Tag Archive: Decarbonizing transport

  1. Sharing the calculation methodology of the ‘Cleanest Dirt Bike Ever’ – CAKE

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    Following the last announcement of an Open Source project between Vattenfall & LEVA-EU member, CAKE, with the aim to commercialize the first fossil-free vehicle to be launched 2025, CAKE releases the calculation methodology (Life Cycle Assessment) behind the project.

    The ambition is to minimize the CO2 footprint of the Kalk OR dirt bike to as close as zero as possible without offsetting. The process will combine success with disappointments that will be shared transparently with the aim to inspire and accelerate the obligation and transition of the industry towards zero emissions.

    Sharing the methodology to inspire stakeholders

    Since 2021, the project team has taken the complete Kalk OR apart and analyzed each component to conclude the total production footprint of 1,186 kg CO2e as a starting point. The methodology behind calculating this footprint, via a life cycle assessment (LCA), has been openly released to the public on the CAKE website. The system boundary for this Cleanest Dirt Bike Ever project, which defines what is taken into consideration and what is excluded, includes every single part and process of the bike. It also restricts all offsetting.

    Helping the general public grasp environmental impact

    So how much is 1,186 kg CO2e? Buzz words like carbon footprint and environmental impact when talking about bikes, and products in general, can be abstract and tough to understand. To bridge this gap, CAKE and Vattenfall launched THE CUBE to visualize the equivalent volume of carbon dioxide, 1,186 kg CO2e, that the CAKE Kalk bike emits during production, and thus what the project aims to reduce to zero.

    In addition to visualizing the CO2 footprint with THE CUBE, the partners of the Cleanest Dirt Bike Ever are taking the next step to explain the calculation methodology behind the numbers; Life cycle assessment (LCA). As only a handful of stakeholders know what an LCA is, and how to perform one, the published article takes the reader step-by-step through the process of performing an LCA and its results.

    Learn more about the steps behind an LCA and how the project partners calculated the footprint of the Cleanest Dirt Bike Ever.

    About the project

    Going fossil free isn’t just about how things are powered, it’s about removing the carbon from how things are sourced, made, transported, and assembled. So, while electric vehicles are a good start, they don’t take us far enough.

    Solving the greatest challenge in human history demands that we rethink conventional ways of doing things. It demands that we break silos and collaborate far beyond industry borders. And it demands we do it today, because the future can’t wait. The project essentially combines CAKE’s expertise in innovation and engineering with Vattenfall’s expertise in electrifying industries and decarbonizing entire production chains.

    Together the collaboration will reinvent the wheel, the suspension, the saddle, and every other part of the CAKE Kalk OR with the aim of making the first truly fossil-free vehicle. The team will reduce its current estimated carbon weight of 1,186 kg CO2e to an absolute minimum by 2025, making what they claim to be ‘the cleanest dirt bike ever’. Every single setback, breakthrough, and finding will be shared along the way to inspire others.

  2. Vattenfall and CAKE reveal hidden CO2 sources when producing an electric motorcycle by demonstrating carbon footprint with a cube

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    Stefan Ytterborn: “The term fossil-free vehicles is greenwashing until the entire production part has been decarbonized, regardless of the fuel they are running on”

    Vattenfall, a leading European energy company, and LEVA-EU member CAKE, the Swedish maker of premium lightweight, electric motorcycles, today announced an innovative initiative for visualizing carbon emissions from production. Within the joint project “Cleanest Dirt Bike Ever”, CAKE and Vattenfall are revealing the climate impact of producing one CAKE Kalk OR electric offroader by placing it in a cube, 8.6 meters tall, that represents the volume of carbon emissions created in the production of the bike – 637 cubic meters, equal to 1,186 kg CO2e.

    The popular term fossil-free vehicles is greenwashing until the entire production has been decarbonized, regardless of the fuel they are running on. In fact, most companies do not know the carbon footprint of their own products. To understand and tackle our own impact, we have measured the emissions from our entire production chain for one CAKE Kalk OR, and started to decarbonize every step to a minimum by 2025. By doing so, our second most important contribution to the planet is to inspire other manufacturers to step up and do the same,” says Stefan Ytterborn, founder and CEO of CAKE.

    Annika Ramsköld, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Vattenfall commented:

    Vattenfall works to achieve fossil-free living within one generation and is dedicated to finding partnerships that inspire and break barriers. This is one such project, where our main contribution is the broad knowledge in fossil free solutions and electrification of industries we have acquired over decades from our own as well as other industries.

    Cleanest Dirt Bike Ever – revealing climate impact

    Within the project Cleanest Dirt Bike Ever, Vattenfall and CAKE have been collaborating since 2021 with the aim to produce the first ever truly fossil-free vehicle – the CAKE Kalk OR electric offroader. The first step in the decarbonization process was taking the bike apart and measuring the impact, from a climate perspective, of every individual part. The two companies worked together to quantify the carbon emissions from step one of the manufacturing process for each component as well as final assembly – from raw material to finished product.

