New Panasonic Mid Drive

e-boy

Well-Known Member
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rel...ed-to-transform-micro-mobility-300773062.html

 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Panasonic has made mid drive systems for years primarily for the Japanese market. They have been on par with Bosch etc. now for several years but haven't been OEM on many brands, KTM being the exception.

https://www.ebiketuning.com/comparison/panasonic-tuning.html

Their alliance with Kent has shifted gears though it looks like and don't be surprised if that battery doesn't hold the 2170 cells that Panasonic is making for Tesla at the Giga Factory.

https://www.cxmagazine.com/van-dessel-teams-panasonic-release-passepartout-gravel-e-bike

Personally this line excites me more than any other currently available ones from the major manufacturers. I would especially be happy with their eMTB version.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
How many of the mid-drive manufacturers can share the market? Each with it's own mounting and battery dimensions and probably other unique elements that prevent any possible interchange over the life cycle of the bike.

Like the other significant mid-drive brands this Panasonic will also be an "underperformer" because it will be compliant with the EU's idea of what an ebike should be limited to speed and power wise. I understand that mid-drives are wonderful for slow speed climbing and the weight distribution makes them perfect for mtn bikes but they are not well suited for urban mobility in my opinion.
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
How many of the mid-drive manufacturers can share the market? Each with it's own mounting and battery dimensions and probably other unique elements that prevent any possible interchange over the life cycle of the bike.

Like the other significant mid-drive brands this Panasonic will also be an "underperformer" because it will be compliant with the EU's idea of what an ebike should be limited to speed and power wise. I understand that mid-drives are wonderful for slow speed climbing and the weight distribution makes them perfect for mtn bikes but they are not well suited for urban mobility in my opinion.

Mid drives aren't well suited for urban riding ? Not my experience.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Mid drives aren't well suited for urban riding ? Not my experience.

Do you spend a significant % of the time above 20mph? Mid drives all have one major problem - While they benefit from gear ratios at low speed they suffer significant mechanical inefficiency at high speeds. Let's say you are riding with a 44T front chain ring and an 11T rear chain ring at 22mph on a mid-drive ebike...you are loosing 75% of the torque the motor generates at the cranks due to this 4:1 gear ratio. This typically results in less torque being delivered to the rear wheel than what is provided by much lower cost hub drives. This is not discussed much in this industry because everyone has been brainwashed into buying into the Class 1 assist limit of 20mph - at those speeds the impact of this issue is not all that noticeable.

Don't take my point the wrong way. I do believe mid-drive ebikes are fantastic but the benefits are best suited for mtn / enthusiasts bikes which tend to have a lot of time climbing at slower speeds where the gear ratio can actually benefit the motor's performance. Obviously having the weight low and centered is a huge plus on those type bikes as well.
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
Do you spend a significant % of the time above 20mph? Mid drives all have one major problem - While they benefit from gear ratios at low speed they suffer significant mechanical inefficiency at high speeds. Let's say you are riding with a 44T front chain ring and an 11T rear chain ring at 22mph on a mid-drive ebike...you are loosing 75% of the torque the motor generates at the cranks due to this 4:1 gear ratio. This typically results in less torque being delivered to the rear wheel than what is provided by much lower cost hub drives. This is not discussed much in this industry because everyone has been brainwashed into buying into the Class 1 assist limit of 20mph - at those speeds the impact of this issue is not all that noticeable.

Don't take my point the wrong way. I do believe mid-drive ebikes are fantastic but the benefits are best suited for mtn / enthusiasts bikes which tend to have a lot of time climbing at slower speeds where the gear ratio can actually benefit the motor's performance. Obviously having the weight low and centered is a huge plus on those type bikes as well.


With 1500 watts, I can can easily cruise at 30+. I did ride a mid drive Trek and it was a very nice bike but severely underpowered at speed compared to my bike.
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
Their alliance with Kent has shifted gears though it looks like and don't be surprised if that battery doesn't hold the 2170 cells that Panasonic is making for Tesla at the Giga Factory.

Why reinvent the wheel? Instead just use what already exists.
I'm thinking SIB630. 20700 powered...

That battery looks mighty familiar to me...

FLYER_Upstreet5_Urban_gents_silver-e1507034117562-940x626_c.png
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
With 1500 watts, I can can easily cruise at 30+. I did ride a mid drive Trek and it was a very nice bike but severely underpowered at speed compared to my bike.

