Tag Archive: E-MOBILITY

  1. Light Electric Vehicles needed in mobility transition

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    Dutch trade magazine, Verkeerskunde, reports on the LEVERAGE project partnership for optimizing the potential of Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs)

    Source: Verkeerskunde

    Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) are increasingly becoming a common sight in urban environments, encompassing e-scooters, e-steps, e-bikes, and micro cars. These vehicles present significant opportunities for enhancing sustainable mobility. They are virtually emission-free, occupy less space, and are appreciated by users for their efficiency and convenience. LEVs serve not only within cities but also as an effective means of pre- and post-transport for public transit.

    However, the integration of LEVs also brings challenges. Issues such as the nuisance caused by shared scooters in cities and safety concerns on cycle paths due to varying speeds are notable obstacles. Addressing these challenges requires innovative and courageous approaches. This need for bold solutions was highlighted during the kick-off event of the LEVERAGE project—a collaboration involving Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas), Arnhem Nijmegen University of Applied Sciences (HAN), Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE), and various public and private partners.

    Eighteen partners have committed to the LEVERAGE project, aiming to maximize the potential of LEVs in making mobility more sustainable, thus contributing to the accessibility, livability, and safety of urban regions. The project emphasizes effective collaboration and knowledge exchange among academic, public, and private entities. The practical, research-oriented approach of LEVERAGE is supported by funding from Regieorgaan SIA, a part of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

    Four research areas

    The LEVERAGE consortium focuses on four key research areas:

    • The effects of LEVs on car ownership and use. For example: To what extent and for which target groups can LEVs offer an alternative to a first or second car?
    • The integration of LEVs into the existing mobility system. For example: how can LEVs be used to improve the journey to and from public transport stops and train stations?
    • The impact of LEVs on road safety and experience. For example: what influence do LEVs have on the safety and experience of cyclists and how do we keep our cycle paths safe?
    • Developing new action perspectives and policy development for governments and stakeholders. For example: how do we move from current regulation to proactive collaboration between shared mobility providers, carriers and governments?
  2. CAKE Subscribe: an all-inclusive subscription model that caters to professional business needs

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    Launching in Sweden and France, LEVA-EU member, CAKE, has introduced its easy-entry micromobility fleet service.

    CAKE, the Swedish maker of premium lightweight, electric motorcycles is pleased to announce CAKE Subscribe: an all-inclusive subscription model that caters to professional business needs. The new program aims to ease the burden of upfront costs associated with buying a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, by requiring no down payment. Service and technical support are also included.

    I believe our electric motorcycles, mopeds, and electric bicycles are great transportation solutions with a wide range of applications,” said CAKE founder and CEO Stefan Ytterborn. “Whether for a private courier who needs a single bike or a larger business that needs a fleet of vehicles, I think CAKE has the right products for operating in urban environments. By removing down payments and taking care of service we are further reducing TCO for businesses that want to use CAKE motorcycles for their work” continued Ytterborn.

    The subscription model comes with no long-term commitments, and because every business need is different, all subscription models will be customized to the unique needs of each client. Whether a business needs a single bike, a massive fleet, or something in between, CAKE Subscribe can provide a risk-free way for businesses to get rolling with CAKE.

    CAKE subscribe is available in Sweden and France with more countries to come.

  3. Keep it simple – the new Pendix eDrive IN

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    At the last IAA mobility, LEVA-EU member Pendix, market leader for retrofit drives in the bicycle market, presented a revolutionary drive that is to be used mainly in the B2B sector for cargo bikes. This gives Pendix an additional pillar for the retrofit drive, because the Pendix eDrive IN creates new possibilities for bicycle construction, but is installed directly by the OEMs. There are already numerous interested parties and pre-orders, although the drive has not yet been delivered. Christian Hennig was in charge of the development. We spoke to him about the drive.

    The Pendix eDrive IN is available as an innovative serial hybrid variant and in combination with a chain drive, i.e. a mechanical drive train. How did the idea come about?

