© CIP Mobility GmbH

Micromobility rethought

mocci and Steinbeis shape the future of eMobility – digitally and sustainably

The hustle and bustle of modern cities underscores the importance of making places more liveable in the future. Mobility solutions play a crucial role in this. Mobility will need to be user-centric, sustainable, and affordable in the near future – just some of the expectations that will have to be fulfilled. In response to this challenge, the Munich based Company CIP Mobility GmbH has developed a utility and cargo bike called mocci. Described as the ideal smart pedal vehicle (SPV), mocci is targeted at companies looking to work efficiently, effortlessly, and sustainably in urban areas. The company was supported with its idea by Automation in Lightweight Construction Processes, the Steinbeis Research and Innovation Center. Together, the project partners are making an important contribution to the development of more liveable cities.

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Optimized for commercial use, the e-bikes made by mocci take business transportation to a whole new level and are ideal for all kinds of last-mile delivery scenarios. Armed with a digital drive system, mocci bikes capture pedal power to drive a generator, which in turn provides energy to an electric motor in the rear wheel – without the need for a bicycle chain or drive belt. The system is also supported by a replaceable battery.

A key innovation in terms of continuous operation is its zero-maintenance digital drive, which acts as a link between hardware and software. Furthermore, instead of steel or aluminum, the mocci is made from robust, recyclable plastic. For example, the wheels and frame only consist of a single component. The bike contains no vulnerable components such as conventional spokes. The entire vehicle is produced through injection molding, a reliable method for manufacturing high-volume products in good quality.

In order to meet strict product requirements, mocci brought experienced development partners on board, including the Steinbeis Research Center for Automation in Lightweight Construction Processes (ALP) and Chemnitz University of Technology. Their expertise in high-performance materials and measurable manufacturing methods played a crucial role in making the vehicle a reality. This allowed their long track record in the kind of production methods that are normally used in the automotive and railroad industries to be transferred to the micromobility sector. The Steinbeis experts also worked on the design, on calculations, and on the interpretation of results in collaboration with Chemnitz University of Technology. Among other projects, the team developed the structural components – the bicycle frame, the front wheel fork, and the wheel systems – which were also validated mathematically using FEM and mold flow simulations.

Durability + improved recyclability = sustainability

By placing emphasis on environmental protection and the careful use of resources in all other key processes, the mocci bike will make an important contribution to sustainable transportation methods. SPVs help significantly reduce carbon emissions – not just when they are in use, but also at the very beginning of the product life cycle. Until now bicycles have comprised roughly 2,000 parts, whereas now components such as the wheel rims and spokes can be made from just a single part – and in the future this part will offer even more functions thanks to integrated sensors and actuators. Not only is production more resource-efficient, thanks to faster assembly times and a lower susceptibility to faults, but being able to recycle the high-grade plastic parts also significantly reduces carbon emissions. For example, compared to conventional aluminum bicycle frames, the main structural frame of the SPV saves around 68% of carbon emissions during production. In addition, consciously adhering to certain processing methods has made it possible to achieve a 95% recycling rate.

One further challenge is ensuring that components are only replaced when absolutely necessary, although at the same time, for safety reasons, it must be ensured that parts are not replaced too late. Deciding when is the right time to do this is thus crucial when it comes to an efficient and sustainable strategy.

SmartSTRAT – it’s all down to the sensors

The developers of the mocci bike are also receiving support as part of a research project called SmartSTRAT, the aim of which is to ensure that any components used in micromobility vehicles such as the mocci only issue warning notifications when there is a risk of overload or damage. This should extend the service life of products.

The SmartSTRAT project is an initiative of the SmartERZ technology alliance. Drawing on the example of framework structures created for lightweight electric vehicles, the plan is now to implement the concept in mid-2024 with project partners Mogatec, plastic processing specialist Hugo Stiehl, and the Steinbeis Innovation Center for Automation in Lightweight Construction Processes (ALP).

One of their key priorities is to develop concepts for an overall process, including end-to-end sensor monitoring, corresponding evaluations, and based on these: feedback for users of the product. In addition to factors relating to the monitoring of operational parameters and bicycle functions, research is also focusing on fundamental influences such as maintenance intervals, drive parameters, and considerations such as the operating instructions given to users. Based on the sensor concepts, solutions are being worked up in line with potential production technologies to integrate sensors into components. For example, inserts could be used to monitor the structural integrity of injection-molded components, or pre-installed sensors could be inserted into the structured layers of pre-impregnated semifinished components.

An overall production and assembly concept will also be developed for the project. This touches on the particular characteristics of fiber composite plastic parts, for which a joining concept had to be developed and executed to match the specific nature of the technology. The main challenge with this is ensuring the joining processes are made maintenance-friendly and allow subcomponents to be replaced. It will be particularly important to identify ways to network the sensors – including corresponding on-board electronics – in keeping with specific assembly requirements. Aspects of process automation and component handling must also be considered.

A related modular test rig is being used that makes it easy to detect operational loads and overload, so that structural component faults can be pinpointed and revealed through the integrated sensors. To show how the different functions work, a corresponding demonstration unit will be used based on the handlebar headset on the mocci SPV.

The first mocci SPVs will enter serial production in the summer of 2024, thus sounding in another era of change in modern transportation. In the years that follow, the results and findings of the SmartSTRAT project, as well as related projects, will result in further technological improvements.


SmartERZ is a network of partners from industry, science and academia, and the general public. The goal of the alliance, which currently boasts more than 180 members, is to foster structural transformation in the Erzgebirge economic region through innovation. Its focus lies in translating innovative composite materials into functional solutions. The Erzgebirge is leveraging the tremendous potential of such materials to boost innovation and fuel growth – and thus transform the area into a region of high-tech industry. The primary initiators of the SmartERZ project are Wirtschaftsförderung Erzgebirge GmbH, which is acting as the alliance coordinator, and Chemnitz University of Technology. The partnership is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the WIR! (Transformation Through Innovation in the Region) program.

For further information, go to www.smarterz.de




Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Nendel  (author)
Steinbeis Entrepreneur
Steinbeis Innovation Center Automation in lightweight construction processes (ALP) (Chemnitz)
Steinbeis Research Center Automation in lightweight construction processes (ALP) (Chemnitz)

Mirko Spieler (author)
Steinbeis Innovation Center Automation in lightweight construction processes (ALP) (Chemnitz)
Steinbeis Research Center Automation in lightweight construction processes (ALP) (Chemnitz)

Torsten Vogel (author)
Steinbeis Innovation Center Automation in lightweight construction processes (ALP) (Chemnitz)

Ralf Busse (author)
Executive Director Commercial
mocci / CIP Mobility GmbH (Grünwald)

Nico Mischke (author)
Head of Marketing
mocci / CIP Mobility GmbH (Grünwald)