Interview: ten years of Pendix – e-bike drives from Zwickau

220 days ago

4 minutes

At the end of 2013, five founders launched a concept for retrofittable e-bike drives. Pendix GmbH was born. Today the company has developed into an internationally known manufacturer in its field. In an interview, CEO Thomas Herzog talks about unforgettable moments, milestones and new opportunities.

Mr. Herzog, ten years ago Pendix started with its idea for retrofittable electric bicycle drives. Is there anything from the early days that you remember as if it were yesterday?

Yes, the entry in the commercial register on November 18, 2013 is a day for our founding team that we will probably never forget. The product idea for Pendix was already there at the time. In January 2014 we had a workshop in the ADAC Tower at Sachsenring with all employees and investors. This meeting from the early days is still very present in my mind today: We approved a strong roadmap there and had the first prototype on the test bench three months later. Sales then started almost a year and a half later, in August 2015.

What has changed in the company since the early days; What, on the other hand, has remained completely the same?

At the beginning we started with strong and promising ideas. We were brimming with entrepreneurial spirit and energy. The strength and creativity remain to this day. In addition, we have also greatly professionalized our structure in recent years. You ask me what hasn’t changed for us? All I can say is: the people, the atmosphere and the togetherness. The topics at the lunch table have remained the same. (smiles)

What were the two biggest milestones of the stage so far?

By taking over VSC.BIKE in 2019, we were able to merge our expertise in drivetrain construction with the skills of a frame builder. Since then, we have been offering a unique combination of skills from a manufacturer in our industry. This benefits customers, among other things, in the development and coordination of cargo bike solutions. The next big milestone was Johnson Electric joining us in 2022. By working with the world’s leading industrial engine manufacturer, we have, so to speak, put the turbo in place for our future. We can rely on our partner when it comes to issues such as sustainability, scalability of our product range and securing our supply chain.

What has shaped your company more than anything else – are there people or circumstances that you are particularly grateful for today?

Everyone who has walked the journey with us to this point or who has accompanied our company for a while has helped to shape us. Above all, of course, are our employees, who remain loyal to us to this day. I am and we are all very grateful to you. I would also like to mention two other names that were and are very important for our development: Firstly, there is Mr. Stier from the TGFS in Leipzig. That was our first investor back then. A big thank you also goes to Stephen Dowling from Kator PTY, our investor from Australia. Without these people, Pendix wouldn’t be what it is today.

How would you summarize in one sentence the characteristics that have carried your company throughout its history?

It’s not just strength and speed that have led to our success so far, but also inner strength.

What are you currently focusing on, what goals will you pursue with Pendix in the next few months?

What we are all really excited about right now is the introduction of the Pendix gDrive. This is the first mid-engine with gearbox permanently installed on the bike in our company history. We built a first sample with which we carried out driving tests. The software and hardware came together for the first time – such a test is always a big moment for our team. We developed the new gDrive specifically for city and trekking bikes. Because: A mid-engine position on the bike is ideal when it comes to a natural riding experience. The start of production is planned for early 2025.

Thought experiment: We’ll do this interview again in a decade; Where do you see your company then?

I like to look into the crystal ball. What I see is: We have become one of the top five European manufacturers of electric drives for bicycles. I can also see that we are still based in Zwickau, here in Saxony.


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