Taiwanese manufacturer Hyena, a supplier of e-bikes and components to some of the world’s biggest brands, recently unveiled its first full mid-drive system, as the company moves towards its ambitions to provide a full solution for systems and complete e-bikes.
Hyena co-founder and CEO Charlie Chuang said the Unidrive 60 mid-drive system, for road, city and trekking bikes, is on track to be officially launched next year.
Speaking to a visiting delegation of international journalists at Hyena’s factory in Taichung, a rapidly growing epicentre of Taiwan manufacturing, Charlie said the Unidrive system was an important step towards meeting the demands of its customers.
He said while brands came to his company wanting it to take full responsibility for bringing in all the parts and producing completed bikes, it was often not possible to achieve the desirable level of control when parts come from various sources.
“This inspired us to create a full drive system unit,” he explained.
Established in 2013, Hyena’s customers have included Trek Cannondale, Kalkoff, Decathlon and UK brand Halfords.
Charlie, who previously worked for Giant developing its e-bike systems, says the rise of electric bicycles has been a massive windfall for Taiwan, perfectly bringing together the country’s leading experience in electronics, software and bicycle manufacturing.
Hyena initially focused on developing digital systems for e-bike motors but has progressively extended its expertise to develop, produce and test other e-bike systems and parts.
It is now producing around 240,000 units annually at its two Taichung plants, including a variety of rear hub and battery systems.
Charlie said for each drive system the company develops, it also produces a bicycle frame to demonstrate the integration of the battery and other system components. While the customers almost always then develop their own frames, the process has given Hyena plenty of experience in the design and production of frames and other components.
With a workforce of about 140 employees and steady growth each year, Charlie said he chose the name Hyena because its native African namesake might be small, but it’s brave, can run for hours without a rest and, when working as a team, can bring down a lion.
Hyena will be among the Taiwanese exhibitors at an expanded Taipei Cycle in March 2024.
The Micromobility Report was a guest of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), as part of a 12-member international press delegation that toured bicycle and component factories in Taichung last month in the lead-up to Taipei Cycle 2024.