Tag Archive: E-Bikes

  1. Vässla launches its new “electric bike for all”

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    Source: DiGITAL, P. Mattsson

    LEVA-EU member Vässla has always stood out for their unique designs. Now, their latest product has been unveiled, an e-bike that “anyone can afford, and sit comfortably on.”

    Vässla Pedal, as it is called, has a stripped down design, and lacks displays, switches, and cabling. The battery is almost completely integrated into the bicycle’s frame. The bike is only available in a single size – 24 inches. The idea is to satisfy everyone’s needs, regardless of gender or size. “With an electric motor that drives, the diameter of the wheels is no longer a factor, something that traditional bicycle manufacturers have not really grasped”, says Vässla’s founder and CEO Rickard Bröms.

    “We have made a SEK 30,000 electric bicycle that everyone can afford and everyone can sit comfortably on. A commuting monster, something you can ride a couple of miles on every day,” he continues.

    The e-bike is available purchase outright, or via a subscription service with the goal of improving the accessibility of the e-bike market to all. With a range of 100 km, and a host of accessories set to launch over time, the product is designed to meet a commuter’s daily needs while being open to other uses such as grocery shopping.

    More information regarding the Vässla Pedal can be found here.

  2. Santander Cycles has launched e-bikes in London from September

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    Source: Transport for London

    Cycle hire scheme’s offering expanded, with 500 e-bikes added from 12 September

    Transport for London (TfL) and Santander have announced that e-bikes will be introduced to London’s record-breaking Santander Cycles scheme from 12 September.     

    In July, the scheme recorded its busiest month in its history, with more than 1.3 million hires across the month. To support the scheme’s continued success and financial sustainability, TfL and Santander are introducing 500 e-bikes to its fleet, which use an electric motor to assist riders as they pedal. The bikes are being introduced as part of a programme of work to modernise the cycle hire scheme, with funding agreed for the programme in 2020. The new e-bikes will be distributed across key central London locations and will enable even more Londoners to enjoy the benefits that cycling can bring, from improved health to cleaner air. The new bikes will help to break down the barriers that stop some people from cycling, including fitness, age, and journey length. E-bikes will be able to be docked at any of the scheme’s 800 docking stations, giving customers an easy and sustainable way of travelling across a large area of central and inner London.     

    TfL will also be making changes to the Santander Cycles fare tariff from 12 September, to support the introduction of e-bikes and to secure continued investment in cycle hire. The changes will make charges for access more flexible and easier to understand for everyone.      

    Feedback from customers has shown that the current tariff structure, which charges an annual membership fee or a daily access fee of £2, plus additional charges for rides longer than 30 minutes, is complex and inflexible. The changes, which are the first since 2013, include:          

    • A new flat rate of £1.65 per 30-minute ride. This will replace the existing daily access charge, which is £2 for unlimited rides of up to 30 minutes in a 24-hour period, with additional charges for rides over 30 minutes 
    • A new monthly membership option, costing £20 per month. The membership, which can be cancelled at any time, will allow customers unlimited 60-minute rides in the month and will improve the scheme’s offer to people who do not wish to commit to an annual membership           
    • The annual membership will now offer unlimited 60-minute rides, instead of the unlimited 30-minute rides currently offered. The price of an annual membership will increase to £120, reflecting increased running costs and inflation since it was last changed in 2013    
    • E-bikes will initially be available to registered users only, for a fare of £3.30 per 30-minute ride or an additional fare of £1 per 60 minutes for monthly and annual members  

    The £1.65 new flat rate for customers who are not Santander Cycles members matches the price of a bus fare, meaning that Santander Cycles will continue to offer one of the best value ways to get around London.    

    TfL has also confirmed that a number of new docking stations are set to open in the London Borough of Southwark later this year, the scheme’s first expansion since it was introduced to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe in 2019. The new docking stations will be located at Burgess Park Albany Road, South Bermondsey station, Clements Road, Harris Academy, Brandon Street, Crimscott Street and The Blue. The new docking stations will be built with funding from Southwark Council.   

