The future of e-bikes is looking tidy with major player Bosch announcing its PowerTube 500 battery pack, which is designed for clean integration into bicycle frames.
The lithium-ion PowerTube 500 has a capacity of around 500Wh, measures 349x84x65mm and weighs 2.8kg, which Bosch claims puts it amongst the lightest batteries on the market.
It’s intended to work with all types of bike frames (MTB, road, hybrid etc.), with insertion and removal possible from top, bottom or either side according to different designers’ requirements.
A two-stage mechanism wherein the battery pops out a couple of centimetres when it’s unlocked — but doesn’t detach immediately — makes removal and insertion easier, and reduces the chances of dropping it accidentally.
As you’d expect, the PowerTube 500 is compatible with all of Bosch’s current e-bike tech, including DualBattery, which as the name suggests involves running two batteries in parallel for extended range.
The PowerTube's launch is accompanied by two updated Bosch power units. The latest Active Line and Active Line Plus systems promise quieter operation and lower pedalling resistance in slimmed down packages.
Both the PowerTube and the Active Line units will appear on 2018 bikes.
Integrate all the things
Bosch’s news doesn’t really come as a surprise, in fact Shimano made a similar announcement this time last year, alongside its launch of the STEPS E8000 system.
Shimano’s Henry Bosch (no relation, as far as we know) said at the time “I think within one or two years you’ll have to look twice at a bike to see if it’s an e-bike or a normal one. People don’t want to ride on a bike that is covered with battery packs and has a really high weight. They want it to be light and easy to handle and carry”.
He may have been talking about Shimano’s own efforts in the field, but his prediction is looking pretty accurate for the industry as a whole.
Specialized already has bikes like the Turbo Vado in its line-up, while Giant has put considerable work into its own EnergyPak500 batter for both road and MTB use.
Would cleaner, more integrated designs tempt you onto an e-bike?
Thanks to Cyclingindustry.News for kindly allowing us to use its photos of bikes featuring Bosch's new hidden battery.