    The life cycle assessment (LCA) concluded that producing one CAKE Kalk OR currently results in emissions of 1,186 kg CO2e, equal to a volume of 637 cubic meters. Every successful step taken results in shrinking the volume. The route to fossil-free production will involve both CAKE and its existing suppliers, as well as a number of innovative producers of alternative components and materials that offer opportunities for emissions to be further reduced.

    An integral part of the Cleanest Dirt Bike Ever collaboration between Vattenfall and CAKE will be the cube, a three-dimensional visualization of the carbon footprint from production. The visualization itself is an innovative approach to building a broad understanding of an urgent global issue that is often talked about, but difficult to comprehend. The objective of the cube is to raise awareness among consumers, inspire the manufacturing industry in general, and position Vattenfall and CAKE as leaders in the transition to fossil-free production.

    The many misperceptions of fossil-free

    Anything that is produced results in a certain carbon footprint. Consumers can make a large difference by consuming less and more consciously if they are given the opportunity to understand what fossil-free means. For instance, research has shown that 83 percent of all EV owners believe that they are already doing enough for the climate. The reality is that an electric car results in carbon emissions of 35 tonnes when produced, a figure that manufacturers are rarely able to provide.

    Carbon emissions from producing different products (weight and volume):

    – A pair of jeans: 33 kg CO2e, 18 m3

    – Beef, 1 kg: 60 kg CO2e / 32 m3

    – Using up a full tank (60 liters) of gasoline in a car:

    – Petrol: 182 kg CO2e / 97 m3

    – Diesel: 206 kg CO2e / 110 m3

    – CAKE Kalk OR electric motorcycle: 1,186 kg CO2e / 637 m3

    – A 46 inch LED television: 1,334 kg CO2e / 713 m3

    – A mid-size electric car: 25-35 tonnes CO2e / 13,359-18,703 m3

  3. African innovation and research win at Summit of transport ministers

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    Source: International Transport Forum

    A Ugandan programme to reduce emissions and a Kenya-based electric vehicle-transition project are the recent winners of the prestigious International Transport Forum Decarbonising Transport Award.

    With 64 member countries, The International Transport Forum (ITF) is an intergovernmental think tank for transport policies and is the only global body that covers all transport types. The ITF campaign aims to improve the lives of people by trend analysis and sharing knowledge to deeper understand the role of transport for economic and environmental gains. The ITF’s Annual Summit is the world’s largest gathering of transport ministers and is a platform for discussion and reform.

    The innovation category of the International Transport Forum Decarbonising Transport Award went to Wanyama Autosafety Initiatives for its campaigning to reduce air pollution from vehicle emissions. The startup initiative is made up of 400 local mechanics who navigate Ugandan’s capital city, Kampala, to improve the environmental inconsistencies from the capital’s most polluting cars. Kampala regularly exceeded the WHO safety guidelines on air pollution by a staggering six-fold, so there was an urgency with the need to improve the air quality. The Wanyama Autosafety Initiatives searched for solutions to the emissions problems and produced data-driven reports that flagged the problem to the public to gain their support. The EUR 10,000 prize will be used on quantifying equipment to further educate the city’s residents and reduce emissions, and may also be utilised in a possible electric vehicle conversion programme.

    The Wanyama Autosafety Initiative Executive Director accepted the award at the ITF Summit on “Transport for Inclusive Societies” in Leipzig, Germany on 20th May 2022, commenting that, “Our multi-faceted programme aims to address the devastating effects of air pollution in our largest city. Early results from this start-up venture clearly demonstrate that a community-based approach rooted in sound data analysis can result in better air quality and improved road safety. I hope the international recognition that comes with this prestigious award will lead to a change in policies and a cleaner, sustainable mobility future in Uganda and beyond.”

    More information on Wanyama Autosafety Initiatives can be found here.

    The research category of the ITF Decarbonising Transport Award went to the Transition To Electric Boda Boda in the Nairobi City County, Kenya project. Nairobi City County has a notable motorcycle taxi network but is often not considered for electric vehicle transitions. The research category winners will now be able to explore any policy, legal and institutional hindrances that prevent the Boda Boda motorcycle network from inclusion in transport electrification policies.

    The EUR 5,000 prize will allow the campaigners to collect data and research legality and policies in order to progress towards achieving Kenya’s sustainability goals. The study will further identify any essential steps needed to convert Boda Boda’s power from internal combustion engines into electric batteries. This will maximise Kenya’s environmental decarbonisation and adhere to the county’s wonderful renewable energy source production.

    Accepting the award, James Moronge, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi, commented: “Boda Boda taxis have attained a significant place in catering to people’s travel needs. They contribute significantly to load factor and vehicle kilometres travelled, as well as to emissions. It is important, therefore, that they be adapted to lower-emission energy sources, including battery-powered technology. I’m delighted that the relevance of this research is recognised at the International Transport Forum’s Summit, and I hope that ITF’s global reach will help us to share the insights of our work with other countries.”

    ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim said: “We cannot achieve our climate goals without decarbonising transport. Emerging economies with growing demand for mobility face particular challenges. I am deeply impressed by the level of innovation and commitment to transport decarbonisation reflected in applications for ITF’s new Decarbonising Transport Award. I am delighted that the ITF can support these carbon-neutral transport solutions through funding and support for research, outreach and dissemination. I hope that the award winners will greatly benefit from the visibility of the award and that we will continue to collaborate on our shared climate goals.”

