This year couldn't have started better: we applied for the Extreme Tech Challenge contest and we've been selected among over 2,000 startups for the FORD technology special prize. Sir Richard Branson is the final judge of the competition, hosting on his private island all the finalists.
The finalists of the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) have been announced at CES International, held in Las Vegas last January ( see full press release here , the XTC section is at the bottom of the article) . During the show, Mark Fields (Ford's CEO) explains how FORD is committed in bringing constant innovation into the mobility sector by partnering with innovative startups across the globe. For that reason he wanted to reward with a $50,000 check the best innovation technology into the mobility industry. See the interview:
And the winner is..... Bikee Bike!
It's a huge honour for us receiving such a recognition. We had the chance to chat with the Ford R&D team about our products and they were enthusiast about the technology content of Bikee Bike system. They confessed that they were really impressed about the video of the 250W BEST system hauling a van without pedaling. See the footage here.
Also, we had a chance to talk with Mark Fields about what's next and whether there could be a partnership or support from their side. We are so grateful for this opportunity and we are currently in touch with their Future Mobility Manager to evaluate how to create sinergies between Bikee Bike and their ongoing and future programs.
Being awarded from FORD puts us outside the XTC competition so we won't be at the final in Necker Island. This time...
XTC semi-finals at Venetian, Las Vegas. Matteo Spaggiari receives the $50'000 check from Ford
Mark Fields chatting with Bikee Bike's founder Matteo Spaggiari after the interview, at CES International, in Las Vegas.
Revolution Bike project choseBikee Bike
Franco Cimurri, founder of Dynalab, chose Bikee Bike drive system to present his first Revolution Bike project. A carbon fiber smart bike with embedded batteries into the frame, proximity sensors to spot nearby cars and pressure sensors on the saddle.
Do you want to discover more about this bike? Contact us and we'll put you in touch with Franco.
Cutting edge technology: the pressure sensors on the saddle allow the rider to understand the weight distribution, and thus the effectiveness of the pedaling.
That's awesome, but...what about the progress?
We started hauling a van for the sake of testing the 250W version. See the impressive video!
If you cannot see the embedded video, you can find it HERE.
CAUTION: Don't do this at home with any other e-bike!
The Design Challenge
As we finished working on the core of the system we started the design work and we'd love to hear what you think. Each newsletter we'll show you two designs and you can choose your preferred one. The most voted design will go to the following match, against a new design, the less voted will be discarded. That's a knockout match (or single elimination), so support your favourite work to make it the one!
After a tough battle, you made Mad Max design won over the Naked Aluminum design in the first round. We thank you for the great contribution you gave. Now this design have to fight against the iRobot design.
Now it's your turn to VOTE your preferred design!
You pick your favourite the by clicking on your preferred design below. Be careful: by clicking on the image (everywhere) you submit your vote.
The Kickstarter campaign: the bar is now lower
A lot of good things happened in the last 60 days: we had the official product presentation ( aka Demo Day, see the next paragraph), 2 tradeshows, we made a submission for the XTC and we won it. We had to prioritize those good things and, since the amount of available time is fixed, some other things went in the backburn for a while. Kickstarter is one of those. In the next 30 days we hope we'll put down fix dates for the campaign, so we apologize with you for the delay. We decided to prioritize the Extreme Tech Challenge contest because we knew we had the opportunity to play our game, as we did. The $50,000 prize will help us to reduce both the Kickstarter campaign goal and kit price. That's because the tooling cost will be partially covered by those. Also, the visibility coming from such an achievement can attract the attention of investors, speeding up the manufacturing set-up process.
We plan to start delivering the motors in October this year, but we'll need your support for that.
Testing the kit at the Demo day
We gave the opportunity to test the kit during the Demo Day, on November the 28th, in our new plant in Rovereto, Trento, Italy. The event went sold out almost immediately and that's why we didn't even had the chance to promote it as we wished.
Moments of the BEST presentation in our new facility
Test on the 25% degree slope, without pedaling, for the 750" version. Output power: 1200W.
First Test footage of the BEST 1500W version in Indonesia
Yes, we went in Indonesia to start the first tests of the 1500W version. We went there because an e-bike manufacturer wanted to test our motor and we took advantage of that to test the kit in very harsh conditions: 35°C ( 95°F ) and 80% humidity, on a 30% slope. Average Output Power around 1200W. The rider continued till the top of the mountain. That's a mountain on which they tested all the most powerful e-bikes. None of them went "all the way through". Bikee Bike did.
If you cannot see the embedded video, you can find it HERE
We have in program to start additional days for testing the BEST system. Stay tuned as we'll send you the dates through this newsletter.