CES returns with connected e-bikes and V2X technology on display

After a virtual edition in 2021, the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) returned as an in-person fair for 2022. Held from 5-7 January in Las Vegas, hot topics in the world of e-mobility included vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology, new players on the e-bike market and the latest connectivity innovations.

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This year, the Consumer Technology Association, organizer of the CES event, decided to focus on electric mobility with many car manufacturers, but more importantly a multitude of bicycle brands, presenting their latest innovations on a test track located outside the new Las Vegas Convention Center.  


Developments in C-V2X technology  

In the segment of safety through communication between vehicles, the company Spoke Safety has provided a concrete response for cyclists, in partnership with the chip manufacturer Qualcomm and the C-V2X technology. Spoke Safety is the first company to announce plans to bring C-V2X to bicycles and scooters by using LTE technology with forthcoming releases moving over to 5G.  


The advantage of the C-V2X is that it doesn’t require connection to a carrier network. Some short messages are sent directly peer-to-peer between devices and vehicles. The messages offered by Spoke Safety also includes information such as location, speed and trajectory. In addition to broadcasting the position of cyclists to other vehicles, the ConnectMe device can also receive messages from C-V2X-equipped vehicles to alert riders to hazards around them. This can be displayed on a smartphone or compatible bike computer. According to Reid Sigety, Chief Operating Officer at Spoke Safety, the system will be released in 2023.  


European aspirations of new e-bike brands  

With the US e-bike market increasing each year, many companies are watching the development closely. At the CES, some new players like Mixte, a brand part of the EFO Ventures group, an investment and incubation firm, presented their first collection. During the show, Pete Ballard, advisor at EFO Ventures, showcased some e-bikes with a minimalist design and a fully integrated display in the stem. Equipped with a VK motor, this model directly targets urban customers with its Enviolo automatic gearbox. For the moment, the brand is limited to the US, but it is watching trends in Europe with the intention to set up there soon.  


Coming from Korea, EME group unveiled a large range of e-bikes and e-scooters. In the e-bikes segment, EME offered different solutions with its own drive train system as well as Bosch and Bafang. The company is producing different models (urban, e-MTB, etc) to meet all country regulations. During the CES, the company expressed its desire to develop its business on the European market, particularly in countries such as Germany. The brand will exhibit at the next Eurobike in July.  


Unexpected success of Superstrata  

Among the other exhibitors, Superstrata also made a name for itself, mostly as a result of chance, as explained by Sonny Vu, CEO of Arevo, the company behind it. Arevo is a Californian society which develops products with carbon fiber parts manufactured at scale. Originally, Arevo created Superstrata to show its know-how and to sell a few hundred bikes on the Internet via a crowdfunding campaign. But the success was such that a few thousand e-bikes were finally ordered in different countries like Japan, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the USA and others.  


“Our concept is to offer a tailor-made e-bike or bike. The consumer will be able to choose the bike frame and fork according to his size and weight before being produced and assembled in our factories. It takes between 4 and 6 weeks with shipping,” explained Sonny Wu. Due to supply difficulties, the first bikes equipped with Bafang motors will be delivered during the second quarter.

Foto in kolom - 6:4 verhouding

The English brand Fiil unveiled its e-cargo, the Fiil F3 e-motion, with a very modern design compared to the current market offering.

E-cargo fleet solutions  

In terms of innovation, the English brand Fiil has showcased its e-cargo vision with the F3 e-motion model. “The F3 e-motion frame is manufactured on a precise CNC milling and turning machine from high quality aluminum. The result is a single light frame combined with high rigidity”, explained Rachid Mekhalfia, president of the brand. To facilitate the driving of the F3 e-motion, the brand has chosen to use a Pinion C-line 1.9 gearbox and a gearshift with 6 or 9 driving modes. The company is targeting customers such as Amazon, postal services, UPS, FedEx and other last mile delivery companies.  


Meanwhile, Michelin caught the attention with the introduction of a prototype of its Michelin X Tweel airless radial tyre for e-cargo trikes. The airless tyre is a single unit that replaces the current tyre and wheel assembly. With no need for complex mounting equipment, and no air pressure to maintain, they are designed to perform like pneumatic tires, without the inconvenience and downtime caused by flat tires. “Coaster has been pushing the limits of what’s possible in e-mobility and leading the way in innovative solutions for last mile delivery providers,” said Jesse Bartholomew, vice president Product for Coaster Cycles, who partnered with Michelin on the project. “The Michelin airless radial tires will help our customers make safer, more efficient, and faster deliveries with no down-time.”  


Connectivity module innovations  

Well known in Europe, the French brand Velco was also at the CES to unveil the latest product in its catalogue of connected modules to be integrated into e-bikes. The company will also enter the US market. Regarding the Velco’s products range, the French start-up will launch Mobitrax, an ultra-compact and invisible tracker. This new device will be available in two formats, which will allow even more data collection and remote control thanks to its CAN BUS access. Mobitrax will be connected in LTE-M, a technology supported by 5G. All the data collected will be used by the platforms and applications designed and developed by Velco. This system will target eDrive system providers, assemblers, fleets managers, brand maintainers and cyclists.  


In the free-floating segment, Bird Bike promoted its own Vehicle Location System (VLS) technology. According to the company, which is operating in 350 cities in the world, this system is using a sensor module (co-developed with U-blox) which pulls satellite and vehicle sensor data into a single precise and accurate location. It will definitely help fleet managers and operation teams to provide the most accurate location data reporting that city partners might require.  


Onboard battery charger  

Last but not least, different companies unveiled innovations in the batteries segment. For instance, the French start-up Wise-integration has presented the SmartBat. This product is a smart battery including the battery with the onboard charger. Coming from Japan, Hello Space and Tihan-IIT have shown a smart e-bike prototype with autonomous driving and self-charging system. This e-bike is using an electro-magnetic driving assist that does not require external charging because the battery is charged while pedalling without feeling resistance.

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Review of CES 2022

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