Starting June 27, six cities across south-western Germany are set to host commercial e-cargo bike testing opportunities, promoting uptake among local businesses.
Berlin transport change agency Cargobike.jetzt is behind the operation, offering a variety of LEVs for testing. These include various e-cargo bikes and trailers, supporting up to 200kg of cargo. The scheduled dates and locations are:
Monday, June 27: Ludwigsburg | Rathaushof | 1pm-6pm
Tuesday, June 28: Stuttgart | Karlsplatz | 11am-4pm
Wednesday, June 29: Karlsruhe | Old Slaughterhouse 35 | 12pm-7pm
Thursday, June 30: Darmstadt | HWK Frankfurt-Rhine-Main | 11am-4pm
Friday, July 1st: Mainz | Mewa Arena | 11am-4pm
Saturday, July 2: Wiesbaden | Palace Square | 9am-7pm
A ‘pandemic bike boom’ has catapulted the German and wider European cargo-bike market towards an estimated growth of 40-50% in 2021
As European cities continue to grow in size and density, road space has become increasingly scarce. In tandem, online shopping has become the new norm, so it is unsurprising that in locations such as the UK, van traffic has seen a 71% increase over the last 20 years; for comparison, car traffic saw a 13% growth in the same period. More vans equate to more congestion, more pollution, and slower delivery times. In Germany, the cargo-bike is powering onto the scene with such ferocity that leading magazine Bike Europe stated that the bikes have quickly “[changed] the look of streets” in many cities.
Six years ago, in 2016, annual German cargo-bike sales stood at 15,000, in 2020 sales reached 100,000; today, the pandemic induced ‘bike boom’ has led to manufacturers estimating they experienced growth of 40-50% in 2021. When discussing modern city planning Walther Ploos van Amstel, a professor of city logistics at Amsterdam University, argues that “trucks… need to become smarter, cleaner, quieter, smaller and safer.” to remain viable – electric cargo-bikes already fulfill all of these criteria.
This spike in interest correlates to businesses begining to identify the range of benefits that electric cargo-bikes may bring to their operations in urban areas. In many cities, trips made by cargo-bikes are often more efficient during both travel and delivery procedure (parking, unloading, etc.). Consequently, policymakers are further accelerating the electric cargo-bike trend on a local and national scale, offering subsidies, trial schemes, and rebates. Cargo-bikes make up a crucial step in the marathon that is transforming European cities into climate-neutral locations.
Comments Off on LEVA-EU to champion better rules for manufacturers as board member is appointed as SBS-expert
Trade association LEVA-EU, the sole voice for the light electric vehicle sector, is announcing the appointment of one of its board members, cycling industry veteran Eddie Eccleston, as Small Business Standards (SBS) expert. SBS is mandated by the European Commission to watch over SME-interests in European standardisation through the appointment of dedicated experts. In his position as SBS-expert, Eddie will help drive better rules for LEV manufacturers operating in the European Union.
LEVA-EU represents a wide range of LEV manufacturers in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, China and Korea, a large number of which are small businesses active in the European e-bike sector. Eddie Eccleston comments; “It is brilliant for LEVA-EU to gain a stronger voice through SBS as this is a key organisation which can help drive better rules and regulations for the LEV sector, which is not well understood always at EU level.” He continued: “The coronavirus crisis is accelerating the use of LEVs as a safe, alternative, green and healthy form of travel. However, legislation must keep up with the sector and there are serious issues where the rules are not fit for purpose for LEVs and they need resolving urgently.”
Eddie’s appointment comes as LEVA-EU campaigns among other things for the exclusion of e-cargo bikes from legislation that it says is stifling industries that rely on them. LEVA-EU has already written to the European Commission calling for urgent legislative change for LEVs centering on the technical legislation for L-category vehicles – mopeds and motorcycles.
The European Council and Parliament decided in 2013 to only exclude electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250 W from this L-category in Regulation 168/2013. All other electric bicycles are included in technical legislation that was originally written for internal combustion engine mopeds and motorcycles, leaving manufacturers forced to navigate complicated and costly procedures. E-cargo bike manufacturers currently limit their vehicles to 250W to avoid the regulation and the ensuing type approval.
Eddie said: “This is a big issue I have already raised with SBS and we want as much input from LEV manufacturers as possible,” he said. “The 250W power limit, which e-cargo bike manufacturers must adhere to to stay out of type approval, is clearly insufficient in view of the increasing weight of the loads and for hilly areas. At the same time, European cities are banning cars, vans and trucks, and e-cargo bikes are being seen as a brilliant alternative. For this reason, and for e-cargo bike manufacturers to really thrive, it is essential that these types of vehicles are more widely excluded from the legislation so that the industry can reach its full potential.”
