“Most 500-watt, direct-drive motors
from just about any manufacturer are
pretty much the same design. You have
a hub, a line of magnets spinning over
the stator, and the stator is the axle.
Beyond the design, you depend on the
quality of the copper wire and the quality
of the windings and other internal parts
to give it longevity. Some of our motors
have 20 or 30 thousand miles on them.
We re-engineered the shell so we could
use the disc brake and we could eliminate condensation and water inside the
case. When we ;attened the case so
we could use the disc, it reduced the air
space in the case, and that eased the
condensation. Then we ran the power
wire through the side of the axle rather
than out through the end, so it was less
prone to damage and we could seal it
“We have been innovative from day
one. In 2009 we were looking at the
electric bike industry, and it cost $100
for the dealer to change a rear tire
because the wires ran all the way from
the rear wheel to the controller. And
even at the controller you had all these
individual wire connections to deal with.
We needed a disconnect at the motor.
No motor company in Asia wanted to
touch a quick disconnect. We brought
in a third-party engineer who said it was
possible. We used an existing connector that is capable of carrying far more
amperage than is needed. We had that
connector on our ;rst 1000 bikes at
Interbike. The next year every brand had
the same connector. We thought about
getting a reverse patent, but we decided
that the connector was better for the
industry as a whole, so we just skipped
it. We have some ideas now that we will
be a little more careful with. We also did
the same connector at the controller.
Bike shops would open up the controller, and it would look like spaghetti in
there with all the wiring. We eliminated
all of the individual connectors and
brought them all into multi-pin connectors. You can’t make a mistake installing
a controller, and you can do it in less
than a minute.”
So how has the plan worked so far?
“We’ve hired a lot of employees. We
usual have around 60 people here during
our peak production times. We always
had a customer service department, but
we never had a sales department until
the fall of 2013. Everyone had called us.
There was no point in having a sales
department when we were back-ordered
up to 90 days. With the new location, we
have production up, and we insisted on
that 1500-bike backlog before we started selling. Dealers won’t need to wait for
the bikes they order, so we are ready for
the next level of growth. Our goal is simple—we want to be number one.” ■
Prodecotech insists on quality parts, and they have them in stock and ready
for production. (Below) Carts like this wheel to the production line. The
frames remain stationary and the parts move along the line. It is an efficient
method, and we saw first-hand that it allows rapid prduction.