If you did 5000 miles+/year on Bafang Ultra, you will end up replacing chain, cassette multiple times.
They may be perfect for off-roading and they are powerful but are simply not suited for long commutes and doing it everyday consistently.
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
If you did 5000 miles+/year on Bafang Ultra, you will end up replacing chain, cassette multiple times.
They may be perfect for off-roading and they are powerful but are simply not suited for long commutes and doing it everyday consistently.

No 5000 mile years for me but I ride around town and the surrounding area with no problems as of yet. If I have to change a chain at 2000 miles, big deal. Easier than a rear tire change on a hub drive. The hub I demoed stalled on a good size hill. My bike walks up it without hardly shifting. I think it's been proven that all the drivetrain problems with a mid drive were exaggerated.

I'll give up having to do some maintenance for a more balanced feel. Hubs just don't feel the same to me.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
No 5000 mile years for me but I ride around town and the surrounding area with no problems as of yet. If I have to change a chain at 2000 miles, big deal. Easier than a rear tire change on a hub drive. The hub I demoed stalled on a good size hill. My bike walks up it without hardly shifting. I think it's been proven that all the drivetrain problems with a mid drive were exaggerated.

I'll give up having to do some maintenance for a more balanced feel. Hubs just don't feel the same to me.

The real test of Bafang ultra would be if someone were to commute everyday 30 miles at 25 mph. The motor may fail, cassette and chain will give up well before.
A good hub drive with a torque sensor will be a pleasure to ride. The success of Juiced CCX is a proof for that.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Why reinvent the wheel? Instead just use what already exists.
I'm thinking SIB630. 20700 powered...

That battery looks mighty familiar to me...

/QUOTE]


JayVee, I agree that pack looks pretty much the same and as you point out contains 20700 cells. However the 20700 cells are a model that are labeled Panasonic/Sanyo and 4250mah max. Data here:

https://akkuplus.de/mediafiles/Datenblatt/Panasonic/Panasonic_NCR20700B.pdf

The Panasonic 21700 cells are 5000mah and would fit in the same casing easily as they are only 1mm longer:

http://eleteks-com.sell.everychina....rain-3-7v-21700-rechargeable-lithium-ion.html

So not so much re-inventing the wheel as making it a better wheel within the existing parameters. No doubt the new cell size will take hold in the eBike world here over the next few years, as well as all other sectors. The 18650 won't go away nor does it need to and probably the price of them will be driven down as a result. But the 21700 battery will make an attractive option as an upgrade when your 4 year old 18650 starts to lose it's capacity given that there is a format developed as a replacement. However because there is no standardization it is going to be catch as catch can I predict.
 
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TForan

Well-Known Member
The real test of Bafang ultra would be if someone were to commute everyday 30 miles at 25 mph. The motor may fail, cassette and chain will give up well before.
A good hub drive with a torque sensor will be a pleasure to ride. The success of Juiced CCX is a proof for that.

That would be your test, not mine. Mine is its ability to shoot around town, ride the paved trails with ease and it just being so much fun. I would never want to commute 30 miles a day on any bike. I just ride for pleasure, so maybe I look at the subject a bit differently.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member

The Japanese website shows 36V, 8.8Ah battery. That would NOT fly here in the US.

I hope it is at least 600Whr.
I tried to find some info on the battery and there is none. Here is their media page.

https://www.vandesselcycles.com/media/


Also, the pricing seems to be really high. They will have a difficult time catching up. Some Univega brand is distributing this bike and I hope they have financial wherewithal to sustain but it will be an uphill battle.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
No 5000 mile years for me but I ride around town and the surrounding area with no problems as of yet. If I have to change a chain at 2000 miles, big deal. Easier than a rear tire change on a hub drive. The hub I demoed stalled on a good size hill. My bike walks up it without hardly shifting. I think it's been proven that all the drivetrain problems with a mid drive were exaggerated.

I'll give up having to do some maintenance for a more balanced feel. Hubs just don't feel the same to me.

I'm wondering if the hub drive you demoed was a low powered direct drive hub (500W or less). They truly need to be 750W or higher to have the low end performance that excites riders but if you ever get a chance to ride a hub motor in the 1000-1500W range with the right Kv / winding you would quickly discover that they perform better at speeds over 20mph than even the Bafang Ultra.

As some people have pointed out it will be interesting to see how the reliability of all the mid drives pans out over time if used for daily commute bikes - extra gears & complexity combined with accelerated drive train wear & tear will likely shift the debate towards hubs for commuting (while not as efficient at the lower speeds they very efficient once over say 12mph (in the 80%+ range with mid drives).