In his position of SBS-expert Eddie will be watching over the specific interests of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in CEN TC 333 – cycles. There he is looking to ensure that standards do not hold any requirements, which are too difficult or too complicated for SMEs to comply with.
“Every day, LEVA-EU receives information requests from small businesses that are totally unable to grasp the EU rules and regulations that apply to their products,” he said. “It is our hope that having a voice through SBS will considerably contribute to both simplifying the standards and making them more effective, through a better harmonisation under the different relevant directives. In particular we want to ensure that the future standard for e-cargo bikes is tailored to small businesses.”
Eddie said he is now in the process of setting up a mirror group for businesses in the E-Bike and E-Cargobike sector to input into his work within CEN TC 33. Eddie is working in WG5 – EPACs and in WG9 – (E)Cargobikes.
“This mirror group is not only meant to share information on what is going on in CEN TC 333 it is also meant to consult and discuss the ongoing standardization work,” he said. “As a result, mirror group members will have direct access to and participation in the standardization work.”
For further information on standardization work for light, electric vehicles please contact LEVA-EU, email email@example.com, tel. +32 9 233 60 05
In CEN TC 333 Eddie Eccleston follows up on:
– CEN TC 333 – Cycles – General Assembly where general progress of the standardization work is discussed as well as potential new work items and miscellaneous issues.
– CEN TC 333 – Cycles – WG5 EPACs: this is the working group in which EN 15194:2017 has been developed. This working group discusses potential corrections, amendments and revisions of EN 15194:2017.
– CEN TC 333 – cycles – WG 9 (E)Cargobikes: this is a new working group that is preparing a European draft standard for (E)Cargobikes.
Small Business Standards is a European non-profit association, co-financed by the European Commission and EFTA Member States. The SBS reported goal is to represent and defend small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the standardisation process at European and international levels. Moreover, it aims to raise awareness to SMEs about the benefits of standards and at encourage them to get involved in the standardisation process. For more information click here
Alligt has made a new, lightweight 70 teeth chainwheel with a fixed protective edge on both sides. It is at least 20% lighter than Alligt’s other variants. So far, the chain wheels had been milled from one piece of 15 mm thick aluminium. Alligt has now reviewed that process and was able to considerably improve it. The new chainwheel has been made of one injection-moulded piece of high-quality plastic. This is an innovation in the sense that never before a chainwheel has been produced with this technique in the (recumbent) bicycle business. It is specially designed for recumbents and fast velomobiles with a 20″ rear wheel.
Due to the increasing use of cassettes with ever more gears and a bigger range, the need for front gears has decreased. Consequently, a growing variety of vehicles have only one chainwheel in the front. Therefore, a derailleur that guides the chain is no longer needed, whilst the chain can come off more easily. Hence the increased need for two fixed protective edges on the chain wheel.
The consumer price of the new Alligt chainwheel is € 120. The plastic injection-moulded chain wheel with integrated double protective edge is available to be fixed on the crank with a 110 and 130 mm pitch circle with 5 holes as well as for the Bafang mid-engine with 60 mm pitch circle with 5 holes.
LEVA-EU member Alligt is a Dutch specialist producer of component parts for recumbent bikes and velomobiles as well as parts (wheels and idlers) for cargo bikes. Alligt has unparalleled know how of velomobiles.
LEVA-EU member Rad Power Bikes acquired $ 25 million (more than €23 million) in funding led by Vulcan Capital and Durable Capital Partners LP. The funding will support new brick and mortar retail locations around the world, along with expansion of the company’s mobile service and white glove delivery offerings.
“I’ve been passionate about achieving a future where ebikes are king and transportation is energy efficient, enjoyable and accessible for all since I was 15 years old,” says Mike Radenbaugh, Rad Power Bikes’ founder and CEO. “We found two groups of world class consumer and retail investors who believe in our vision and will help us surprise and delight our customers in new and exciting ways.”
Leading the investment is Stuart Nagae, Director at Vulcan Capital and early Rad Power Bikes customer. “Rad Power Bikes is the market leader in electric bikes, bootstrapping its way to a profitable business,” said Nagae. “This additional capital will enable the company to broaden its market, accelerate growth and continue to deliver the exceptional experience today’s customers expect.”
Henry Ellenbogen, founder and CIO at Durable Capital Partners LP, is also a lead investor in this round. Ellenbogen recognizes Rad Power Bikes’ growth potential after investing in the venture rounds of a number of notable companies in the direct to consumer and technology startup space.