Tag Archive: LEV market

  1. Collective’s Response to Registration: Registration Regulation Causes Irreparable Damage to Eu Importers

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    The Collective of European Importers of Electric Bikes expressed a burning protest against the Commission’s decision to register imports. The group denounces the fact that the Registration Regulation causes severe injury to the European importers and seriously jeopardizes the future of the affected companies. While there is still no conclusive evidence for the accusation that imports are injuring the EU industry, the Regulation threatens importers with the possible retroactive collection of sky-high dumping duties. This threat hangs like a sword of Damocles over the head of a very large number of European SMEs.

    Today, the Collective has submitted its official response on the Registration Regulation to the European Commission. In the document, the Collective fiercely criticizes the Commission’s arguments. A first essential point of criticism is that the Commission has based the registration decision entirely on the complaints of the EBMA and on Chinese statistics, obtained in a way that is, to say the least, very doubtful.

    No injury to EU producers

    The Collective argues that the investigation has been going on for six months, enough time for the Commission to test the EBMA complaints against reality and come to provisional findings, for example on the injury to the European industry. As for this, it is a fact that the Commission does have useful information as a result of the verification visits carried out at Accell, Derby Cycle, Eurosport, Gazelle and Prophete. After these investigations, the non-confidential findings were made public. These clearly show that, for all companies, profitability for the product concerned improved significantly in 2015, 2016 and during the investigation period. (See the table below)

    23. Profitability of the Product in Question201420152016IP
    Accell GroupEUR10019118267
    Derby Cycle Holding GmbHEUR100163228197
    Eurosport DHS SAEUR1003448671,895
    Koninklijke Gazelle NVEUR100431236332
    Prophete GmbH & Co. KGEUR1006881118

    Source: Sampled EU Producers Questionnaire Replies

    These findings go totally against EBMA’s allegations about the injury to European industry as a result of Chinese imports. In defence, the Collective asks the Commission, and this for the third time, to confirm the accuracy of the damage indicators that have been established by verifying the sampled producers. The Collective adds that this information shows no injury for EU producers whatsoever, but crucially improving trends in terms of turnover, sales volumes and profitability.

    Appalling messages

    A second essential point of criticism is that the European Commission systematically ignores all argumentation of the Collective. That is in conflict of the article in the dumping legislation that explicitly requires the Commission, as far as registration is concerned, to give importers the opportunity to comment. The Collective states that the right to comment is purposeless, if the Commission can simply completely ignore the Collective in the way that it has done, without explaining why their argumentations and the evidence provided has not been sufficient persuasive to the Commission.

    The Collective is utterly dismayed by the message that the Commission has sent out with this registration. The Collective is particularly appalled by the dumping rates mentioned in the Regulation because they strike fear into the hearts of EU importers faced with potentially gigantic duties. And the Collective warns the Commission that most importers will be forced to close their business if such high duties would be collected retroactively.

    The Collective further notes: “As for the indicative dumping duty rates of 189%, the Commission is fully aware that in no previous anti-dumping investigation has dumping duties even close to this rate ever been imposed by the EU on any imports from any non-EU country. Yet this is the figure that importers have to work with when managing the risks of carrying on their business. Factoring in such an enormous cost renders continued business unfeasible if almost double of the import value of the bicycles will have to be paid in early 2019. It is therefore highly regrettable that the Commission made such a statement of an excessively high potential duty rate being retroactively imposed.

    Dubious data source

    A third, important point of criticism is the fact that the European Commission continues to rely on the use of Chinese export data and to confidentiality for the source of that data. In the Regulation, the Commission mentions two reasons for keeping the data confidential. First, disclosure would breach copyright and, second, the source is known and public against payment.

    In the complaint itself, EBMA did not ask for confidentiality for the source. That was only claimed afterwards for reasons, which, to date remain undecipherable. In the meantime, the Collective has researched the availability of the data and found that the necessary data to a 10 digit level (as used by EBMA) cannot be provided because they are not publicly released by the Chinese authorities.  This is consistent with the official statement from the Chinese customs authorities (available online on government’s websites: see point 0.1.3 in http://www.customs.gov.cn/publish/portal0/tab70498/info772783.htm) that export data is available only up to 8 digit level. All this goes against the Collective’s right of defence because the Commission is determining import volumes based on data, which the Collective is unable to verify.

