their OEM products in Q1 2020. Antje Lewe, Spokeswoman ContiTech and Head of External Communications, said: “We have decided to discontinue all our e-bike and pedelec business for economic reasons by the end of 2019 and prefer to invest in other growth fields at present.”
Before the announcement, Continental had been producing three different electric motors, two were fairly standard and just offered different levels of voltage and specifications but their 48v Revolution motor was the first to offer a stepless, automatic gearbox.
The drive system was created in partnership between Continental and NuVinci (NuVinci Optimized), who had already created their Harmony hub gear system that used the same planetary gear arrangement. Using this technology, they were able to create a system that could change gears either while riding or not. In addition to this, riders could choose the gears themselves or use an automatic cadence based system that would change the gearing to ensure you could keep riding at a preselected cadence. But at 6.4kg the motor system was a pretty hefty beast.
Following the news on Tuesday Continental’s website now states in their E-bike section: “We have decided to discontinue all our e-bike and pedelec business by the end of 2019 and prefer to invest in other growth fields at present. As part of our portfolio management process, we constantly review potential strategic options to ensure the sustainable development of our business.
“We will do final engineering work now for our 48V E-Bike Systems and phase-out production within Q1/2020. All mandatory legal warranty claims for our 48V and 36V E-Bike Systems that have been already or still have to be delivered in line with contractual obligations as well as their spare parts supply will be secured by Continental. Therefore, our service team will be available until 2022.”
Although Continental are abandoning their E-bike products they are increasing investment in future tyre materials as they expand their eco-friendly tyre project.