Continental and Varta Promise Low Voltage Urban e-Mobility

Continental has teamed up with Varta to offer a low-voltage alternative to micro BEVs claiming scooter ranges of up to 62 miles.

The Tier 1 auto supplier’s engineering wing helped develop the batteries in league with the battery specialist’s engineers with the promise that the units could advance the take-up of urban e-scooter transport. As the pair’s first pilot for the technology, they have created a replaceable 48-volt battery pack for electrically powered two-wheelers with a power of 10 kW and more.

Such vehicles are comparable in engine power and top speed with ICE powered scooters using a 125 cc engine displacement. The battery pack consists of Varta’s V4Drive high-performance cell based on lithium-ion technology. A specially developed battery management system from Continental now allows the use of this battery cell in automotive two-wheeler applications.

The 9kg (19.8lbs) battery pack claims a range of 31 miles and power of 10 kW. It can be detached from the two-wheeler with a simple pull and charged externally. In addition, any number of battery packs can be connected and controlled via the new battery management systems. As a result the range of an e-scooter can be doubled by using two batteries.

The companies say consumers are currently put off the current crop of low powered e-scooters able to swap out batteries because of their limited top speed. Existing more powerful electric two-wheelers have so far always had a built-in battery, which requires a separate parking space with charging facility – often impossible for urban dwellers.

Alex Rupprecht, director business segment driveline and electrification at Continental Engineering Services, said: “The 48-volt swappable battery based on the revolutionary V4Drive cell paired with our innovative battery management system enables the breakthrough of electric mobility for a long range commute on two wheels. The battery system has a high power density, meets the automotive standards in its performance class and can easily be removed from the scooter and charged quickly. This is an ideal solution for commuters who don’t have a charging opportunity at their parking space.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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