Tag Archive: belgium

  1. Bizbike’s Veloci brand exceeds 100,000 bicycles

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    This month, Veloci, a Belgian e-bike brand by Bizbike, is set to reach a significant milestone by surpassing sales of 100,000 units directly to consumers in Belgium. The brand is also expanding its presence in the Netherlands, building on its established market in collaboration with the newspaper publisher Mediahuis.

    Source: NieuwsFiets.nu

    Mediahuis, which publishes a range of newspapers across Belgium and the Netherlands, has been in partnership with Veloci for over a decade. This collaboration has been pivotal in allowing Veloci to offer its e-bikes at competitive prices. “Thanks to this collaboration, which has lasted eleven years in Belgium, we can offer our bicycles at an affordable price to potential bicycle buyers,” explains Laurence Vanhove, Brand Manager Veloci at Bizbike. “On the one hand, we mainly sell the bicycles online via Nieuwsbladshop.be and on the other hand, we have also developed our own store network of seven Veloci stores in Flanders. The first two stores, then still ‘pop-up stores’, opened in 2021. We quickly noticed the added value of these physical points of sale. Potential customers attach great importance to viewing, comparing and testing our bicycles. The balance in sales online and in stores is now approximately fifty-fifty. On April 2, 2024 we opened our seventh store in Aarschot. The other six stores can be found in Aalter, Kuurne, Kasterlee, Houthalen, Mortsel and Erembodegem.” Vanhove went on to highlight other sales channels, “In the Netherlands, sales are mainly online via www.webshop.telegraaf.nl, or via certain fairs. We recently participated in the Cycling and Walking Fair in Utrecht. At consumer fairs we not only work on our brand awareness, but we also want people to extensively test our Veloci,”

    Vanhove states that Bizbike’s role is also very important with regard to after-sales service, because they take full responsibility for it. Also from the bicycles sold online. “We provide a lifetime warranty on the frame, a seven-year warranty on non-electrical parts and a two-year warranty on all electronic parts, such as the battery, motor and display,” Vanhove explains. “We also provide home service and maintain or repair bicycles at customers’ homes. We have a team of thirty mobile technicians who come to solve customer problems throughout Belgium and the Netherlands.”

    Unlike other direct-to-consumer bicycle brands, Veloci focuses on a compact collection, consisting of three city bicycles (Vivid, Vidid Plus and Solid) and a folding bicycle (Hopper). According to Vanhove, a conscious choice. “We focus on a limited number of distinctive models, from € 1,599 to € 2,499, so that the customer does not experience too much choice stress at home or in the store.”

    In 2024, Veloci will welcome two new models to its range. The Vivid Plus is based on the best-selling model of 2023, the Vivid. As a ‘plus’ the bicycle was given hydraulic disc brakes. “In combination with a Bafang mid-motor, 468Wh battery, and a Shimano Altus 8 rear derailleur (and Shimano freewheel), this is the perfect bike for longer distances and hilly areas,” Vanhove explains.

    With the Solid , the Belgian brand is launching a robust e-bike that is built to last. Thanks to the hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano Nexus 8 hub gear and closed chain guard, this bicycle is sustainable in maintenance. “The ideal companion for daily trips through town and country,” concludes Vanhove.

  2. TAITO co-founder meets King Philippe of Belgium

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    Source: AVS

    Campus Rommelaere of Ghent University welcomed high profile visitor, King Philippe, who met with student entrepreneurs to discuss their first steps in the business world.

    King Philip arrived at the Rommelaere campus of Ghent University where he received information about DO!, which stands for Dare to Entrepreneurship. The University set up an expertise center for entrepreneurship to help students start their own businesses. After some general explanation, the King met with some former students from Ghent University who had taken up entrepreneurships during their studies and are now running successful companies.

    These included Nathan De Baets, from e-scooter company, TAITO, who met the king and went on to state, “We are TAITO and we have launched the safest and most sustainable electric scooter on the market. We have been working on this for four years now and we have actually been available on the market since March-April last year. It is of course fantastic that the king shows so much interest in young entrepreneurs and what we all do. It was a very interesting conversation and he of course wanted to know what the advantages are that we have compared to other steps.”

