Tag Archive: LEV

  1. LEVA-EU contributes to ERTRAC’s LEV paper on urban mobility

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    The European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) has announced the release of two urban mobility papers that give interesting insights on LEVs and the 15 Minute City concept.

    LEVs in urban mobility

    ERTRAC’s work dives into the Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) world, focusing on the challenges and opportunities that arise from its integration into urban mobility. The paper provides an extensive snapshot of ongoing conversations within its community (which includes LEVA-EU) and advises on infrastructure requirements, safety protocols, environmental issues, and research priorities for the future.

    Urban mobility and the 15 Minute City concept

    This paper looks at this concept that revolves around city residents being able to access all their lifestyle essentials at distances that take them no longer than 15 minutes by bicycle or foot. It delivers insights and future routes for urban mobility, with real-world examples, and outlines how the 15 Minute Concept can potentially be achieved.

    Learn more about these papers here.

  2. Second Best Year Ever for New Speed Pedelecs in Belgium, Significant Decline in the Netherlands

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    With 15,672 newly registered speed pedelecs in Belgium, 2023 is the second-best year ever, after the absolute record year 2022. In seven years, the market for new speed pedelecs has increased by +283%.

    There are several reasons for this growth: historically high traffic congestion combined with increasingly better bicycle infrastructure, technological advancement (greater range thanks to more powerful batteries, increased safety thanks to ABS, etc.), and a more widespread and increased cycling allowance. The latter has been raised to € 0.35 per km since 1 January 2024 of which a maximum of € 3,500 is free of tax and social security.

    Second-hand speed pedelecs achieved a record figure of 6,805 units for 2023. That is almost 20% more than in 2022 and whopping 125% more than in 2021. This success can be largely attributed to the increasing number of lease speed pedelecs that become available and are either bought secondhand or resold. Of course, there are also private buyers who are happy to trade in their speed pedelec for a more modern model.

    All in all, new speed and secondhand speed pedelecs reached a total of 22.477 registrations, only 16 vehicles less than in 2022.

    However, there is a significant shift in the market: the explosive growth of the leasing segment, whose market share rose to 49.9% in 2023, at the expense of registrations by both companies and individuals. Particularly, individually bought speed pedelecs dropped a lot (-33.3%), but speed pedelecs bought by companies also declined significantly (-11%).

    Bicycle leasing offers some obvious benefits for companies such as less administrative burden, no worries about maintenance, insurance, or residual value because everything is neatly arranged for them and for the employee.

    To conclude the chapter on leasing, one might wonder if bicycle leasing is following the trend of cars in Belgium. More than half of the fast bikes are leased, and the share of individually bought speed pedelecs is sharply declining. If this trend continues, it will have a significant impact on the organization of bicycle retailers.

    This shift to leasing also has an impact on provincial results because now the provinces with the most leasing companies are disproportionately performing well – especially Vlaams-Brabant and Limburg but also East Flanders. Antwerp, which has many private buyers and fewer leasing companies, has lost its longstanding leadership position for just over a year. Brussels remains unchanged, and in Wallonia, we only see declines. The speed pedelec is struggling to gain traction in the French-speaking part of the country, partly due to less developed bicycle infrastructure, lower traffic congestion, and – specifically for Brussels – competition with regular bicycles and e-scooters in the extended 30 km/h zones.

    The good news is also that from May 1, 2023, all employees in the private sector are entitled to a cycling allowance, which could give bicycle sales in general, as well as sales of speed pedelecs, an extra boost. This is already notable in the success of the new speed pedelecs that are registered through leasing.

    In the Netherlands we observe a different situation: the bicycle market shows a significant decline for 2023 with a total of 4,185 speed pedelecs sold. The speed pedelec market was not hit as hard as the regular bicycle and e-bike market, but many speed pedelec sellers and manufacturers also felt the impact. The level of speed pedelec sales remained below the level of 2021 for several months in 2023.

    Contrary to Belgium, the Netherlands offers few fiscally attractive options for speed pedelec riders. For self-employed individuals (ZZP-ers), there are the MIA (Environmental Investment Allowance) and VAMIL (Random Depreciation of Environmental Investments), but the general public cannot benefit from these, and this is reflected in the sales.