    The market for cargo bikes is growing and growing, the bikes are also becoming more and more popular in the professional sector. We have therefore thought about how we can meet the requirements for an electric drive specifically for this application. Both privately and commercially used bikes should focus on the necessary performance in order to be able to move heavy loads safely and comfortably. Of course, reliability also plays an important role, especially if a cargo bike is to be used as a replacement for a car.

    The new drive system caused quite a stir at the IAA in Munich. Why?

    The serial hybrid system in particular is better suited for cargo bikes by one decisive characteristic. By using a pedal generator, all mechanical wear parts of the conventional drive train such as chains, chainrings, or sprockets are eliminated. This increases reliability and significantly reduces maintenance costs. In addition, the entire space between the wheels can be used.

    How does the Pendix serial hybrid version work?

    The system basically consists of a pedal generator, one or more drive motors, and a battery. The pedal generator is located on the bottom bracket, which converts the mechanical pedaling movement of the rider into electrical energy and then transmits this directly to the drive motors in the rear wheels. The generator can generate torque to give the rider a natural pedaling feel, very similar to that of a conventional bike. In addition to the driver’s performance, additional energy is supplied to the drive motors from a battery in order to ensure the necessary performance for moving a cargo bike safely and comfortably.

    Where do you see potential uses for the new drive?

    I see possible uses in cargo bikes where it is important to use the available space in the best possible way. In newer vehicle concepts, in particular, one often sees a very elaborately designed drive train with up to four chains connected in series in order to mechanically transmit the power from the driver to the rear wheels. This is exactly where there is a great advantage since the installation space can be used. In addition, many wearing parts of the mechanical power transmission are eliminated, which often cause unwanted downtimes of the bicycle, especially with intensively used cargo bikes.

    There are already other manufacturers who also offer a serial hybrid drive. Are there any significant differences in the functions? What are the advantages of your product?

    In principle, the functionality and range of functions of the various systems are quite similar. Our previous Pendix eDrive system was always developed according to the principle of “keep it simple”, and we are continuing this with this product. Generator and drive motors are based on the same engine concept and have been optimized in terms of function. Here, too, we offer a system in which the components come from a single source and are perfectly matched to each other. Functions such as gear shifting or reversing can be solved by software in the future. Of course, our proven Pendix.bike PRO app will also be used with this product in order to be able to provide the rider with useful information, customization of the riding profile and firmware updates over-the-air, and at the same time to support the service partner with diagnosis.

    At the end of the day, is the vehicle actually still a pedelec?

    This question can be answered with a clear yes. After years of back and forth, the European Commission decided at the beginning of 2022 that bicycles with a serial-hybrid drive system are on an equal footing with conventional pedelecs with a mechanical drive train. In order to maintain technology neutrality, it doesn’t matter whether the bike is equipped with a mechanical chain or not – as long as the drive only provides support and the rider also pedals. For us, our new drive was the next step in bicycle evolution right from the development stage. That’s why we’re happy to now also have support from Brussels.

  4. M200 New Bafang Mid-Drive Motor

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    With the new M200 mid drive, Bafang has created a strong offering for a booming market, with considerable growth potential untapped in the entry-level category.

    Bafang’s development team has successfully worked on the internal construction of mechanical and electrical parts of the motor, reducing the number of gears and switching to a combination of nylon and steel gears – resulting in an even smoother and almost 100% silent function without compromising the motor power.

    With its high value, the M200 becomes an interesting option for entry-level e-bikes. Due to Bafang’s “open system” strategy, OE manufacturers and bike brands can opt for a complete drive system – and choose from their vast range of batteries (450Ah or 600Ah – integrated, semi-integrated or rack mounting options) and displays/HMIs. Or they can rely on Bafang’s team of engineers and software specialists when combining the M200 motor with components from other suppliers.