    Irreparable damage

    The Collective concludes: “The Collective and its members are concerned by the lack of objectivity demonstrated by the Commission in the Registration Regulation and worst still, the consequences of its apparent endorsement of the extreme claims made in its two complaints.

    The damage caused by the statements made in the Registration Regulation to EU importers is irreparable. They will never be able to recoup the lost sales volumes and revenues in the 2018 season caused by the excessive, disproportionate and unwarranted element of risk that has to be managed as a consequence of the signals sent out to the market in the Registration Regulation.

    Finally, the Collective has requested for another hearing to further explain their concerns regarding both registration and the lack of injury and causation. A the same time, the Collective is contacting the Hearing Officer to also arrange a hearing with this service should the Commission continue to decline the Collective’s requests for the additional information and clarifications set out in the submission.

    For further details, please contact Annick Roetynck, LEVA-EU Manager, [email protected], tel. +32 9 233 60 05.

  2. EU electric bicycle market grows and blooms

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    Bike Europe reports record sales of electric bicycles in Europe in 2017. All segments, i.e. conventional pedelecs, speed pedelecs and electric mountain bikes continue to grow. Bike Europe pays special attention to the results in France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.

    The French market was boosted by a national subsidy scheme awarding €200 for the purchase of an electric bicycle. This pushed sales up by 50% compared to 2016.

    In the meantime, subsidies for electric bicycles have also been introduced in Sweden and Finland, whilst Belgium has opted for a subsidy for electric mopeds and motorcycles.

    The growth percentages reported by Bike Europe, ranging from 9 to 50%, are not really in line with the alleged threat of injury argued by EBMA in their dumping complaint against import of electric bicycles from China.

    The full Bike Europe article is here: http://www.bike-eu.com/sales-trends/nieuws/2018/3/e-bike-sales-soared-in-eus-main-markets-10133378

  3. Finnish Transport Ministry proposes €400 electric bike subsidy

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    Source Yle – Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications is proposing a subsidy of up to 400 euros annually for anyone who buys an electric bicycle.

    An electric bicycle or e-bike has a built-in electric motor and rechargeable battery that helps with propulsion. They typically sell for 1400-3,000 euros in Finland, with some simpler models beginning around 700 euros.

    If approved, the rebates would be handed out by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi). The plan is to open an online application system on 1 July 2018. Subsidies could be obtained retroactively for any e-bike bought after 1 April.

    Funds from ‘bioeconomy and clean solutions’ programme

    The money would be paid out of budget funds earmarked to support the acquisition of electric cars and the conversion of gas and ethanol cars between 2018 and 2021. Thus the plan would require a revision of legislation aimed at supporting the purchase of low-emission cars.

    The proposal is part of a government plan to encourage walking and cycling, which is to be unveiled on Friday.

    That, in turn, falls under the centre-right coalition’s overall programme to boost what it calls ‘bioeconomy and clean solutions’. Environmental groups such as the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation have expressed sustainability concerns about the programme, which calls for expanded use of renewable natural resources.

    The Finnish e-bike market

    Electric bikes are becoming more popular across Europe, but Finland has lagged behind the trend. That could change if the proposed subsidies are introduced.

    That price issue is a key factor in the relatively slow adoption of electric bikes in Finland. Whereas in Germany e-bikes make up 15 percent of bike sales, in Finland the figure for 2016 was less than one percent.

    According to Matti Koistinen of the Finnish cycling association, e-bikes are slowly becoming more common.

    “We are reaching a point where everyone will know somebody with an e-bike,” said Koistinen. “When you can ask an acquaintance for tips, and there are more e-bikes about, the market will take off.”

  4. Why LEVA-EU assists the Collective of European Importers in AD643

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    The Collective of European Importers of Electric Bicycles has requested LEVA-EU to assist them in their defence in AD643 against e-bikes from China. Upon careful consideration, LEVA-EU has decided to accept this task for the following reasons.

    LEVA-EU is open to any party wanting to join in on the promotion of LEVs, including electric bicycles in Europe. LEVA-EU welcomes manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors, dealers, … alike, provided they share LEVA-EU’s belief in LEVs and agree to work together to grow the market.