    The best performing brand in both countries is Stromer capturing a market share of 39% in Belgium and 53% in the Netherlands. Additionally, Klever, Gazelle and Giant enjoyed  growth in 2023.

    In Belgium, two Belgian brands are part of the top 10: Ellio and ASKA. With 378 and 198 speed pedelecs sold in Belgium respectively, these young Belgian companies are demonstrating remarkable performance alongside the established brands. A third brand, Spector, had their first sales in 2023 in Belgium.


    1. https://www.traxio.be/artikels/speed-pedelecs-jaaranalyse-tweede-beste-jaar-ooit-voor-nieuwe-speed-peledecs-recordjaar-voor-tweedehands
    2. Het speed pedelec jaar 2023: de cijfers in België en Nederland – Speed Pedelec Review
  3. Thor AVAS conducts comprehensive electric vehicle traffic safety study on ‘acoustic visibility’

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    The problems of acoustic ecology in the human environment are studied by many researchers around the world, especially the contributions to city noise made by cars. In recent years, more and more electric vehicles that are much quieter have appeared on city streets. Cars and motorcycles are traditionally powered by the rather noisy operation of an internal combustion engine. Electric transport, on the other hand, runs on electric motors powered by noiseless energy sources (batteries, fuel cells, capacitors, etc.). As a result, the electric car creates noise only due to the contact of the tires with the asphalt and due to the turbulent air currents on the car body. All this makes the movement of electric vehicles less noisy and, at low speeds, almost silent. Therefore, electric vehicles are classified by UN Regulation No. 138 as silent vehicles. With the undoubted benefit of this circumstance for the acoustic ecology of the city, there is also a quiet threat to humans – a pedestrian may simply not hear the approach of an electric car. It is for this reason that the legislation of many countries of the world obliges electric vehicles to be equipped with special sound devices – AVAS systems that increase the acoustic visibility of electric vehicles.

    Contribute to the latest Thor AVAS survey on pedestrian safety, here.

    In recent years, a wide variety of micromobile vehicles have also begun to appear on the roads in large volumes. And, more importantly, on the sidewalks of cities – scooters, gyro scooters, unicycles, segways and everything that, despite its harmless appearance, can sneak up unnoticed (at a speed of up to 30 km/h) to an unsuspecting pedestrian. While the issue of ensuring the safe movement of microtransport vehicles causes great discussion, no country in the world has resolved this in law.

    Thor AVAS, together with the Research Institute of Building Physics, is conducting a large scientific study of the safety of electric transport. Their work studies how different vehicles are acoustically visible (heard) to a pedestrian and how it is possible to increase their visibility without causing ecological damage to the acoustic environment.

    In-laboratory work takes place in a unique acoustic measuring complex – a large acoustic anechoic chamber. This is a room in which there is absolutely no echo due to the walls and ceiling being covered in a layer of a special sound-absorbing structure more than 1 meter thick.

    The room used by Thor AVAS is the largest anechoic chamber in Europe and one of the largest chambers in the world – the floor area exceeds 120 square meters. It is also very quiet in this chamber – so quiet that it is a unique auditory experience, with the background noise level in the chamber only reaching 18 dBA.

    During testing, many loudspeakers are placed in a circle around the cell. Together they make up the radiating part of the laboratory setup. Six speakers imitate the noise of the environment, reproducing, for example, the sounds of a city courtyard or a city park, in 5.1 stereo, comparable to a movie theater. Another three-way speaker system simulates the noise of an approaching electric vehicle’s tires.

    The approach of a car is simulated at a speed range between 10 and 50 km/h. Imitation occurs by increasing tire volume according to auditory laws. When the distance between the car and the pedestrian decreases, the sound pressure level increases by 6 dB.

    Finally, consider the last loudspeaker is the AVAS system, the principle which is the subject of the study. By playing different sounds through the AVAS system, traffic safety conditions can be significantly improved.