    The ITF Decarbonising Transport Award recognises projects with great potential to aid in decarbonising transport in emerging economies. 37 applications, primarily from African, Latin American and Asian countries, were assessed by an internal and external jury representing a diverse set of countries and profiles. The two winning entries were selected from a total of seven finalists.
    More information can be found here.

  4. Car-free zone larger than Manhattan proposed in Berlin

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    Source: Fast Company

    Action group proposes car limitations on the entirety of Berlin city centre enclosed within the RingBahn train line.

    Having been conceptualised in 2019 by three friends, the Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei’s (People’s Decision for Auto-Free Berlin) radical proposal to transform Berlin city centre into a car-free zone is now under consideration by Berlin Senate, having reached 50,000 supporting signatures. The governing body will reach a decision by February, in a similar process to the 2016 law changes that improved cycling across Berlin.

    Of course, car-free does not equate to a complete ban, but rather a significant reduction in the prevalence of private car use – emergency vehicles, garbage trucks, and other service vehicles would still function as normal. Campaigners highlight the benefits not only to the wider environment but the local one experienced by Berlin residents on a daily basis. By removing private car usage from the city, communities can ‘take back’ the Berlin streets as functional and versatile public spaces, improving both the health and safety of commuters.

    With traffic already limited in some Berlin neighbourhoods, or ‘Kiezblocks’, the proposal would massively accelerate the shift in Berlin’s urban environment, again highlighted by campaigners as a crucial step to take in light of the ongoing climate crisis. If rejected by the city, organisers will continue to collect signatures of support until the issue can go to ballot – with 175,000 required backers.

  5. Flemish Radio Interviews LEVA-EU Manager on E-Scooters with Saddle

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    The start of the European Mobility Week on 16 September is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with other more sustainable means of transport than the car. In that framework, the Flemish Radio 2 program “De Inspecteur” (The Inspector) interviewed LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck and Stef Willems (VIAS) about electric scooters with a saddle.


    “It’s complicated,” says Stef Willems of VIAS. “But the bottom line is that an e-scooter with a saddle is considered a moped in our country according to European and Belgian legislation. So, the only way to legally go on the road is with a number plate and helmet. You can in no way consider that vehicle as a regular e-scooter according to the law.”

    The police can fine you if you drive around with such a scooter without a number plate, or even confiscate your scooter, Willems warns. “The problem is that the people who buy e-scooters with saddles assume these are regular e-scooters, which allow them to go anywhere with them on the road. I have noticed that the sellers often do not clearly indicate that they are actually buying a moped.”

    Illegal e-scooters for sale

    We have seen that non-type-approved e-scooters are for sale on bol.com, says Willems. “Because they are not type-approved, you are under no circumstances allowed on public roads in Belgium. There is no certificate of conformity, so you can’t apply for a number plate. You can only drive around with it in your garden for instance. But the sellers don’t mention that.”

    There are also saddles for sale which you can mount on your e-scooter yourself, but that is not allowed either. “If you mount that saddle on your scooter, you are also not allowed on public roads, because here too you are in breach of European regulations.”

    Bol.com takes illegal steps offline

    At bol.com, they did not know that e-scooters with saddle are illegal, despite the fact that LEVA-EU had sent them a reasoned warning more than a year ago. The enquiry by the Flemish radio programme  “De Inspecteur”, convinces them to take immediate action. Tamara Vlootman tells “De Inspecteur”: “Our quality team will investigate this. Until then, we have taken the articles offline as a precaution. We will now look further into how we are going to approach that, maybe we will add a clear warning label.”

    Sellers be warned

    “We inform the companies about the correct legislation. It is all very complex but we call for the law to be respected,” says Annick Roetynck, from LEVA-EU, the professional association for light electric vehicles in Europe.

    “Some sellers actually don’t know the law; others choose not to know the law. They sometimes have the customers sign a paper to acknowledge that the e-scooters they are buying are not allowed on public roads. If an accident were to happen, they will not be able to avoid their liability.”

    Outdated law

    Annick Roetynck does not agree with the law at all. “The laws were made long ago, when there were only cars, motorcycles and mopeds with fossil fuels, but not with new vehicles in mind. That’s why you get strange situations for no reason, because an e-scooter with a saddle is largely the same as an e-scooter without a saddle. There is no justification for submitting them to two completely different legal frameworks.”

    That is why she hopes that the legislation will be changed: “Personally, I have been working for more than 20 years for accurate legislation for LEVS such as e-scooters with or without saddle but also electric bicycles-without pedals for instance. They all have a role to play in making mobility more sustainable. They have great potential in decarbonizing mobility in the fight against climate change. There is some good news: the European Commission has recognized that the legislation needs to be improved and we hope it to be amended within 2 or 3 years.”

    The radio-interview with Annick Roetynck is here: https://radio2.be/luister/select/de-inspecteur/sommige-elektrische-steps-zijn-illegaal-als-je-er-een-ongeval-mee-hebt-is-de-verkoper-mee-verantwoordelijk

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