    The scheme has continued to break records for 11 record months in a row, with every month from September 2021 to July 2022 achieving the highest number of hires for that month since the scheme began. The scheme also experienced a historic year in 2021 with a record-breaking number of hires across the year as well as during several different months. 10.9 million hires took place in 2021, surpassing the previous best target set in 2018 by 371,000 hires. More than one million individual customers used the cycle hire scheme last year, the first time this milestone has been reached in a calendar year. 178,000 new members joined the scheme in 2021, a seven per cent increase on 2020 and more than double that of any year prior to 2020. 

    Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: I am delighted to be launching our first ever e-bikes for hire. Another first for London hot on the heels of another record-breaking month for Santander Cycles, which saw an incredible 1.3m journeys in July. It will be great to see these new e-bikes on London’s streets soon. 

    I’m determined to continue building a cleaner, greener London for everyone and this includes making cycling as accessible as possible. The new Santander Cycles e-bikes will play an important role in helping to break down some of the barriers that stop people from getting on a bike, including fitness, age and length of journey.” 

    David Eddington, TfL’s Head of Cycle Hire, said: “Santander Cycles is a vital part of London’s transport system and is more popular than ever, with the scheme seeing 11 record-breaking months in a row. We want to make sure that the scheme continues to be one of the easiest and most sustainable ways of travelling in the capital. The new bikes, alongside our simpler new tariff, will ensure that the scheme can build on this success and be financially sustainable, playing a full role in a green and healthy future for London.”     

    Dan Sherwood, Marketing Director, Santander UK: “Broadening out the appeal of Santander Cycles through the addition of the new e-bikes is great news for Londoners, meaning more people can take advantage of a sustainable and healthy way to travel. With popularity of the scheme at an all-time high, we hope the introduction of e-bikes, along with a simplified tariff structure, will ensure Santander Cycles continue to go from strength to strength.”  

    Cllr Catherine Rose, Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Parks, Streets and Clean Air, said: “We are delighted to be working with TfL to expand the Santander Cycle scheme further south in our borough and excited to welcome the first of these additional cycle hire docking stations at the junction next to Burgess Park.   
    “The more people who switch from their cars to a bike, especially for short local trips, the better our air quality will be. People who cycle or walk more can also see improvements in physical and mental health. If you’ve not yet tried one, now is the time! We want to see more Santander bikes in more places in Southwark.
    ” 

    The scheme was temporarily closed between 2200 on Friday 9 September and 0600 on Monday 12 September to allow its systems to be upgraded in preparation for the changes. During this time bikes that were on hire could be returned, but no hires could be made. 

    Last year it was announced that Santander will continue to sponsor London’s flagship cycle hire scheme until May 2025. This will support TfL as it moves forward with planned investment in cycle hire, ensuring the scheme continues to grow and encourage more Londoners to get cycling.

  3. 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.

  4. E-bikers ride longer and more often – QWIC research

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    Research by e-bike brand, and LEVA-EU member, QWIC shows that e-bikers cycle further and more often than before they bought an e-bike. The research was conducted among 3318 QWIC owners from the Netherlands and Belgium. QWIC e-bikers have started to cycle an average of 55km more per week than they did before purchasing an e-bike. Many feel more energetic as a result and enjoy cycling more, even with a headwind.

    Source: QWIC

    ‘I cycle much more, my health has improved and I have already saved a lot of money’

    ‘I take the bike much quicker’

    Cycling further and more often
    Of all QWIC e-bikers, 1 in 5 (20%) cycle more than 100km per week on average. That’s 5,200 km per year. Which amounts to a bike ride from Amsterdam to the southernmost tip of Spain and back again. There are even e-bikers who cycle more than 300 km per week; they do this mainly to cover their commuting distance.

    ‘My commute has become much more pleasant and less stressful. I can now also determine much more precisely when I will arrive at work’

    ‘My well-being has improved, the daily ride back and forth to work is now me-time

    E-bikes as a healthy alternative
    QWIC users replace with their e-bike on average 86 km per week other means of transport such as cars, motorcycles, scooters, or public transport. The common motivation for this is health and being outdoors, getting more exercise, and having more fun. 

    European Mobility Week & Car Free Day
    QWIC conducted this research in the run-up to the European Mobility Week (Sept. 16 – 22), an initiative of the European Commission. During this week, sustainable urban mobility takes center stage, a theme QWIC strongly supports.