    The essence of the experiment is to determine how long it takes a pedestrian to hear a car approaching them. Participants of the experiment are given registration panels and the experiment begins. At first, participants in the experiment hear only the sounds of the environment, the park or the yard, because the simulated car is still “far away”. At the moment when participants hear the approaching car, they press the registration button on their remotes. By this pressing, it can be determine how long it took for the pedestrian to register the approaching car, i.e. how much time the pedestrian has to react to the approach and decide on further actions. For example, an electric car without an AVAS system is heard when impact time is between 3-5 seconds, depending on the vehicle’s speed. In such a short time, the pedestrian will not have time to react to the approach of the vehicle and a collision may occur.

    When driving an electric vehicle with the AVAS system turned on, it is possible to significantly increase the time for acoustic detection of an approaching car by a pedestrian. The most effective method is to turn the system up to high volume. Very loud and unpleasant sounds can be played through the AVAS system (or alternatively, turn on loud music) and the residents of the next few blocks will know in advance about the approach of the car, which, of course, will have nothing to do with traffic safety. The correct sound of AVAS should ensure the safe movement of an electric vehicle and sound at such a volume that it will not exceed the established rules and sanitary standards for a residential area. However, sounds of the same loudness can have varying visibility. By changing the timbre of the sound, its frequency range, and introducing volume modulations and discrete components at certain frequencies, it is possible to significantly increase a vehicle’s visibility without increasing the volume.

    The Thor AVAS study aims to find the best ways to control the visibility of an electric vehicle using the AVAS system. The goal is to create such sounds for the AVAS system which, on the one hand, will not be unpleasant, excessively loud, and attract unnecessary attention, and, on the other hand, provide optimal and speed-independent visibility.

    Anechoic chamber tests of THOR AVAS – YouTube

  4. Electric Vehicles are measurably reducing global oil demand; by 1.5 million barrels a day

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    Source: Axios

    Approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil were displaced each day in 2021 due to Electric Vehicle usage. This quantity is slated to grow as EV uptake and usage continue to rise.

    These new, tangible effects of EV uptake are helping to challenge the opinion that such vehicles are a niche climate technology. Over the past 6 years, the amount of oil displaced by EVs has doubled. Download the full report by BloombergNEF, here.

    A key fact from the report that will be especially interesting to LEVA-EU readers states, “Two- and three-wheeled EVs accounted for 67% of the oil demand avoided in 2021,” attributed to rapid adoption in Asia. It can be assumed that the majority of these vehicles would be classified as Light Electric Vehicles.

    Two- and three-wheeled EVs were followed by buses, which displaced 16% of total oil, and passenger vehicles, the fastest-growing segment, which displaced 13%.

  5. 44% = 57 million tonnes CO2 eq per year

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    Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) are key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the fight against climate change. That is the conclusion of the very first study on how the use of LEVs can contribute to Climate Protection. The report, “The Potential of Light Electric Vehicles for Climate Protection Through Substitution for Passenger Car Trips – Germany as a case Study,” by the authoritative German Aerospace Center (DLR), was presented on March 24 at the conference: The Future is Electric and Light!, held in Brussels and on-line, attended by policymakers at EU, city and local level and by the scientific community.

    The DLR-study models a scenario for Germany in 2030 in which a major modal shift, away from full-sized cars to LEVs, has taken place. For the model, DLR has used 9 different LEV-types, i.e. e-scooter, e-cycle, e-cycle+ (allowing for cargo), speed pedelec, moped, motorcycle, microcars 45, 90 and 125 km/h. The analysis was done with vehicles available on the market, announced for sale in 2022 or tested in pilot projects. For the model, DLR used statistical data from the German 2017-survey “Mobilität in Deutschland“.

    For each substitutable car trip, DLR chose the lightest LEV that could replace the car, considering a variety of factors such as luggage, passengers, trip length etc.  Of all car trips in the survey, 97% were less than 100 km, with 80% under 20 km! The calculation of the overall CO2eq emission saving per trip was aggregated for all trips and scaled up to a period of one year for Germany. With this model, DLR found the following.

    • 76%, which is more than ¾ of all car trips could be substituted by LEV-trips;
    • 50% of all car kilometres could be substituted by LEV kilometres;
    • Each substituted trip would avoid on average 88% of GHG emissions from the substituted vehicle;
    • That substitution would result in a reduction of 57 million tonnes of CO2eq per year;
    • In absolute terms, the substitution would save 44% of GHG emissions;
    • Vehicle battery size and capacity are the decisive factors for overall GHG emissions from electric vehicles.

