Swytch switched. Following up on its successful 2017 crowd-funded e-bike conversion kit launch, London-based Swytch Technology is at it again. In designing a new model that is 50% lighter and 70% smaller than the original, CTO Dmitro Khroma says the team has created the “smallest and lightest e-Bike system that is possible with today’s technology.” Swytch is crowd-funding the new Swytch Kit on Indiegogo to bring the concept to production.
The new Swytch Kit, which will replace the current version with the same name, consists of a bicycle front wheel with a 250-watt hub motor, a cadence-sensing motor controller, and a Lithium-ion battery power pack that mounts in front of the bicycle handlebar on a custom bracket. Swytch Kits are built for a range of standard bicycle wheel sizes.
Swytch plans three power pack levels for the new conversion kit: Eco, Pro, and Touring, with approximately 22-mile, 31-mile, and 62-mile maximum ranges, respectively.
Swytch Kits built for Europe have a legal-mandate-limited 15.5 miles per hour top speed. The U.S. laws allow Class 1 and 2 e-bikes to travel faster with electric power, so Pro Swytch Kits for the U.S. market max out at the legally-allowed 20 mph. The maximum mileage ranges for the U.S.-spec kits are the same as in the EU.
All else being equal, if you travel faster on an e-bike, you won’t go as far, so someone maxing out an EU-spec Switch Kit-powered bike at top speed would be able to travel further than the same person with a U.S. kit moving at 20 mph.
Swytch builds conversion kits to order, depending on the size and type of the customer’s front bicycle wheel. Pricing varies by bicycle wheel type and the power pack capacity.
Current perks for the various level Switch Kits range from $449 for the Eco version to $738 for the longest-range Touring model. The perk pledge prices represent 32% to 45% discounts from the retail price when the product launches at full production capacity next March.
Many established companies use crowd-funding to measure product interest, pre-announce an upcoming launch, and obtain funds to develop products to market. Pledging money to a product is not an actual purchase.
Swytch’s crowd-funding campaign for the original conversion kit raised more than $515K. The current campaign has 18 days left with $670K from 1,305 backers. The estimated shipments for the new Swytch Kits begin in March 2020.