Thomas Herzog, CEO Pendix GmbH. Foto: Pendix GmbH

eMove360° asked: Pendix CEO on ten years of e-bike drives from Zwickau

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 renowned manufacturer in its field. For the current eMove360° magazine in german language, we spoke to CEO Thomas Herzog about unforgettable moments, milestones and new opportunities.

Mr. Herzog, Pendix launched its idea for retrofittable e-bike drives ten years ago. Is there anything from the early days that you remember as if it were yesterday?

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

What has changed about the company since the early days; what has remained completely the same?

Herzog : In the beginning, we started with strong and promising ideas. We were bursting with entrepreneurial spirit and energy. The strength and creativity have remained to this day. We have also professionalized our structure considerably in recent years. You ask me what hasn’t changed in our company? I can only say: the people, the atmosphere and the togetherness. The topics at lunch have remained the same. (smiles)

What have been the two biggest milestones so far?

Herzog : The acquisition of VSC.BIKE in 2019 allowed us 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 at a manufacturer in our industry. This benefits customers in areas such as the development and coordination of cargo bike solutions. The next major milestone was Johnson Electric joining us in 2022. By working with the world’s leading industrial motor manufacturer, we have turbo-charged our future, so to speak. We can rely on our partner in areas such as sustainability, the 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 to today?

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

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

Herzog : 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?

Herzog: 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?

Herzog: 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.

Thank you for the interview.

Read more interviews, articles and studies on the topic of electromobility & autonomous driving in the current issue of eMove360° magazine in german language. Print edition – also as an annual subscription – can be ordered in the eMove360° shop.

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09.04.2024   |  

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