Swytch receives funding to make all bikes electric

Swytch say their e-bike conversion kit is retrofitted in seconds

Swytch say their e-bike conversion kit is retrofitted in seconds

Concealed motors aside, there was a time when your bike was either electric powered or it wasn’t. If you wanted the best of both worlds that was fine, but you’d need to buy two bikes.

Then Swytch Technology came along. The London-based startup’s conversion kit turns any bike into an e-bike in seconds, provided you can swap out a wheel and strap on a battery pack, because that’s all the Swytch conversion kit consists of - a wheel with an electric hub and a battery pack.

The system proved popular from the outset, exceeding its crowdfunding target by 500 per cent in 2017 and generating nigh-on £1m in revenue to date. Now the company has received an additional £795,000 from private investors.

Converting your own bike has some clear advantages, not least that thus far most e-bikes have been underwhelming in the looks department. This hasn’t stopped e-bikes becoming possibly the biggest growth sector of cycling.

Over the past decade, the European e-bike market has grown by 1,700 per cent in Europe alone, with more than 1.67 million unit sales in 2016 alone. This is a market dominated by the over 50s, who have purchased 70 per cent of electric bikes sold so far. The makers of Swytch hope their kit will appeal to a younger audience, with its affordability and adaptable properties.

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The Swytch Kit consists of a lightweight front wheel with a compact electric hub motor built in and a removable Power Pack attached to the bike via the Swytch Quick Connect handlebar bracket. The pack contains a lightweight battery, control electronics, user display, front bike light and even a USB output to charge devices. The power unit connects automatically when it is clipped on, so there’s no need to plug or unplug any cables – simply start pedalling. With the power pack removed, the additional Swytch components add less than 2kg to any bike and will perform as any pedal bike.

 Swytch say they will use their new funding to focus on research and development.

Oliver Montague, Inventor of Swytch said: “This is a unique product that is the result of four years of engineering innovation. We worked closely with our crowdfunding customers to develop a technology that is fit for purpose for both novice riders and cycling enthusiasts.”

Swytch’s recent round of investment has been gathered from a number of parties including the Startup Funding Club, Angels Den Funding, the London Co-Investment Fund, and Green Angel Syndicate (GAS) - the largest single contributor.

Mr Montague continued: “This latest investment allows us to continue to innovate and develop new technologies. We see the Swytch eBike kit as the first in a really exciting pipeline of new product developments that we will be releasing over the next few years, transforming the way people think of transport and how to get from A to B.”

There are five eBike conversion kits in the Swytch range: A standard 250W Hub Swytch Kit with either 25-mile range (3-4 hour charge time), or 50-mile range (5-6 hour charge time), a narrow Swytch 250W 70mm Hub Swytch kit suitable for folding bikes (including the Brompton) available with either 25-mile or 50-mile range as above, and a high power 500W Hub Swytch Kit with 50-mile range popular in the US.

Available to buy in the UK, EU and USA with next day dispatch from www.swytchbike.com, prices start at £549.