EIB provides €10 million to Blubrake for innovation in sustainable mobility
With a €10 million venture debt loan, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is investing in Blubrake, an Italian scale-up specialised in the development of next-generation ABS systems for electric bicycles. Thanks to the EIB’s support, Blubrake is targeting international expansion and leadership in the field of anti-lock braking systems for e-bikes, so that the technology becomes an essential safety standard for all light electric vehicles, as has happened in the automotive sector. The EIB funding will help make light electric vehicles safer and facilitate the mass-market adoption of ABS in order to drastically reduce the frequency of accidents for cyclists and pedestrians. Blubrake’s ABS prevents loss of control of the bicycle in the event of sudden braking, which is the cause of 60% of e-bike accidents, and locking of the front wheel, which is responsible for 25% of falls. ABS significantly improves braking on both high-adhesion terrain and slippery terrain by controlling braking power, to stop the front wheel from locking and the back wheel from lifting, thus maintaining the bicycle’s stability and preventing it from overturning. The EIB funding will also be used to set up a new assembly line and will facilitate Blubrake’s increased production capacity to cope with the company’s rapid international expansion.
“E-bikes represent the future of urban mobility and are a fast, environmentally-friendly and healthy means of transport. The EIB, as the EU climate bank, has invested more than €5.4 billion in Italy over the past five years to promote sustainable mobility and decarbonisation of the transport sector. Operations like the one signed with Blubrake today also demonstrate the EIB’s readiness to support Italian startups and the innovation of our financial products, such as venture debt,” said EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti. “ABS makes light electric vehicles safer and easier to use, encouraging their safe adoption by all users and contributing to the development of more sustainable and smarter mobility. We are very proud of this operation with the EIB, which confirms the importance of safety systems such as ABS in the mobility landscape and demonstrates the quality of the Blubrake team and the company’s potential,” said Blubrake Founder and CEO Fabio Todeschini. “Blubrake is among the first enterprises developed within our industrial group: a technology created in 2015, following decades of prior research and with a concrete approach in terms of industrialisation and marketing. The results and advancement now being achieved by Blubrake demonstrate the success of our industrial group model which, using the most innovative technologies as a springboard, transforms intellectual property into enterprises and brings them to the market by generating tangible industrial assets. Blubrake’s technology, together with that of the other enterprises in the e-Novia Group, is helping to design the smart city of a future that is already here, in which one of the most basic aspects of everyday life — getting around — can be done in an increasingly personalised and sustainable manner,” concluded e-Novia CEO Vincenzo Russi.
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Small, lightweight, adaptive: Blubrake presents ABS G2
Blubrake has presented the ABS G2, the second generation of its e-bike-specific anti-lock braking system. Compared to the first version, Blubrake ABS G2 features only one unit that includes both the hydraulic actuator and the electronic control unit, for a 65% and 48% reduction in size and weight respectively. The end result is that Blubrake ABS G2 can be easily integrated into the frame, the company said, with an installation procedure that has been further simplified and now has only two electrical connectors to take care of.