    Having read the complaint, LEVA-EU has concluded that this initiative is not aimed at growing the market. It is an attempt to ensure a bigger piece of the market for some parties. For that purpose, the popular and currently well-used tactic of “us” against “them” is put in position. AD643 is meant to be read as a battle of European manufacturers against Chinese manufacturers. So, their assumption is: if you are European, you know which camp to support, because that is the camp that provides economic growth, jobs, etc. What’s more, they believe that as a European you should fight against the Chinese manufacturers. They believe their sole purpose is to kill off the European manufacturers, take all production to China and leave Europe with, yet another, economic and industrial wasteland.

    Golden opportunity

    LEVA-EU rather believes that there is a golden opportunity, which is far more real than the risks outlined by European manufacturers, but which unfortunately remains largely untapped.

    Perhaps in 1993 the world was effectively still that simple. But today, 24 years later, the world has changed beyond imagination. The old demarcation separating “us” from “them” has become meaningless. European manufacturers are importing components from outside Europe on an unprecedented scale. Some are, in addition to their own assembly, also importing complete electric bicycles. Globalization and Internet have yielded so much more than just some opportunistic imports of crappy e-bikes. There are new entrepreneurs coming into the business, who are developing innovative and disruptive ideas and business models. They no longer abide by the traditional supply chains but work on principles, which are driven by developments and technologies based on new concepts such as mobility as a service. They shop around the world for components and assembly, whilst devising business models that include leasing, sharing, conventional sales which combine points of sales, Internet, home delivery,  … They are flexible, open-minded and very aware that they are working with a golden opportunity in the framework of issues such as mobility, transport, air quality, public health, etc.

    Wrong enemy

    Companies that keep clinging to old industrial adages are missing out on this golden opportunity. They have a quality product that sells well, and the objective is to stretch this success to a maximum. However, today, the world is moving too fast for such conservatism.

    With all due respect, Europe does not need any conferences on and initiatives about bringing production back to the old continent. Europe needs conferences and initiatives on R&D, on innovating business models, on how to push LEV uptake, on how to encourage/help start-ups, on how to cooperate with the scientific/academic world, on setting up alliances with cities and citizens’ organizations, … And should that result in the conclusion that it may be useful to start up production in Europe, fine. But not defying all economic reality by bringing back production just out of nostalgia.

    Ironically, in trying to preserve their position, these companies attack the wrong enemy. Importers, overseas producers, new companies applying new business models, … they are not the enemy.

    Growing the market

    Whilst the European industry files anti-dumping complaints and works hard to keep existing measures in place, an ever growing peloton of cities in Europe limits, sometimes even pushes combustion engine vehicles out. Every congestion charge, every low emission zone, every SUMP is a gift to the LEV-business. New markets are being opened, for free, every day all over Europe. But instead of tapping on that ever growing potential, a dumping complaint is filed, which prevents all parties in the sector to work on that potential.

    Dumping cases are so time-consuming that hardly any time is left to do the work that really needs doing. LEVA-EU is trying to do that: work for better technical regulations, ask for attention in policies relevant to LEVAs, in European subsidy programmes, work to inform companies on the rules and on the market, ….

    Our ultimate objective is to prove how counter-productive it is to use trade defence instruments for purposes other than what they are really meant for. If LEVA-EU can achieve that by supporting companies going against this counterproductive initiative, then we improve chances to get the whole sector around the table and start a serious discussion about how to grow the market for all instead of making only some pieces of the cake bigger.

    We are open for any exchange of views on this LEVA-position.

    Annick Roetynck,
    LEVA-EU Manager

  5. Low-speed electric vehicles in China are booming

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    Source: AllChinaTech.com – China’s dream of “leapfrogging” its electric vehicle (EV) industry has ran into some bumps on the road.

    After reports of widespread abuse, the government has decided it was time for a complete overhaul of the generous subsidy system for EVs, leading to a massive 74% fall in sales of new energy cars in January. Among other factors, problems in the industry were caused by difficulties in developing the kind of high technology that could compete with EV stars like Tesla.

    But many argue that China’s EVs should take a more indigenous path. Instead of trying to compete with the world’s automotive giants, China could become the champion of the anti-Teslas. Judging from the figures, it is already making great leaps towards that goal. Despite the lack of government support, China’s low-speed electric vehicles (LSEV) have experienced a boom, rising from only 23,000 produced units in 2009 to 688,000 units in 2015.

    Read the full article here: http://allchinatech.com/14954-2/

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