Having been in the battery business since 1991, growing from a small German cottage industry to a €50m+ market force, Ansmann Energy has knowledge that many in the electric bike business crave and that some OEMs already utilise. BikeBiz talks to the team behind the UK operation about a new direction for the label…
You’ve no doubt heard of Ansmann before now. Chances are you’ve owned the firm’s products in the past, with or without knowing it. Ansmann is after all one of the battery cell market’s premium players, specialising in everything from high power cells for camera flashes to high-output torches and much more.
So, with that in mind, a fresh foray into the electric bike market is planned for the UK market. This isn’t, however, the firm’s first rodeo – the e-bike division of Ansmann Germany is currently worth over €8m per year.
Having produced OEM batteries and motors for numerous electric bike firms on mainland Europe, the German manufacturing base supplies some of the names that are making electric bikes a success on the continent. The UK product will, unlike overseas, for the first time bear the Ansmann logo, with a line beginning at £1,599 for the ‘City Wave’ to £3,495 for the top range mountain bike in stock now.
Sticking with the battery technology for a moment, Ansmann has the upper hand on competitors, claiming a 40-80 kilometer range, dependent on conditions. What’s more, it takes just three hours to achieve 80 per cent of the batteries’ charge capacity.
Ansmann UK marketing manager Lenny Wood tells BikeBiz: “Unlike a lot of other battery packs, the Ansmann pack does not have a maximum charge time. Although the battery pack will be fully charged after six hours, if it is left plugged in longer it will begin to rebalance the cells. In addition, as the cells used are Japanese, the battery pack guarantees 500 charge cycles before it degrades in performance. That is much higher than most other packs.”
Aimed at the more mature rider, Ansmann UK believes that its focus on bike spec, combined with its own proprietary batteries and motor stands it in good stead to offer a better value package to the UK’s mid to high-end electric bike enthusiast and beginner alike.
With ample warehousing space already in place thanks to a newly opened, Harlow-based trade counter, the firm is inviting dealers along to get to know the product. Ansmann will also be working with local councils and national ‘bike to work’ schemes and for those travelling to Friedrichshafen, will also once again be taking a large stand at the Eurobike exhibition to promote the brand.
Wood says: “We are looking to recruit a limited number of special companies to become authorised regional stockists. Partnering with Ansmann, these retail centres will supply a number of geographical locations throughout the UK. The ideal candidates will be likeminded, progressive companies who want to play a big part in the ever-expanding e-bike scene nationwide.”
The bikes themselves run silently thanks to brushless motor technology and with just a few light pedals, the propulsion system activates and can achieve up to 25km/h. Within the catalogue you’ll find many clean and simple Shimano Nexus hub geared bikes, as well as Shimano’s branded groupsets. Fellow German manufacturer Schwalbe’s tyres are specced throughout, as are Hebie pannier racks, often concealing the lithium ion battery cells. As you progress toward the higher-end mountain bikes, remote lock out Rock Shox Reba forks become part of the package. All of this is assembled in Germany at a purpose-built plant.
Wood concludes: “We’re very keen to hear from those dipping a toe into the electric bike market as we feel we have a very exclusive package for them. In return for stocking the product, these companies will receive the full backing of Ansmann; including in-store retail POS, exclusive territories, product training sessions, service and repair support and access to spare/replacement parts. We even have plans to take the chosen retailers to Germany for a more intensive training course and factory tour in future.”
Ansmann UK: 0870 609 2233