e²-pod Intelligent Drive System Review
Verdict: Sophisticated high-tech take on electrifying one of the world’s favourite folding bikes.
- Impressive and thoughtfully applied high tech approach
- Zippy and lightweight motor
- 5 year warranty on e²-pod system
- Pricey for a system-only purchase
Back in 2016 I visited the ARCC Innovations design and manufacturing site in Cambridge and was impressed with the array of CNC machines, 3D printers and skilled bike building facilities that had been put together to produce a new electric assist kit, the e²-pod.
At the time they had not launched their Brompton specific system so I was excited to loan their latest iteration of the kit for the UK manufactured small-wheeled folder that seems to go from strength to strength – not least as the e²-pod is one of the very few e-bike conversion systems to feature Bluetooth wireless power level control.
The ARCC e²-pod system is made up of a very small and neat looking 250W geared front hub motor and a solid looking aluminium ‘pod’ (wiring nexus and battery mount) clamped securely on to the head tube which communicates wirelessly with the handlebar-mounted Bluetooth controller (or an iPhone with appropriate app if preferred). Also feeding into the pod are the cables from a bottom bracket torque sensor and brake lever sensors.