French automaker Valeo showcases 48V electric motorcycle at CES

French automaker Valeo began its transition to electric mobility in 2021. Along with electric powertrains for cars, the company diversified its offering with the Smart E-Bike System, which was the first electric bicycle to be implemented. an adaptive automatic transmission. Today, Valeo is expanding even further by unveiling a new 48V electric motorcycle prototype at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The new electric transmission consists of a 6 kW (8 horsepower) air-cooled engine transplanted from the brand’s Citroën Ami two-seater car. A peak power of 12 kW (16 hp) is available on short stints, but the new concept of electric motorcycle is far from a performance machine. Valeo claims the prototype offers acceleration and performance similar to that of a 125cc gasoline bike. However, the French supplier does not plan to mass-produce the electric model.

Instead, Valeo will operate as a powertrain supplier for producers in the Asian market. To illustrate the versatility of the 48V transmission, the company installed the motor in a Super Soco TC Max. While the paint scheme nods to Valeo’s signature lime green color, the chassis, bodywork and instruments are from the Chinese model. The Super Soco is also the perfect platform for the new drivetrain, as the TC Max’s standard 60V system only produces 6.7 horsepower (5 kW).

In addition to its power advantages, the Valeo 48V unit weighs just 37.5 pounds, including the engine, transmission, and electronics. This quality will allow manufacturers to build a lightweight machine around the new powertrain. The 48V capacity is also the standard configuration agreed between the Big Four of Japan (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha) and the Eurasian swappable battery consortium of Honda, Yamaha, KTM and Piaggio.

While we’d love to see a lime-green electric bike turn heads on Champs-Élysées Avenue, it looks like Valeo is positioning its new drivetrain to cater for more global markets.

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