Bio-Hybrid GmbH, a company belonging to the Schaeffler Group, will present the near-production Bio-Hybrid – a new, modern form of personal urban mobility and means of transportation – at CES in Las Vegas (USA) from January 8 to 11, 2019. The variable and electrically assisted vehicles will be showcased in Las Vegas in the Cargo and Passenger versions. At the same time, the dedicated brand presentation of Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid GmbH will make its debut.
A vision becomes reality
“As a pioneer, Schaeffler presented the ‘Bio-Hybrid’ product category as a vision for private transportation in urban areas as early as in 2016,” says Prof. Peter Gutzmer, Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer of Schaeffler AG. “This vision is now turning into reality. At the end of 2017, we established Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid GmbH. As a spin-off, the fully owned subsidiary is able to operate with the flexibility of a startup and has the mission to develop the Bio-Hybrid to production level. The world premiere of the two near-production prototypes at CES marks the next step on the road to the planned market launch in 2020.”
Approach to urban and systemically shaped mobility of the future
“A central aim is to prevent the impending total gridlock in big cities and to make them more pedestrian-focused and livable,” explains Gerald Vollnhals, Project Manager at Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid GmbH. “This can only be achieved by de-conflicting traffic by means of new, intelligent vehicle concepts. An approach like this requires vehicles that in a connected and systemically shared environment attain high flexibility while minimizing the need for space. This is exactly what the Bio-Hybrid offers.”
Based on the concept unveiled in 2016, the Schaeffler startup continuously pursed the further development of the Bio-Hybrid. The versions showcased at CES will be deployed in a test field in the middle of 2019. In addition to the drive system, for example, the operating concept and the design were completely revised for this purpose. Concurrently, Schaeffler established a ten-member team the size of which is to double in 2019. Patrick Seidel, who is responsible for strategy and business development at Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid GmbH, emphasizes: “In the next major step, we will continue to drive our marketing, sales and industrialization concept and are open to partnerships in this respect.”
Two versions: Cargo and Passenger
The Cargo and Passenger versions share the same modular platform delivering high levels of comfort and maximum safety standards. Due to its four wheels, the concept offers exceptional driving stability. As a result of having a roof and a windshield, the vehicle can be used in any type of weather and thus in all seasons. It is hardly wider than a normal bicycle and can be operated on bicycle paths as well with zero emissions. In addition, the Bio-Hybrid only requires a third of the parking space of a small car and can be operated in most countries without a license and vehicle registration. The electric traction motor assists the operator – as in the case of a pedelec – up to a speed of 25 km/h*.
The Passenger version offers a new form of personal and design-oriented urban mobility. It comfortably seats two people behind one another. The Cargo version provides a variable solution for zero-emissions hauling of goods. The vehicle to be showcased in Las Vegas is a kind of “pick-up.” The modular body makes the Bio-Hybrid a veritable quick-change artist: refrigeration vehicle, coffee shop or locked stowage compartment – anything is possible. In terms of cargo volume and payload, the Cargo version is perfectly prepared to handle hauling requirements in urban areas and provides an alternative within the future mobility mix.
Ease of operation and digital platform
Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and 4G make the Bio-Hybrid a full-fledged element in digital and connected cities. A smart operating concept ensures maximum riding pleasure, high safety and easy control. “Smartphones and smartwatches are integrated in the concept, so in the future, it will be possible to control extended functions and smart features via a dedicated Bio-Hybrid app and make life easier for the operator. Our vision is to launch the ‘iPhone in the field of pedelecs’ on the market,” says Prof. Tim Hosenfeldt, Senior Vice President Technology Strategy and Innovation at Schaeffler, where the Bio-Hybrid had its origin.