    Watch the video on the visit here.

  3. TRAXIO market research: 47% of Belgians want to buy a new bicycle, mainly e-bikes from a bicycle dealer 

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    The Beglian automotive federation published figures on bicycle purchase intent following a 2023 market survey

    Source: TRAXIO

    Filip Rylant, spokesperson for the mobility federation TRAXIO, summarizes the findings of a comprehensive market survey conducted in November 2023 among 2,000 Belgian respondents regarding their intentions to purchase a new or second-hand bicycle. According to the survey, the inclination to make a purchase is notably high, with nearly half (47%) expressing a definite ‘yes,’ while 18% remain uncertain. This positive trend extends to both the short and long term, with 39% planning to make the purchase within two years, 43% within 2 to 5 years, and 17% within 5 years or more. The focus is predominantly on e-bikes, constituting 46% purely e-bikes and 18% a combination of mechanical and electric bicycles. The preferred channels for acquiring a new bicycle are bicycle shops (43%) and sports shops (29%), unlike in neighbouring countries where second-hand bicycle purchases are more common.

    Are you considering a new bike, if yes in what time frame?

    The prospect of obtaining a new bike is encouraging in the near to medium term, with 47% of respondents affirming their intention to buy, while only 18% are undecided. Interestingly, 35% express no desire to acquire a new bicycle. Among those planning a purchase, a significant portion aims for the relatively short term, with 39% intending to buy within two years and 43% within 2 to 5 years. Additionally, 17% plan to make a purchase within 5 years or more, indicating a well-distributed timeline for potential buyers.

    What type of bicycle are you likely to buy?

    The shift towards e-bikes is evident, with 46% planning to purchase at least one e-bike. Another 18% plan to acquire both mechanical and electric bicycles, while 36% opt for one or more mechanical bicycles. This points toward a continued electrification of the Belgian bicycle market. A closer examination of the replacement market reveals that 39% of respondents intend to replace a mechanical bicycle with an electric one, and 27% plan to replace an old e-bike with a new e-bike, emphasizing the substantial potential of e-bikes in the coming years.

    Where are you likely to purchase your bike?

    Consumer preferences for purchasing are tilted towards physical stores, with 43% favouring bicycle shops, 29% opting for sports shops, and 21% considering online options. Media partners’ offerings attract 7% of potential buyers. Proximity, expert advice, and the opportunity to test-drive emerge as key advantages for physical sales channels.

    Would you consider purchasing a second-hand bicycle?

    Belgians appear conservative compared to their Dutch counterparts, as 53% express reluctance, 27% are in favour, and 20% remain undecided. It appears to be too early for second-hand cycles, the evolution of these figures in the coming years will be interesting to observe.

    TRAXIO STATS

    TRAXIO regularly monitors the registration of new and used vehicles, providing detailed insights into national and regional breakdowns, fuel types, CO2 emissions, brands, and ages across various categories such as passenger cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, campers, trailers, and speed pedelecs.

  4. Belgian regulatory changes look set to improve bicycle theft detection

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    Recent changes in legislation make it easier for police to use decoy bikes to tackle theft

    Source: TheMayor.eu

    In 2023 around 30,000 bicycles were reported stolen in Belgium, with the exact number of crime incidents believed to be higher, with most incidents remaining unsolved. Recently announced changes to legislation in Belgium have made it easier for police to use “bait bikes”, vehicles that can track down thieves and return the bikes to their rightful owners.

    Belgian Justice Minister Paul Van Tigchelt was interviewed by the Brussels Times and said the following “A stolen bike frustrates victims enormously. It also frustrates the police because it is very difficult to catch bicycle thieves in the act, with decoy bikes, we can do something about it.

    What are “bait bikes”?

    Equipped with a GPS tracker, they are anonymous and can be parked on any street to report to police as soon as a bike starts moving, who can easily follow where the vehicle is going.

