The Swedish Höganäs company has long been known for its activities in the e-bike sector. As early as the year 2013, e-bike manufacturer MyEco AB introduced its hybrid e-bike equipped with the electric drive system with a torque of up to 50 Nm made by Höganäs. This year, however, Höganäs has launched more than just another e-bike motor to the market.
Eclino: a motor made of metal powder
The Swedish company presented its new metal powder motor at the EUROBIKE in Friedrichshafen. Höganäs describes the Eclino as a compact drive system for speed pedelecs with the ability to take even steep inclines or „hill-climbing“ as the company calls it in full swing. The control of the powder motor is also new. The company uses its own app to communicate with the drive via Bluetooth. Monitoring the operating data of the motor is one of the main tasks of the communications device. The control starts at the RCR, i.e. the HMI Remote Control Ring. According to Höganäs, extra long and mountainous routes bring the advantages of the Eclino drive to light.
HMI Remote Control Ring: direct control of the motor
HMI RCR is mounted on the handlebar of the e-bike enabling the user to not only determine the level of support of the EPAC electric drive system, he or she can also activate and deactivate the entire system. In addition, the HMI Remote Control Ring is also a display instrument that shows the biker the charge level of the rechargeable e-bike battery. Particularly classy is the throttle function integrated for the U.S. market, which ultimately makes pedalling superfluous. This e-bike or pedelec is thus increasingly acquiring the profile of a high-tech motorcycle in which the internal combustion engine has been replaced by more modern electric motor. Is this a pioneering trend?
Motor Control Unit (MCU)
HMI smartphone app
A smartphone app can be used to access the data the HMI Remote Control Ring does not deliver. The app is available for both iOS (version 6) and for Android (version 4.12). The app remains in contact the Eclino drive via a Bluetooth connection, which indicates not only the speed but also trip information. Höganäs is thus also cautiously approaching the domain of the Bosch Nyon on-board computer. An interesting item for e-bike manufacturers: the app can be customised for each manufacturer.
The e-bike battery
The Eclino drive is fitted with e-bike batteries from VARTA the battery group who collaborated with Höganäs in the development of the drive system in 2013 and 2014.
Torque sensor in the bottom bracket
An e-bike rider applies three physically measurable quantities to the bottom bracket: the torque, the speed, and the direction of rotation. The speed encoder is able to record the speed and direction of rotation. By magnetising the shaft in this area, it is possible to measure the torque. The magnetic field changes when the rider applies the torque to the bottom bracket. The change in the field, in turn, can be easily measured from which the torque can be derived.
Höganäs in the e-bike segment
Höganäs specializes in powder metal processing. The market for electric vehicles is indispensable for the company. Höganäs knows that entering into a market quickly means gaining a great competitive advantage over competitors. Höganäs impressed the public with an eye-catching demonstration of the capabilities of its Eclino drive at the EUROBIKE biker trade show, which was held from 27 to 30 August 2014 in Friedrichshafen. A group of Höganäs employees spent ten days on the so-called eCaravan tour to travel by Eclino e-bikes from Sweden to Friedrichshafen in Germany. While on the road, the ten employees stopped over in nine cities in Germany. The motors and electronics are developed and produced in Sweden.
Why metal powder in particular?
Metal powder is inexpensive – and environmentally friendly. Used metal can be processed here and put to a new use. This idea is new and the Eclino drive certainly finds many supporters. But metal powder has even more to offer. It can be simply pressed into the desired shape thereby simplifying the manufacturing process. The areas of application are extensive. The range of uses extends from tools through machines to complex structures in which metal powder can sufficiently demonstrate its advantages. This material scores yet again when components become obsolete. The components can be effortlessly returned back to their original state as metal powder.
The five Eclino motors
With its Eclino range, Höganäs offers five different models of the drive system.
- Eclino Cruise
A powerful drive system with added comfort for the U.S. and Canadian markets
- Eclino Speed
A compact drive system for speed pedelecs with excellent hill-climbing ability
- Eclino Ease
A powerful EPAC drive system for easy use and commuting
- Eclino Select
A versatile EPAC drive system with many options
- Eclino Classic
A modular, robust e-bike drive system for various e-bike types
As an EPAC electric drive system, the Eclino Cruise system was designed specifically for the American and Canadian markets. Weighing in at only five kilograms, the 45-Nm motor provides plenty of power with a continuous rated power of 500 watts (peak of 700 watts). The top speed of 32 km/hr can be frequently fully utilised, since other speed limits are in force in these countries than here in Europe, particularly in Germany.
The performance data of the Eclino Speed vary only slightly. Compared to the Eclino Cruise, the peak power of 650 watts is slightly less, but this model offers a maximum speed of 45 km/hr coupled with the same maximum torque. It is also operated with 48 volts. According to Höganäs, this motor version is extremely well suited for hill climbing.
Eclino Ease and Eclino Select
One encounters a pedelec drive of 250 watts with these two models of the EPAC drive system. The motors are designed to assist pedelecs with 20 to 29-inch wheels. They are powered by a voltage of 36 and 48 volts, respectively. The model Eclino Ease is available without the HMI Remote Control Ring option.
The Eclino Classic goes one step further and replaces the app with its own display. The HMI Remote Control Ring, however, can be subsequently retrofitted to the Eclino Classic. Similar to other pedelecs, the continuous rated power of this model is also 250 watts at a torque of 45 Nm. Höganäs focuses this model on cargo bikes, step-through bikes (e-bikes for women), commuting bikes, and mountain bikes (eMTB). The Eclino Classic is powered by 36 volts.
Photo credits: © unsplash.com – Alicja Colon