He launched the E-Bike Boom

you can drive is In an old mill in houses of moss, deep in the hills of the Emmental valley, the seat of a family enterprise, whose E-Bike models because of the

He launched the E-Bike Boom

you can drive is In an old mill in houses of moss, deep in the hills of the Emmental valley, the seat of a family enterprise, whose E-Bike models because of the chunky batteries do not look as nice as the competition, but it is a very special characteristic: With only one battery charge up to almost to the Mediterranean sea.

From the outside suggests nothing to the company, no signs, no neon sign. And when you enter the old mill, one feels, not in a workshop, but in a living room: kitchen and dining table take up half the room, everywhere are plants. Through the large window behind the work bench you can see the garden where everything grows, what is there to lunch. Every day, another employee cooks.

Five, six people work here, including the owner-couple, the son and the friend of the daughter. Philippe Kohl, burner, 56 years old, with a shirt and a Gilet, says she could sell a lot more electric bicycles, you would need to make just a little advertising. But he doesn't want to. "Just not about target shooting," he says.

The idea came to him to early

He knows what it's like when dreams grow to the sky: you will fall all too quickly back to the ground of reality. A quarter of a century ago, he founded a company, the BK-Tech. But they went Bankrupt. And the E-Bike, which he had developed to be played without him the triumph.

Meanwhile, the industry announced figures every year, new record, also in Switzerland. In 2016, the E-Bike market grew by 14.1 percent, in 2017, to 16.3 percent, 2018, to 26.9 percent. For 2019, the Figures are not yet available, it is expected but with an increase in the high single-digit percentage range. Already every third sold bike is an ebike.

cabbage burner Problem was that he had his idea to early. He stood at the origin of the E-Bike boom, and experienced the classic First Mover Dilemma: Who was first a business idea is not necessarily the most Successful – but often pave the way for the Second Mover.

"I had to accept that I'm not cut out for Cycling."Philippe Kohl Brenner about his experiences as an apprentice

Although the history of the electro-bikes to the end of the 19th century. Century, but 100 years later, the development was rode still barely progress. There was simply no good solution for the storage of electrical energy, when the drive should be independent of cable networks. Instead, the gasoline engine had proved himself, even in the case of two-wheelers.

Philippe Kohl, burner wanted to drive neither a car, nor Töffli. It was the early 90s, he lived on the Lueg, and worked after training as a toolmaker and to the masons, in an energy technology company in the upper castle, where he planned solar installations. Every Time he drove on the way home with the bike up the steep hill, he hoped that it would, with Practice, easier. "But I had to accept that I'm not cut out for Cycling."

But he had wanted to as a child, not an inventor be? In the tuft, he started to fiddle around. Soon, he presented his family to be converted Coronado-wheel. In the frame triangle of a car stuck battery, including the windshield wiper motor of a truck was mounted to the handle via a Gear in the chain. Start the Motor had a toggle switch on the Handlebar, a conventional current measuring device controlled the power.

That was the "Red Buffalo", such as cabbage burners called him. "No beauty," he says today, "especially useful." Because of the rough driving and the battery acid holes in his pants frass, he hired the use of the Buffalo soon. "I can do better!", he thought.

The epitome of an E-bike

elsewhere in the world, precursor to the E created in that time Bikes, but cabbage Brenner's role was especially important. From his prototype arose soon Groundbreaking: the Flyer until today, for many the epitome of an E-bike. It was the world's first ebike, the bot in the agglomeration transport a viable Alternative to the car. A monster with a 12.5-Kilo battery, but capable of speeds of over 35 km/h.

That was in 1995, a quarter of a century, the founding year of the BK Tech. Cabbage burner had done with two other friends, one an electrical engineer and a business economist. The goal: an electric Bicycle with the pedal feel of a conventional bike develop. There was a Start-up Groove: The workforce grew, the engines were manufactured in a complex micro-labour of Hand, and for the Transport of produced in France the framework organized in the case of a farmer with a loader wagon.

The first serial type, the Flyer Classic, was produced on pre-order, it sold over 600 times. To be a success, the huge hopes stirred up. An eminent young entrepreneur award, the entry of two big investors, Phonak founder Andy Rihs and Swatch inventor Ernst Thomke followed. 2 million Swiss francs came together the best professionals of the ETH joined the company, it was thought The flyers would be to Flyer.

happened But something quite different. A bike with electric motor? The people were laughing. As cabbage Brenner and his colleagues realized that they had not thought about in front of enthusiasm, how to explain to the potential buyers of the merits of the Flyers, it was too late: high production costs, poor sales figures. The investors lost patience, 2001, the BK Tech went bankrupt.

restart with older clients

Philippe cabbage burner, which had itself invested 70’000 Swiss francs, moved into medical technology. The company Biketec, which was resurrected from the BK-Tech-bankruptcy, continued without him for a breakthrough: In the 2000s, the Flyer was a popular product. Also, because the new owner fixed a Central error: they made E-Bikes for the Younger, but for seniors and Retirees.

the E-Bike came out in the 2010s-years in travel, thanks to the lithium batteries. They are lighter and up to ten times more powerful than the batteries in models made of cabbage burner beginnings. As he once again felt pleasure, in the year 2011. A last idea, he still had to go, and until Retirement in a suit to work, as it is expected to be the employer of him, he could not imagine.

Only he wanted to let this time not on the leash of investors, and with the market leaders, he did not want to record it To high, he found, would be the pressure on costs. That's why the old mill in houses moss, these can be well-advised feel-good oasis, such as cabbage burner says: Because each customer personally. The majority comes from the Region of Bern, abroad, he delivers.

The night shifts? The Losses? The Failure? "All In The Past."

But that should not obscure the fact that the SpeedPed, his E-Bike to a Mature high-tech product. "All developed!", cabbage burner says proudly. 6000 francs it costs, is more expensive than many competing models, for the smaller engine and larger battery are much more powerful. Cabbage burners-white from customers who have placed more than 100’000 miles. Other travel up to the North Cape, 250 to 300 miles a day, or go through China. You send post cards, some stop by on the way home itself in the old mill.

Think cabbage burners today, to his time with the flyers, he is proud of. The Night Shifts? The Losses? The Failure? "All in the past," he says. Enough for him that his Tinkering with delay, even for him, has paid out at least a little bit. And that occasionally, someone reminiscent of his role in the success story of the E-Bikes.

Created: 12.03.2020, 07:16 PM

Updated Date: 12 March 2020, 07:00

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