    This crime-tackling method is not new, but before the changes in legislation, it was more difficult for police to use it because they had to prove that they were undertaking special organized crime operations to get authorization from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, as this action was categorized under special investigation methods. Now they do not have to go to those lengths to use a decoy bike, making the process more streamlined and easier for the police to track down thieves.

    It is expected to boost solvability for this crime and result in more perpetrators being punished (reportedly with fines of up to 400 euros if caught, and for repeat offenders it is less clear if they would receive a more serious punishment).

    With bait bikes being more commonly used by the police, it is hoped that it will serve as a preventive measure to put off thieves from committing the crime in the first place, as it would be difficult for them to know whether they’ll be on the radar of a decoy bike.

  5. Brussels drastically cuts e-scooter numbers starting February 2024

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    Source: The Mayor.eu

    Starting February 1st, 2024, Brussels is implementing significant changes to its e-scooter landscape. The city plans to reduce the available e-scooters from over 20,000 to just 8,000, exclusively operated by Bolt and Dott. Alongside this reduction, designated drop zones will become the sole spots to conclude a ride on these vehicles.

    To accommodate this shift, Brussels Mobility will increase specially assigned parking spaces for shared mobility vehicles from 1,000 to 1,500 in the coming month. Leaving an e-scooter outside these allocated zones will be prohibited from then on.

    This move aligns with a broader trend across European cities to address the unregulated spread of shared micromobility vehicles, which often encroach on pedestrian spaces in urban areas.

    Brussels Mobility highlighted their commitment to providing the safest and most advanced vehicles to the city’s residents. The fleet, comprising e-scooters, bicycles, and mopeds, will boast 100% zero direct emissions. Moreover, special pricing schemes for various target audiences are in the works.

    With licensed operators finalized, other entities now face the task of removing excess vehicles within a six-week grace period.

    Furthermore, regional authorities have selected operators for shared bikes, mopeds, and cargo bikes, establishing quotas for each category in the city.

    The new regulations take effect on February 1st, 2024, across 11 Brussels municipalities. In the remaining eight, operators will utilize GPS tracking systems to restrict parking to locations sanctioned by local authorities.

  6. Belgium increases cycling allowance in 2024 but caps tax exemption

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    The Belgian government has decided to substantially increase the maximum tax-free allowance for commuting by bike, e-bike or speed pedelec, raising it from € 0.27 to € 0.35 per kilometer. The new rate is applicable since 1 January 2024. This initiative is based on the Belgian cycle plan ‘Be Cyclist’, which runs since 2021 until the end of this year.

    Vincent Van Peteghem, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, explains the increase: “For those for whom it is possible, cycling is an efficient, sustainable, and healthy way to commute to and from work. With the increase in the tax and social exemption for bicycle allowances, we aim to give an extra push to the number of employees opting for cycling. Because more people cycling also means fewer cars on the road, leading to reduced traffic congestion and better air quality. Undoubtedly, it has a positive impact on the health of our citizens.”

    At the same time, an annual ceiling for tax exemption of € 2,500 has been introduced. This ceiling corresponds to an annual distance of 7,142 km, given a cycling allowance of € 0.35 per km. Based on 210 working days a year, this annual distance equals a one-way commute of 17 km. This may seem a realistic calculation, given that 92% of employees who cycle to work live within less than 15 km from their workplace. Nevertheless, there are speed pedelec riders who use their vehicle to commute over longer distances. LEVA-EU’s technical director for instance has a one-way commute of 40 km. In his case, the capped amount only allows for 89 paid commuting days a year.

    It’s not clear why the government has introduced this cap, thus discriminating those riders who contribute most to avoiding emissions and to reducing congestion, whilst using more expensive vehicles than (e)bike riders. Beyond the cap of € 2,500, riders are still entitled to the cycling allowance of € 0.35 per km but the excess amount becomes subject to social security and tax.

    The Belgian government is addicted to taxing everything and anything. The € 2,500 limit is probably a result of that obsession. It is a pity that no cost/benefit analysis has been carried out to determine the savings in external costs resulting from the replacement of a car with a speed pedelec. That analysis would undoubtedly show how counterproductive that cap is.

