Electric bike designs are evolving at a rapid rate, particularly as more and more traditional bike manufacturers jump into the ebike arena. But one of the biggest challenges that these companies face is finding ways to integrate the often-bulky battery packs onto their bike frames without throwing off the balance and geometry. Bosch is hoping to make that process a lot easier by introducing a new option specifically built to solve this challenge.
The Bosch PowerTube 500 is a battery pack that was purpose-built to integrate directly into the frame of a bike. This gives manufacturers much more leeway in how they build their bikes, allowing them to create a more classic bike aesthetic with the potential for improved aerodynamics, a better center of balance, and a more traditional geometry.
Weighing in at 6.2 pounds and offering 500 watt-hours of energy, the PowerTube 500 is one of the lightest battery packs currently on the market. And since it is built to slide directly into the frame, it is completely invisible to the outside observer. Bosch has even made the PowerTube available in a DualBattery combination, allowing it to be paired with a second battery mounted directly on the frame, effectively doubling the range of an ebike that employs the system.
The PowerTube 500’s design provides an extra layer of protection for the battery, thanks to its integration into the frame of the bike itself. But the battery pack is still easily removed from the top, bottom, or side depending on the design of the bike, and Bosch has designed it so that it can even be charged while still on the bike itself. The battery has also been built for use on a variety of different bikes including from commuters, roadsters, and mountain bikes.
In a press release announcing the availability of the PowerTube 500, Bosch ebikes Systems Americas General Manager Calusia Was said: “As eBikes become more popular in the United States and Canada, we’re finding the sleek, integrated design is becoming increasingly important. New eBikes with PowerTube will look and feel more advanced than ever before.”
The PowerTube has been available in Europe for awhile now, but the battery pack makes its North American debut this week at the Sea Otter Bike Classic bike festival in Monterey, California. It will begin to roll out in ebikes from a variety of manufacturers later this summer, including new models from Bulls, Gazelle, Haibike, Mondraker, Raleigh Electric and Riese & Müller.