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Continental introduces new 48V eBike system

Leveraging its knowledge and advancements in 48V automotive technology, Continental is now introducing two 48V drive units to the electric bike market. The 48V Revolution is the first 48V-powered e-bike motor with a fully integrated stepless automatic transmission contained in an all-in-one drive unit.

With its 2-in-1 drive and continuously variable planetary (CVP) gearing with a ratio range of 380%, the 48V Revolution delivers a fully automatic ride that is seamless in operation. To complement the 48V Revolution, Continental will also introduce the 48V Prime drive unit, for use with conventionally geared e-bikes.

The new 48V eBike technology combined with an integrated motor and fully automatic stepless transmission is a logical and necessary step in the e-bike’s evolution. Further integration and transfer of Continental’s automotive know-how into future concepts for upcoming e-bike designs is a must to deliver the rider the demanded safety and comfort.

—Jörg Malcherek, responsible for Bicycle Systems at Continental

The 48V Revolution is the first 48V e-bike motor with an integrated stepless automatic transmission in an all-in-one drive unit. Click to enlarge.

Being mounted in a single unit at the bottom bracket axle position, 48V Revolution is optimized for bike designs offering a central and low center of gravity, resulting in the best-handling bikes. Avoiding the penalty of a rotating mass inherent in some hub-based systems is another handling bonus that Continental’s OEM partners can incorporate in their bike designs.

The integration of both drive and gearing into a single unit offers manufacturers more design freedom to create a clean, more desirable premium product. Integration reduces shifting complexity for riders and simplifies ongoing maintenance and servicing requirements.

Continental’s extensive R&D experience in 48V electric automotive development was fundamental in the development of the 48V eBike system. A single unified drive unit bracket (frame adapter) can be applied to the 48V Prime as well as the 48V Revolution. This enables manufacturers to utilize the same frame design, with the same bottom bracket axle position, across 48V Revolution and 48V Prime powered bikes. Both new systems are compatible with both the Continental Belt Drive system and traditional chains. 48V Revolution and 48V Prime drive units will be available from model year 2018.


Continental is currently building a global network for complete after sales support and servicing to ensure that dealers, retailers and end users get all the support they need.

Continental’s OEM partner, Cycle Union, will be the first to launch its latest ‘e-bike manufaktur’ range which will be equipped with the new 48V Prime and 48V Revolution systems,” Malcherek added. . Further OEM partners such as TechniBike will follow and present their e-bike models based on the 48V eBike system.


James McLaughlin

And not a word about regenerative braking.


Since the gearing is integrated into the unit, perhaps the freehub is as well. This may allow regen, which would be great.


Any mention of the power of this motor ?
10A, 480W ?
We only have half the story here.


It's primarily aimed at the EU market so 250w maximum (= boring). I have a 750w motor on my latest e-bike, in the American tradition of a whole bunch is way better than enough. If I pass some euroweenie riding one of these I will pretend to coal-roll him. (All in jest, please)

Thomas Pedersen

There are some very, very good safety reasons to limit e-motor power to 250 W and cut-off speed to 15 mph/ 25 km/h. Mainly the safety of the other thousands of bike riders riding along side you:

Having the gear integrated into the drive unit is genious because it avoids the weight and complexity of rear wheel gears, whether an derailleur system (central motor) or planetary gear (usually with front wheel motor). This way both wheels become clean and easy to take on and off when you get a flat tyre. It also reduces the 'un-sprung' weight, in case of wheel dampers.

3.8:1 gear ratio is very respectable and should be plenty for everyone with up to 250 W assist.


Thomas, I hear the safety concerns, but I never ride in a big herd. Where I live the roads are not bike-friendly and the boost available from a one HP motor is near essential.

In all seriousness, the continental package is very nice and 250w would be fine in the environments you reference. If it were made in 500w+ I'd get one.

I also agree about mid-drive and getting the motor off the wheel hub. This one is what I have:

As you can see you have to build up the whole crank assembly and mounting/installation can be a trial. Ultimately I gave up on the mechanical part of the DIY and "contracted" the work to a local bike shop. (They hate e-bikes and so the price was quite dear.) I built my own 48V/25Ah battery.

As Ferris Bueller said in refernce to the Ferrari 250GT California: "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

It gets to 45km/h in a blink, but if I'm judicious with throttle and pedal, a 150km ride leaves some battery to spare.


The amount of power an e-bike should have is an interesting problem. Too much and people want to treat it as a motorbike and tax and license it and the driver. Too little and it is a bit crap.
On the other hand, most non-sporting cyclists use about 100 W or less on average, so you don't actually need that much power.
Note that speed is related to the cube root of the power of a vehicle, so if you halve the power, you only drop the speed by 1.26.
Thus, if Herman can get 45 kph from 750 watts, Thomas should be able to get 31 kph from 250 watts.

Even more if he pumped his tires to 90 psi and wore a lycra suit (or crouched down like a racer).

It should be noted than an e-bike is an almost perfect single person device for distances of up to say 10 miles or in cities (even hot cities). [ A p-bike will do for cool places. ]

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