    On a more positive note, until April last year, employers had no obligation to pay the cycling allowance. In May 2023, employers’ and employees’ organizations reached an agreement to introduce the entitlement to a cycling allowance in all collective labour agreements in the private sector. This however does not mean that employers must pay € 0.35 per km. They are entitled to pay a lesser amount or a fixed amount per commute.

  7. My-eScooter calls for a reform of tax benefits for sustainable mobility

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    My-eScooter, a company from Nivelles specialized in the production and distribution of innovative electric scooters, reopens the debate on the tax benefits of soft mobility for companies.

    It may sound absurd, but in Belgium it is currently not possible to use your mobility budget for scooters or other sustainable means of company transport. They are simply not considered “bicycles” in the eyes of the law. In practice, however, electric scooters are already part of the solution. As an example, consider the My-eScooter scooters from GSK and ALD.

    This is not a sharing scooter

    Talking about the growing importance of mobility budgets for companies is actually kicking in an open door. The integration of personal electric scooters provides an additional alternative to the soft mobility of our companies, far from the shared scooters that roam our cities. The need for sustainable and flexible solutions has never been greater, except for our legislator apparently…

    Urgent: the electric scooter must be considered a “bicycle”.

    A quick refresher: since 2021, Belgian employers can enjoy a number of tax benefits to encourage their staff to make use of soft mobility. All costs specifically incurred for the purpose of promoting this use are 100% deductible as business expenses. The purchase, maintenance costs, helmets, padlocks, safety vests, batteries, leasing costs and even healthcare are all included.

    The elephant in the room:

    The legislator does not (yet) regard the electric scooter as a “bicycle”. Yet this means of transport is the perfect complement to cars and bicycles.
    There is no clear equivalence for VAA, mileage allowance or deductibility. However, electric bicycles and scooters have an electric motor and battery and solve the same problem: soft mobility over short distances.

    “This is absurd when you look at the added value of electric scooters in mobility plans. The proof is the tests carried out in collaboration with GSK and the lease applications with ALD,” underlines Sanjeev D’Souza, founder of the My-eScooter brand.

    Convincing tests at GSK

    At DSK, approximately 9,000 employees have a mobility budget. Patrick Vlasselaer, Mobility Manager, is organizing the promotion of electric scooters for the second consecutive year. “By lending the different My-eScooter models, our employees can test and find the electric scooter that suits their profile, both for commuting and for private activities. Initially, I focused on employees who live within a radius of 7 km from the head office, approximately 300 people. The feedback was very positive, thanks to the quality of the products and the innovative options for safe mobility. In consultation with my colleagues from HR, we hope to also introduce this extra soft mobility alternative in our internal offers.”

    An existing offer at Ayvens (ALD Automotive | LeasePlan)

    The leasing specialist did not wait for the legislator to include electric scooters in the offer for companies, but the fiscal brake is already noticeable. When leasing, Irene Malla, Product Manager, pays close attention to 3 criteria: “The quality of the product, the range of maintenance and the flexibility of the solution. I found this added value at My-eScooter. The portfolio is innovative, there is They also have an after-sales service in Belgium and they offer battery regeneration if necessary. We regret that Belgian legislation is an obstacle for our customers, because the demand is certainly there.”

    About My-eScooter

    My-eScooter is a Belgian company specialized in the production and distribution of innovative electric scooters. Their mission is to encourage alternative and sustainable mobility at work and for personal use. The range of innovative and environmentally friendly products includes electric scooters with replaceable batteries and an exclusive battery regeneration service. As a Belgian company, My-eScooter is the partner of the most important players in the field of mobility. www.my-escooter.com

  8. Belgian bicycle logistics figures provide insight into growth potential

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    Source: fietsberaad Crow

    About 33 percent of the pre- and post-transport during the delivery of packages in Belgian cities could be done by bicycle, according to the Belgian Cycle Logistics Federation in its first Barometer of the bicycle logistics sector. Currently it is estimated that it is only one percent.