    The study alos found that LEVs offer considerable advantages beyond reducing emissions such as improving public health through cleaner air, less noise and improved road safety as well as improving overall quality of life.

    The DLR-study was discussed by two panels at The Future is Light and Electric! event, which featured an impressive line-up. MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu was one of the participants in the political discussion in the morning. He is the EPP coordinator in TRAN and also a substitute on ENVI and ITRE. He was joined by 2 Commission representatives: Zlatko Kregar, Policy Officer at the Unit Sustainable and Intelligent Transport, DG Move and Michael Kyriakopoulos, Senior Expert Low Emission Future Industries, DG Research and Innovation. Lucas Demuelenaere represented Alain Maron, the Brussels Minister of Climate, Energy and Environment.

    The scientific panel in the afternoon included a figure head of LEV-research. Chris Cherry is Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee. He has done a great deal of research into and published on light electric vehicles. He stated: “Simply switching fossil-powered cars with electric cars will not do enough, fast enough, to reach our climate targets. This report, using real-world behaviour data, shows that LEVs can be an important and readily available way to fast-track climate mitigating technology into the transportation sector for many of society’s trips, which can result in large short-term reductions in emissions.”

    “With the energy it takes to go and get a loaf of bread from the bakery in an electric car, one can go to the same bakery 100 times in a light, electric vehicle,” said Jan Cappelle, Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering Technology, KU Leuven, commenting on the findings. Laura Po, Associate Professor, “Enzo Ferrari” Engineering Department, UNIMORE, Modena, Italy, speaking at the event welcomed the research as “an exemplar study conducted in Germany that should be reproduced by all other member states. What we need now is customer acceptance and political regulation.” she added.

    “Switching our car system to electric cannot reduce carbon emissions fast enough and does not make mobility more just – research and policy need to focus on micromobility and other light electric vehicles and their role in creating more sustainable and just mobility futures, not just in the West, but also globally. The LEV report provides important insights for this necessary transition,” said Dr Frauke Behrendt, Associate Professor in Transitions to Sustainable Mobility at the Technology, Innovation and Society Group at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Germany.

    Outside the event venue, just around the corner of the European Parliament, a number of vehicles, among which the Microlino, the eFlow and Podbike, were shown to the participants and the press. Furthermore, Commission officials and MEPs were invited to take a look at the vehicles and to take a short test ride during the day.

    The Future is Electric and Light! is the start of long-term advocacy initiative by LEVA-EU to encourage and further scientific research into LEVs and their integration in EU policies such as the Green Deal, Fit for 55 and the New Urban Mobility Framework.

    said Prof. Christopher Cherry, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, lead of the LEVER research consortium of multiple relevant projects.

    “The study shows that the European Union is making a mistake in ignoring light, electric vehicles. Sustainable mobility and mitigating climate change cannot be achieved by electrifying vehicles only. The vehicles also need to become much lighter,” said Annick Roetynck, Manager of LEVA-EU, the European trade-association for Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) businesses who commissioned the research.

    Legal bottlenecks, particularly in technical legislation are very seriously hampering the technological and market development of LEVs. The results of the DLR-study should convince the Commission to prioritise those issues,” she added.

    Outside the Renaissance, a number of vehicles, among which the eFlow speed pedelec, the Microlino microcar and the Podbike, were shown to the participants and the press. Furthermore, Commission officials and MEPs were invited to take a look at the vehicles and to take a short test ride during the day.

    The Future is Electric and Light! is the start of long-term advocacy initiative by LEVA-EU to encourage and further scientific research into LEVs and their integration in EU policies such as the Green Deal, Fit for 55 and the New Urban Mobility Framework.

    LEVA-EU enjoys the support of FairlybikeMicrolinoPodbike and Superpedestrian for both the DLR-report and the long-term initiative. Further sponsoring is still welcome. Please contact Eddie Eccleston, eddie@leva-eu.com, tel. +32 472 32 9770.