    September 22 is worldwide Car Free Day, the day when motorists are challenged to leave their cars at home and choose more sustainable transportation. Car Free Day is held in 46 countries and in more than 2,000 cities.

    QWIC ambition
    QWIC’s mission – ever since its founding 16 years ago – has been to accelerate the sustainable mobility revolution by getting more people on bikes and making them enjoy every ride. By developing high-quality and innovative electric bicycles, QWIC offers an enjoyable, active and healthy solution for everyday mobility.

  5. Laka’s insurance extends to Germany with the support of Porsche

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    Source: SazBike, M. Huber

    LEVA-EU member Laka, a bicycle insurer based in London, has now launched its service in Germany thanks to support from Porsche Ventures. In its initial stage, the brand will offer digital insurance products in these regions.

    Laka insurance is now available for all bicycles in Germany, including a partnership with Cyklaer e-bikes. Service providers in Germany under Laka insurance include Decathalon, Raleigh, Le Col, and Dockr. As announced in June, this development is facilitated by support from Porsche Ventures.

    Maxim Huber writes, “The insurance provider promises to only bill customers for the actual costs of claims submitted in the previous month. Insured persons should benefit from lower prices with fewer claims, while members are protected from higher collective claims by a monthly price cap. Costs are reduced through a daily updated pricing and risk model, with policyholders being transparent about where their money is going each month, the company says.”

    We are thrilled to bring our modern, refreshing, and collective insurance model to Germany, where micro-mobility is already a part of everyday life and continues to grow,” says Kelly Barnes, CMO of Laka.

  6. Trenergy offers dealer tours of new premises

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    Source: NieuwsFiets

    Following excellent development, LEVA-EU member and e-bike brand Trenergy relocated into an upgraded facility, and now offers dealers the chance to explore the new location

    For Trenergy, this year’s dealer cycle was not only dominated by the innovations in its collection, but also by the presentation of the new building. Dealers were offered a tour of the offices, the spacious warehouse, and finally the showroom, where the bicycles were presented. Trenergy director Taco Reydon also shared that additional development of the showroom is planned for the future, further amplifying Trenergy’s offering to prospective clients.

    Reydon and sales manager René Driessen notice that the dealers are becoming more careful when ordering new bicycles, and have observed shifts in market behavior, “The past year has been crazy. Some customers ordered two to three more than usual because they wanted to be assured of bicycles. But someone who normally does 100 bicycles will not suddenly sell 300,” explains Driessen. “And when we wanted to deliver the ordered bicycles, it sometimes didn’t work out. In good consultation, we then started canceling bicycles, which we were able to sell to other dealers. That is why we now prefer that entrepreneurs order slightly less, but then purchase it.

    But besides telling the dealers to think carefully about their order, they naturally do that themselves too,” adds Reydon. “They notice that many other suppliers are also starting to deliver. Moreover, the prospects are uncertain due to, for example, the high energy bills. We hope, of course, that people will leave the car at home more often and take the bike more often, but dealers are not all ready to anticipate this yet. But if you ensure that you have a nice range and an organization with which dealers can work well together, then you will be fine.”

    Outside of hometown developments, Trenergy expanded into the Belgian markets during 2021 and will continue its development through this year.

  7. Podbike tours Europe and further enhances the FRIKAR design

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    LEVA-EU member Podbike has toured the uniquely designed FRIKAR e-bike around various European trade shows, delighting audiences and making fresh engineering discoveries along the way

    ‘Podbike, meet din 79010’ – Germany’s strict safety standards

    Germany’s rules for bike design and safety are the gold standard across Europe. The Podbike FRIKAR is so unique, that it’s not completely clear which category of bike design it belongs in. Podbike has chosen to abide by Germany’s rules for cargo bikes, as the LEV can carry two people: one big, one small, or one rider and cargo in the rear.

    For example, the FRIKAR should be able to roll off a curb onto the road without any fear of damaging the bike. These simple drops from curb to road surface occur all the time on a bike, so it was necessary to test the effects of constant bumping such as this over time.