    The bicycle logistics sector in Belgium is growing rapidly, in the past two years the number of delivered packages grew from 250 thousand to 850 thousand and turnover and the number of people working in the sector doubled. They cycled more than a million kilometers in 2022 and a package delivered by them had a factor of 40 less CO2 emissions than with a conventional van.

    But things can still be much better, according to the Belgian Cycle Logistics Federation, an association of Belgian bicycle logistics companies with the aim of achieving the full potential of bicycle logistics to combat climate change, offer fair and good jobs in the transport sector, and participate in creating liveable and sustainable cities.

    In addition to data about the sector, the Barometer also contains a questionnaire survey among 55 bicycle couriers about the content of their work, how they experience it and what kind of contract they have. The challenges of the sector have also been identified. The most important one is that bicycle logistics is not yet sufficiently known among relevant stakeholders, which means that it is overlooked as a solution. Secondly, the sector still faces an economic challenge because it is relatively new. And thirdly, it is important that good quality infrastructure is created so that bicycle couriers can do their work safely. Finally, the barometer contains an overview of lessons from practice and a plan to further develop bicycle logistics in small steps to a market share of 33 percent.

    The Belgian Cycle Logistics Federation wants to publish this barometer annually from now on to map the progress of the sector.

  9. Belgium works on a bicycle registration system to combat bicycle theft

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    Source: Tweewieler, H.Berendsen

    Belgium has taken the next step towards registering bicycles to protect against theft. The registration system, called ‘MyBike’, should reduce the risk of bicycle theft, with cyclists being able to stick a unique QR code on their bicycles.

    The cooperation agreement was concluded at the initiative of the federal Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet, between the federal governments of the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region, and can now be submitted to the Flemish Parliament. Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters explains: “We like to cycle a lot in Flanders, but if your bicycle is stolen, that is a serious loss. Especially if it is a more expensive vehicle such as a racing bike, an e-bike or a speed pedelec. The fear of bicycle theft should not prevent people from traveling by bicycle. That is why we are working with the federal government and the other regions in Belgium on a user-friendly platform where people can register their bicycles, to prevent theft and to encourage bicycle use even more.”

    Unique sticker code

    In the future, cyclists can request a sticker free of charge to stick on their bicycle, which contains a unique QR code. This code allows bicycle owners to store their bicycle’s data in a secure system, and be able to report it if any theft occurs. If thieves offer a stolen bicycle for sale or leave it behind, a potential buyer, finder or the police can immediately scan the code and identify whether the bicycle has been reported as stolen. “The main advantage of this centralised bicycle register is the unique code that’s linked to one specific bicycle. You can register multiple bicycles, and each will receive its own code. If a bicycle is stolen or lost, the competent authorities can also easily trace the owner,” said Minister Peeters.

    Development of central register

    The cooperation agreement between the various regions and the federal government must now be voted on in parliament. In the meantime, working on system development continues. The intention is that the federal government will be responsible for centralised register management, with each region developing their own user portal and help desk. Sticker printing and shipping providers also need to be sourced. The police are also involved in developing the platform.
    The partners are aiming to launch the new system in 2024. When launch time approaches, information sessions will be organised to explain the system in detail to local authorities and municipal prevention and mobility services, among others.

    To combine forces

    Georges Gilkinet, Federal Minister of Mobility has said the following about this anti-theft initiative: “Bicycle theft is a real plague. It is crucial that we join forces to combat it better. After the Walloon and Brussels Governments previously gave their approval, this agreement going to the Flemish Government is therefore good news. This allows us to offer this central bicycle register to cyclists through 2024. This system is an essential part in the fight against bicycle theft. Together we are stronger!” Elke Van den Brandt, Brussels mobility minister: “Experience in Brussels shows that the secure My Bike sticker will really make a difference. We also invest in well-secured bicycle parking spaces. Both projects are complementary and crucial in the fight against bicycle theft.” Philippe Henry, Walloon Minister of Mobility: “I am very pleased with the progress of this project being included in the Walloon bicycle plan that was adopted in 2022. The Mybike system, which will very soon replace bicycle engravings, is part of a global approach which aims to effectively combat bicycle theft and further promote mobility via active modes of transport.”

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