    The decision for a full Bafang specification could be positively influenced by the BESST option: With the ‘Bafang E-Mobility Sales & Service Tool’, specialist dealers and the service department of the bike manufacturer have comprehensive access to the data of the motor, battery, display, sensor(s) and control unit – in order to detect and correct errors, install software updates and thus better guarantee the reliable and smooth functioning of the drive system over its entire service life.

  5. European Environment Agency: Noise Pollution Expected to Increase

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    Road traffic is the top source of noise pollution in Europe, the new EEA report ‘Noise in Europe – 2020’ says, with noise levels projected to rise in both urban and rural areas over the next decade due to urban growth and increased demand for mobility. Rail, aircraft and industry round up the other top sources of environmental noise pollution.

    The EEA’s report provides an update of noise pollution trends over the 2012-2017 period. It also provides an outlook of future noise projections as well as the associated health impacts in Europe, based on new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on the health effects from exposure to noise. Building on the previous EEA assessment of noise in Europe from 2014, the report also looks at actions being taken to manage and reduce noise exposure and reviews progress made to meet the EU objectives on noise pollution set by EU legislation, including the Environmental Noise Directive and the EU’s 7th Environmental Action Programme (EAP).

    Significant health impacts

    Long-term exposure to noise has significant health impacts. On the basis of the new WHO information, the EEA estimates that such exposure causes 12,000 premature deaths and contributes to 48,000 new cases of ischemic heart disease (caused by a narrowing of heart arteries) per year across Europe. It is also estimated that 22 million people suffer chronic high annoyance and 6.5 million people suffer chronic high sleep disturbance. According to World Health Organization evidence, these health impacts start to occur below the reporting thresholds set by the EU Noise Directive and so are likely to be underestimated. In addition, the information provided by countries under the EU directive does not cover all urban areas, roads, railways and airports.

    22 million people are exposed to high levels of railway noise, 4 million to high levels of aircraft noise and less than 1 million to high levels of noise caused by industries.

    Apart from affecting humans, noise pollution is also a growing threat to wildlife both on land and in water. Noise can reduce reproductive success and increase mortality and the fleeing of animals to quieter areas.

    EU objective for 2020 on noise will not be achieved

    While some progress has been made by EU Member States in mapping and reporting more areas of high noise across Europe, overall policy objectives on environmental noise have not yet been achieved. Notably, the objective set for 2020 by the 7th Environmental Action Programme of decreasing noise pollution and moving towards the WHO recommended levels for noise exposure will not be achieved. Noise pollution is projected to increase because of future urban growth and increased demand for mobility.

    More than 30 % of data required under the EU directive is still not available after the legally set 2017 reporting deadline. Significant delays suggest that countries may not have taken the necessary steps to address noise pollution. The report adds that better implementation is also required — a point reinforcing the conclusions of a separate recent European Commission assessment on the implementation of the directive.

    Actions to reduce noise levels

    Countries are already taking a variety of actions to reduce and manage noise levels, however, it remains difficult to evaluate their benefits in terms of positive health outcomes, the EEA report says. Examples of the most popular measures to reduce noise levels in cities include replacing older paved roads with smoother asphalt, better management of traffic flows and reducing speed limits to 30 kilometres per hour. There are also measures aimed at raising awareness and changing people’s behaviour in using less-noisy modes of transport like cycling, walking or electric vehicles.

    A significant number of countries, cities and regions have also put in place so-called quiet areas, most of which are parks and other green spaces, where people can go to escape city noise. The report says more needs to be done to create and protect quiet areas outside of the city and improve accessibility of these areas in cities.

    Background on the EU’s Environmental Noise Directive

    People’s exposure to noise is monitored under the Environmental Noise Directive (END) against two reporting thresholds; an indicator for the day, evening and night period (Lden) that measures exposure to noise levels associated with ‘annoyance’ and an indicator for night periods (Lnight) that is designed to assess sleep disturbance. These reporting thresholds are higher than the WHO recommended values and currently, there is no mechanism in place for tracking progress against the latter lower values.

    Find the report here

    Photo credits: @chairulfajar on Unsplash

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