LEVS Rotterdam: programme unveiled

The 2nd LEVS, World Light Electric Vehicle Summit, will be taking in Rotterdam 22nd & 23rd November 2017. The programme has now been unveiled and can be found here: http://www.levs.mobi/page/program/

If you register through LEVA-EU on this page, http://levs.mobi/page/registration-form/ simply by entering the promocode LEVAEU at the bottom of the page, you will receive a 10% discount on the regular price, not on the price for speakers or for members of the scientific committee. You will find an overview of the prices here: http://www.levs.mobi/page/registration/

LEVS aims at providing a high quality global platform to foster exchange of views and development of synergies between players in the field of light electric vehicles.

Seeing the huge congestion problems our cities are facing nowadays, there is no doubt that light electric vehicles have a key role to play in the future.

There are a lot of activities related to light electric vehicles happening all around the world but until recently, there was not one dedicated platform where different actors could meet to:

  • learn from each other’s experience;
  • present their work and achievements;
  • find partners to develop synergies & build new projects;
  • join forces to lobby relevant authorities to get support.

LEVS, as the World Light Electric Vehicle Summit, therefore, aims at providing such a high quality global platform to foster exchange of views between R&D actors, industry, authorities, end-users and NGO’s in the LEV-sector.

These are a few of the issues that will be dealt with at LEVS:

LEVS call for papers closes on Friday

The call for papers for the 2nd World Light Electric Vehicle Summit, to take place in Rotterdam on 22 and 23 November 2017, will be closing on 15th September 2017.

Do not miss this unique opportunity to present your work to the premier panel of specialists in the field of Light Electric Vehicles!

Submit here: http://www.levs.mobi/page/topics-list/#call

LEVA-EU and Bike Europe Information Meeting at Eurobike: electric bike companies still have many questions on electric bike rules

At Eurobike, LEVA-EU and Bike Europe organized an information meeting on electric bikes. In the EU these are subject to a lot of complicated rules: type-approval, CE-standards, the Machinery Directive, helmet obligation, insurance, traffic code, …  Companies which are manufacturing, distributing or selling electric bikes in Europe may well get lost in this maze of rules. That is why LEVA-EU and Bike Europe teamed up to help these companies find their way in the regulatory maze and to answer all their questions on electric bike rules in the EU.

The need for information and clarification clearly appeared from the number of participants. Some 50 delegates attended, representing the full spectrum of the electric bike business as well as all continents.

LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck presented an exhaustive overview of rules and regulations relating to several types of electric bicycles. Should electric mountain bikes be type-approved? Can one produce electric cargo bikes with more than 250W? Must speed pedelec riders wear a moped helmet? Do they have to have insurance and a number plate for their speed pedelecs?  What about kits, electric wheels and electric trailers?

Annick Roetynck answered these and many more questions. She has been working in the twowheel business since 1987, focusses exclusively on light electric vehicles since 2013 and has an in-depth knowledge and expertise in electric bike legislation. She has been on the European Commission’s Working Group “Motorcycles” since 1999. In this Working Group, the European Commission negotiates directly with the member states and with stakeholders on technical rules for two-, three- and four-wheel light vehicles, including electric bicycles.

In a second presentation, Bram Rotthier of the Belgian university of Leuven, explained his findings on the requirement of factor 4 for speed pedelecs. Some time soon the European Commission will be reviewing this requirement, which stipulates that the power of speed pedelecs should be no more than 4 times the power, which the cyclist puts into the bike him/herself. In anticipation of the Commission’s review and for his PhD-thesis at KU Leuven, Bram Rotthier has done scientific research into factor 4.

At the meeting, he explained that factor 4 is not a legally binding requirement for speed pedelecs. They must be tested to establish their assistance factor but there is no legal obligation to comply with factor 4. From his research, he concluded that factor 4 is contested since this limitation is causing slower and more fickle speed pedelecs. It discriminates weaker riders. The official testing method is not guaranteeing to measure the real maximum assistance factor. The controllability is not taken into account and there is no scientific link between the assistance factor and safety.

The two presentations prompted many questions, which showed how complicated the matter is. From the meeting, there appeared to be a few hot issues. The legislation for electric mountain bikes has serious loopholes, which is cause for great concern. The 250W power limit is a considerable obstruction for further innovation of electric cargo bikes. It is impossible to fit kits and electric wheels, aimed at turning conventional bikes into electric bikes, into the current legal framework. The sector is not well informed about type-approval, specifically for speed pedelecs. Some companies believe for instance that speed pedelecs must have a 45 km/h speed limit, whilst electric bikes with a speed limit in between 25 and 45 km/h would not be not categorized as speed pedelecs and therefore don’t need type-approval.  This is totally incorrect. The replacement of type-approved component parts was yet another issue that raised a lot of questions.

LEVA-EU is a newly established association, which is exactly aimed at helping companies finding an answer to all the above questions. What’s more, LEVA-EU will negotiate directly with the European institutions to improve existing rules and regulations. However, for LEVA-EU to be able to convince the European institutions, the association needs the support and the input of the LEV-companies. Therefore, LEVA-EU membership is a win-win situation. The companies that join LEVA-EU are ensured of an answer to all their questions, whilst allowing LEVA-EU, by means of their membership, to promote their interests at European level and to work for a better legislative framework.

