FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — The date when German e-bike motor company Fazua enters the U.S. market is now set, the company said.
Slowed by ongoing delays with U.S. battery certification, Fazua said it plans to begin shipping in the second week of November, in time for 2020 models.
“We have American (OEM) customers lined up,” said Felix Kuffner, Fazua head of marketing, who added the brands using its motor will be announced shortly.
Fazua, which has manufactured e-bike motors since 2013, had to redesign the internals of its battery to gain U.S. certification. “It was a real pain to get certified,” he said. “We had to develop the battery from scratch for the United States. It doesn’t look any different; just the inside is different.”
Kuffner said the company now has a service partner for the U.S. and Canada, which the company is not naming right now, eliminating the final hurdle to production.
Fazua is the power of choice in 28 OEM brand e-models in Europe from companies like Bianchi, Pinnarello, and Look. Fazua says its market share on e-road and e-gravel bikes is 80% in Europe. Brands including Donnelly have shown Fazua-equipped models intended for the U.S. market, but have yet to deliver because of the certification delay. Woom recently announced an electric youth bike with a Fazua motor.
Kuffner said the company is making a push to replicate that success in the mountain bike market globally. It has five OEM brands currently: Nox, LaPierre, Bulls, Focus. Fazua’s initial venture into the e-bike battery arena was “to develop a mountain bike motor that would create a riding experience comparable to a nonelectric bike.”
Built to be lightweight and compact, the Class 1 mid-mounted motor is designed to fit sleekly in the downtube instead of the bottom bracket. In addition, the freewheel disengages the motor when speeds exceed 20 mph with less friction than a typical e-bike motor, Kuffner said.
“The motors are lightweight, slim, aesthetic and the ride feel is as natural as it gets,” Kuffner said.
It’s also the only mid-motor modular system manufactured. The motor and battery can be removed and downtube cover replaced to make it nonelectric and saving 5.8 pounds. The battery space can be used for storage.
The motor is manufactured in Switzerland and assembly takes place in Munich. The 170 components that make up the Fazua motor assembly are produced in the Munich area.
Marketing the brand in the U.S. begins with increased global social media, Kuffner said. Its service partner will attend trade shows, including Sea Otter, in 2020.
“One of our goals we want to achieve in the U.S. is to learn how the market runs,” Kuffner said.