I had the opportunity test ride Focus (Jarifa - 20mph limited) and Kalkhoff's (Agattu). I drained the battery 612 Whr in approx 56 miles and I was pedaling all the time.
While the engineering part is sophisticated, the bike had a sappy ride feel to it. May be they climb better in very hilly areas but their non-speed models don't elicit that "wow" factor at all, because it takes a while to get them to speed from dead start.
They are great bikes, don't get me wrong. And their speed motors are quite fun.
I am also waiting for their Integrale S11, which is due, soon.
Ravi, in general I agree with your assessment. Many riders believe that mid-drives and wattage are the key factors in performance. This is, of course, not true. I test rode many mid-drives and rear hub drives before deciding that the Dapu 350W geared drive provided excellent hill climbing and quick acceleration to speed. However, I find that almost all rear hub controllers offer a somewhat artificial biking experience in that they don't deliver power in a seamless and almost unnoticeable manner. Both Bosch and Impulse have a much better and more natural bicycle feel.
On my Neo Carbon I am up to 20mph before I exit my cul-de-sac and I never use anything but ECO mode. The other modes provide almost too much power in a very unnatural manner. On the impulse drive, you are slower to speed and I find that I need to up the power level to achieve speed in a relatively similar time frame to the Dapu Motor. The advantage of the mid-drive is their low gear low speed pull. I tested an Impulse mid drive in San Francisco at 5mph going what seemed like a 90 degree grade (wickedly steep hill). The yank on the motor was astonishing.
So, the net result of moving away from the Dapu Motor is that I will work a little harder on flat lands but gain significantly more yank on steep hills. This fits with my desire to increase my workouts without cutting them short due to exhaustion on hill climbs.
The other motivation is that I want the experience of testing various e-bike configurations. I never keep stuff for very long and like the continuing education.
The Kalkhoff design spec, fit, and finish is extremely high. I am eager to experience a belt drive internally geared system. I test rode a (Spot Acme) with an Alfine 11 and belt. It was a wonderfully satisfying experience. The new Impulse EVO (essentially version 3) has been noise baffled and now has 80nm of torque. Sometimes, on the days when I know who I am and where I am, I tend to ride, linger, ride, linger, ride and so can be out on my bike for 4-6 hours at a time. The efficiency of the mid drive coupled with a large battery gives me a failsafe to get home.
BTW, I like the ST2 very much just not the value proposition. I will probably wait for Stromer to find a new home and the delivery of the ST3 before buying one.