    To simulate long-term riding, Podbike has developed a power-driven test rig that allows a FRIKAR to ‘drive’ for days and days on rollers without a break. The fatigue data gathered provided interesting insights, which will assist in ensuring Podbike is first-in-class when it comes to velomobile stability and durability.

    What to do when shock absorbers are not absorbing sufficient shock?

    The biggest finding was that the front suspension wasn’t behaving as expected, being too stiff for the test rig. The suspension wasn’t absorbing enough kinetic energy, making for a bumpy ride and some complex handling. Additionally, unnecessary pressure was exerted on the bike’s chassis which would cause damage over time.

    As a result, Podbike has chosen to change the springs on the FRIKAR’s front shock absorbers. In laymen’s terms, the team has made the front suspension softer. This more supple suspension creates more give in the front end of the FRIKAR, reducing stress on the chassis, and taking a load off the front of the chassis and all the bike’s other components.

    The new springs have different diameters and steel thicknesses than the old ones. They will add a little extra weight, but not much – just a few grams.

    Why redesign the front suspension now?

    Readers may ask, why did Podbike wait until this late stage in the design process to make this change?

    The short answer is that there was not enough test data until now, despite the FRIKAR undergoing 2 years of test driving with the old suspension springs on roads in Norway.

    After some stress cracks appeared in the chassis, it was realized that reinforcement was required. Following this, it was assumed the issue would be solved, but the amped-up fatigue testing this summer on the roller rig revealed that more refinement was needed. Hence, additional suspension development!

    Development enhances the FRIKAR to the max.

    The good news is that following the installation of softer front shocks it was discovered that they extended the FRIKAR’s projected longevity by three to four years!

    A great result, but Podbike is committed to further development as to meet the German cargo bike standard.  Unfortunately, these changes to the front suspension mean the bike’s production will be delayed a little longer. However, while disappointing for some, Podbike’s dedication to quality is highlighted, ensuring only the most superior of products reach end-users.

  8. UDV research: E-bikes are not more dangerous than regular bicycles for most users

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    Source: fietsberaad.nl

    Statistics provided by the German Insurers Accident Research (UDV) indicate that an e-bike is no more dangerous than a regular bicycle in most cases, despite differing opinions.

    As e-bike usage in Germany has grown, so has the associated number of accidents. At a glance, it appears the proportion of elderly people involved in e-bike crashes may have increased, but following analysis, this can actually be attributed to a higher proportion of elderly riders using e-bikes. What is striking is that there are relatively more single-vehicle accidents involving e-cyclists and more accidents generally outside of built-up areas.

    Of course, the question is whether e-cyclists run a higher risk per kilometer driven. E-cyclists in Germany drive on average 1.8 times as many kilometers per day than regular cyclists. Once the difference in distance is taken into account, it is revealed that the age group 34-74 is not at a higher risk. This applies to involvement in accidents, the cause of accidents, and the outcome (injury or fatality). However, the risk is higher for those between 18-34 years old and to a lesser extent the over-75s. German researchers hypothesize that young people may take more risks while riding and use the pedal assist to ride faster than regular cyclists.

    Incidentally, Germany also struggles with incomplete accident figures. The police only register injury crashes and hardly any single-vehicle crashes. Therefore, a research gap is present and further analysis must be considered once data is available.

  9. TILER’s loading tile for shared bicycles

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    Source: fietsberaad.nl

    Wireless charging for e-bikes has been underway for some time now, with the potential to revolutionize the charging landscape. LEVA-EU member TILER’s loading tile is now being used in practice at various locations.

    TILER developed the induction technology for its charging tile in collaboration with the Delft University of Technology.

    Shared bicycle provider MOBIAN has recently started using the tile in Amsterdam to wirelessly charge its fleet of e-bikes immediately after use. No special hub administrator is needed to arrange this, enabling the vulnerabilities of regular chargers to be bypassed.

    To integrate the loading tile, it is only necessary to replace the regular bicycle kickstand with a special loading stand that allows wireless charging. This makes it relatively easy for bicycle sharing and rental companies to adapt their bicycles.

    The loading tiles have also been utilized by shared-bicycle scheme providers elsewhere, for example at NH Hotel Leeuwenhorst in Noordwijkerhout and at Arnhem Central.

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