The ExtraEnergy & CBA tour crew with the Bafang management in front of their Suzhou headquarters.
Bafang is one of the most recognized Chinese motor manufacturers in the electric bike world. Their motors are found on many e-bikes all over the world.
The company was founded in 2003 but the founders roots in electric motor development & production go back to 1998.
In 2014 they sold 830,000 motors and 260,000 complete e-bike systems and currently they have the capacity to make 1 million motors.
Bafang works hard to design motors and systems that fit what their customers want. They have an impressive R&D department with over 40 engineers along with a substantial testing lab and 4 employees that test ride e-bikes full time.
Bafang also makes electric motors for scooters, motorcycles, cars, and lawnmowers. They see e-bike motors and systems as the main focus of their company for now & in the future.
They currently have 3 facilities worldwide: 2 in China (Suzhou & Tianjin) and 1 office in the Netherlands. And they are working on setting up an additional office in Germany.
Now, let’s take a look some of the pictures from our visit.
There were a number of different motors on display in the Bafang showroom. Here is a good example of the front and rear hub motors that they had on display.
Here’s a look at the internals of a direct drive motor.
And these are the planetary gears from a geared hub motor.
This is the new Max (250-350 watt) mid drive motor that will be available very soon on complete e-bikes.
This is the popular BBS02 mid drive motor from Bafang. This motor comes on complete bikes and it is also available as a retro fit to existing bikes. Here is my review of the Bafang BBS02 mid drive system that is sold by Dillenger.
One of the products that they have been working on is a bottom bracket torque and cadence sensor that can read both sides of the bottom bracket spindle for torque.
Here are a set of motors from the production line. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take pictures or video of the assembly line.
While we were there we had a chance to test ride the new Bafang Max mid drive system. The new Max system has a good ride feel, it engages immediately, similar to the Bosch and Shimano systems. The system will be available in 250 watt or 350 watt versions with 80 Nm of torque.
The display is large and easy to read. There are 5 levels of pedal assist available.
This is the control pad on the left side of the handlebars.
And the rear rack lithium battery. Stay tuned for more specs on this system as it becomes available.
There was also a fat e-bike available for test ride.
This is a Bafang rear geared hub motor on the fat bike.
It’s impressive to see how many of their employees ride their e-bikes to work.
During our visit we learned about Bafang’s history and their vision for the future of e-bikes. Bafang believes that the pedelec market will grow in China. There are more 30-50 year olds that have money to spend on a pedelec with a lithium battery.
At the end of our visit with Bafang we had a nice meal with the management to learn more about their company and to discuss the e-bike industry from our individual perspectives.
King Meter Displays
Like Bafang, King Meter is a very well know electric bike display company with 35% European e-bike display market share.
A lot of bikes use their display but you may not see their brand name on the display.
Here is an example of their new display that is integrated into the stem.
During our time at King Meter we learned about the Tianjin Bicycle Association (TBA). The association is made up of many Tianjin (and other) bicycle companies (over 200 bike factories & 400 parts factories) to create higher quality products through standards (similar to ISO) to offer to the international & domestic bicycle brands. The association offers a number of services including a research & testing institute, 5 warehouses around the world, online technical forums, patent right protection, translation services, and many more.
Ultimately their goals are to have the reputation of high quality bicycle products and to make doing business with Tianjin bicycle companies very easy. The TBA wants Tianjin to be known as the bicycle city, like Las Vegas is known for gambling.
The TBA believes that the future of Chinese ebike market will be half scooter style and half pedelec.
Stay tuned for more reports of the factories and companies that we visited.