After the meeting, several companies expressed their interest in LEVA-EU membership. If you want to join them and support LEVA-EU in promoting the interests of the LEV-sector in Europe or if you want further details, please contact LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, tel. +32 9 233 60 05, email leva-eu@telenet.be

LEVA-EU has a very close cooperation agreement with LEVA in the USA. LEVA Chairman, Ed Benjamin, was at the Eurobike meeting. There are special arrangements for companies already member of LEVA and wanting to join LEVA-EU and vice versa.

2017 Polis Conference “Innovation in transport for sustainable cities and regions” – Call for Speakers

Polis has published the list of topics on which presentations are sought for the technical sessions of their annual conference, which takes place in December in Brussels. All abstracts should highlight the innovative dimension as well as results achieved and lessons learned. Innovative presentation formats are also welcome! Interested speakers are requested to prepare an abstract using the online submission form: http://www.polisnetwork.eu/2017abstracts

One of the topics relevant to the LEV-sector is “The commuting cyclist: the rise of e-bikes, fast cycle lanes, impact on urban regions” under the heading enviromnent & health in traffic. The issue of cyclelogistics could be broached under the topic “Safer urban freight transport to protect pedestrians and cyclists”, which comes under the heading road safety and security

Another relevant topic is “Urban parking policy to support economic & urban development; using parking data & technology for policy delivery”. Suitable parking infrastructure is one of the main issues in the promotion of LEVs. The opportunity of this topic needs to be used to outline the importance of including LEVs in parking data and technology analysis for policy delivery.

Finally, the topic “Public transport – integrated planning, clean vehicles, information services, automation, regional public transport” also offers opportunities for presentations on LEVs. These last two topics come under the issue of economic and social challenges.

For further details or to submit abstracts, please go to http://www.polisnetwork.eu/uploads/Modules/PublicDocuments/2017_polis-conference_call-for-speakersv2.pdf

Bike Europe and AVERE organize Information Meeting at Eurobike for Electric Bike Business

European electric bicycle sales continue to grow spectacularly. Also, new types, such as speed pedelecs or electric mountain bikes, are conquering the market. These developments crank up discussions on rules and regulations. How should these vehicles be categorized? Which technical regulations apply? What are the terms of use, for instance when it comes to helmets, insurance or their place on the road? How to assess the quality of these new vehicles?

At Eurobike, Bike Europe and AVERE organize a lunch meeting in which all the above questions will be dealt with.

On 31st December, the transitional period between the old and new type-approval system finishes. As of 1st January 2017, only the new type-approval system may be applied. AVERE Light Electric Vehicle Policy Manager Annick Roetynck will explain the details of the new type-approval system for electric bicycles, the terms of use that result from it and how the legislation may affect your business.

Bram Rotthier, PhD student at the Belgian university KU Leuven is half way through the research for his PhD. He analyses the technical performance of speed pedelecs, how commuters experience the use of the vehicle, as well as potential safety risks involved in that use. He will present the preliminary findings of his research.

Other researchers at the KU Leuven found that the quality of electric bicycles leaves room for improvement. In the framework of the TGVelo project, they carried out 2 years of research and testing in cooperation with 26 partners from the Flemish bicycle industry, consumer organizations and companies using pedelec fleets. This resulted in the TGVelo quality label for pedelecs, which offers a standardized and objective approach to compare pedelec quality. With TGV Velo, KU Leuven provides both fleet procurers and consumers with a framework to assess the quality of electric bikes, whilst also offering testing services. Jeroen De Maeyer will spell out all the details.

Last point on the agenda is a brief introduction to the European funded REE4EU project. Researchers from various European institutes are looking into the possibilities of recovering Rare Earth Elements, such as neodymium and dysprosium, from a variety of product groups one of which is electric bicycles. At the same time, they are developing a process to recycle and reuse this recovered REE. AVERE is carrying out a market analysis of the potential in the electric bicycle business. Annick Roetynck will tell you more about this project.

Bike Europe Editor-in-Chief Jack Oortwijn will be the moderator of this lunch meeting, which takes place on Thursday 1st September from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Conference Center East. There will be sandwiches, hot and cold drinks available.

Participants need to register for this meeting at the following website: http://conta.cc/2a0FYDZ.

The participation fee is € 80 (incl. VAT). Participants who have a subscription to Bike Europe pay € 40, whilst participants in the AVERE Light Electric Vehicle Task Force can attend for free.

You can subscribe to Bike Europe here: http://www.bike-eu.com/subscribe Further information on the AVERE Light Electric Vehicle Task Force is here: https://averelev.wordpress.com/join-avere-lev-tf/

Presentations EESC Public hearing on White Paper on Transport online

On 6 March, the European Economic and Social Committee organised a public hearing on the “White Paper on Transport: where do we stand?”.

All presentations are now online: http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.events-and-activities-white-paper-transport-assessment-present.

As a result of the hearing and of other meetings at the EESC, the Committee’s opinion is being improved by the rapporteurs and will finally be adopted in plenary on 22/23 April.