Grunner e-bike rides into production with massive range boost
Croatia's Mobile Vehicle Technology has unveiled the production version of its prototype MA1 e-bike announced earlier this year. The company's engineers have spent the last few months optimizing battery performance, and now report that the Grunner X has almost double the expected range of the pre-production model – a whopping 350 km per charge. And an interesting VR aspect has been added to the setup, potentially allowing riders to relive adventures without leaving the house.
The specs on the production-ready Grunner X are somewhat different to the MA1 prototype. There's now a 3 kW DC hub motor but the top speed is slightly down, at 45 km/h (28 mph). The e-bike's 30 Ah Li-ion battery is made up of Panasonic cells and, thanks to some tweaking, now offers up to 350 km (nearly 220 miles) of range for every 45 minutes on charge, with Mobile Vehicle Technology (MVT) also promising up to 2,500 charge and discharge cycles from the battery pack.
The X rides on 26 inch wheels with disc braking, Planetary gears and RockShox Boxxer front suspension, and a RockShox Monarch coil in the mid-section. High intensity LED lighting is mounted front and back, there are two onboard USB ports to top up mobile devices while riding and a smartphone cradle sits in the middle of the handlebars, with Bluetooth connecting the wireless dots to display status information and lock/unlock the X via a companion app.
The Grunner has a number of sensors built in, including humidity and temperature, power and steering, and both a gyro and accelerometer. Ultrasonic and infrared sensors on the X can detect approaching traffic from up to 5 m (16 ft) away and will alert the rider via vibrations on the handlebars.
The e-bike is always connected to the internet, and sends 57 different parameters to a proprietary cloud platform, allowing riders to remote manage, verify the location of the X, remote lock and unlock, record and share route information and check for potential issues using a smartphone. The system will also suggest popular cycling locations near to a rider's location. The company says that it's also possible to wirelessly connect two or more X e-bikes over 3G, to allow riders to race one another without needing to be in the same location.
MVT has included a 360 degree camera in the X package, which records all-around video of two-wheeled adventures. The company's machine learning tech combines this info with data collected by onboard sensors during a ride to offer users the chance to relive their experiences in virtual reality.
Upon returning home, the rider would lift the e-bike onto a stand, don some VR goggles and run software that synchronizes ride data with the hub motor to simulate things like hill climbs and terrain conditions. MVT is also looking into adding simulations from famous sites around the world, such as the Great Wall of China, to the cloud platform so that riders can get a challenging workout that satisfies the senses as well as the training regime, without leaving the home.
The cost of entry into the Grunner smart e-bike world has gone up since the prototype reveal. The Grunner X e-bike is priced at €6,000 (about US$7,000) and is available now.
Source: Mobile Vehicle Technology
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