  6. Micromobility Europe 2022 Announced

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    The event will take place in Amsterdam, June 1-2, 2022

    Micromobility Europe is the world’s fastest-growing mobility conference, bringing together top builders, thinkers, and leaders. The two-day event is a discussion and celebration of small electric vehicles and their power to radically transform our cities.

    The event boasts over 50 world-class speakers, 100+ expos and demos, and over 1,000 global visitors. Discover more detail via the official website, here.

    The event is hosted at Kromhouthal, an event venue at the IJ in North Amsterdam. The impressive industrial site of over 5000m2 has been transformed into an event space after decades of history as a manufacturing hall. In the past six years, it has blossomed into a leading destination for a wide range of events in Amsterdam.

  7. White Paper – Transitioning with LEVs: No cars and then what?

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    Source: LEV kenniscentrum

    New paper provides comprehensive insight for the state of LEVs in the Netherlands

    Countrywide, municipalities in the Netherlands are working to reduce car use in their cities. Ongoing challenges including climate change and city center densification have pushed policymakers to consider options with which to transform the way we fill our urban spaces, and how we move around these spaces. This white paper examines the state of play of a new category of vehicles that can play an important driving role in the mobility transition: light electric vehicles, or LEVs for short. What do we already know, and what is still unclear? What about sustainability, or regulations? Are partial concepts also commercially interesting? And how do LEVs add to the fun of being on the road?

    Challenges of LEV transition are considered in three themes: business and service; people and technology; and policy and mobility. These broad categories are explored and connected through research, fact, and experiences collected within the LEV knowledge center. The final paper provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of affairs regarding micromobility, from which further developments can be understood and steered.

    Access the White Paper here.

  8. New research highlights the user preference and environmental impacts of personal and shared micromobility

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    Source: ScienceDirect

    A new study published in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment reveals commuter LEV preference and impact.

    The research provides insight into travel behavior in the rapidly expanding micromobility market, analyzing the data of over 500 users. Understanding the influences on mode choice is essential for successful transport planning, allowing service providers and policymakers to better implement transport options in urban and rural areas.

    The first findings show that all else equal, the choice of transport mode is fundamentally altered by trip distance, precipitation,and access distance. Generally, users are willing to walk between 60-200m to access shared micromobility services; however, the ability to pre-book devices can extend this travel distance. Consumer choice patterns such as these should be fully considered when implimenting shared transport options, or undertaking vehicle repositioning schemes.

    The study also provides insight into the CO2 emissions of e-bikes and e-scooters, crucial for future policy when aiming to reduce transport-related pollution in city centres. It is found that while personal e-bikes and e-scooters emit less CO2 than the transport modes they replace, shared e-bikes and e-scooters emit more – though still less than a personal car. This goes against the common vision that shared mobility in city centres is a ‘green’ option; operational services and vehicle manufacturing are the two main emission contributers.

    While this may be a negative in the short-term, shared services can aid in sparking a sustainable mobility movement if long-term usage leads to personal ownership; additionally, city administrators may collaborate with micromobility providors to reduce emissions in the two main release stages.

    The full study can be found here.

  9. Call for Life Cycle Assessment Results of Light Electric vehicles

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    LEVA-EU in an alliance with the International Cargo Bike Festival and other partners representing the light electric mobility sector are commissioning expert research for the global COP26 climate conference. The research will be aimed at modelling what transport will look like if we succeed in meeting the Paris Agreement emissions commitments for transport. This will involve dramatic increases in the prevalence and use of light electric vehicles (LEVS), from e-scooters and e-(cargo)-cycles, through e-mopeds and motorcycles to 4-wheeled e-vehicles across all the EU L-category and what is excluded from this category.

    As part of this work, we are in need of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) figures for every category of these vehicles, many of which are not publicly available.

    Do you have a systematic analysis of the potential environmental impacts of your LEVs during their entire life cycle, or do you know of LCA results that others have available? Would you be willing to share them to contribute to this ground-breaking research, which will for the first time advocate the case for universal light mobility to a global audience? It would be extremely useful to receive LCA figures or suggestions of where these can be found. We will be able to use them on a named vehicle or, if desired, on an anonymous basis.

    The research will feature details on emissions from the various categories, and there will be opportunities to showcase specific vehicles and manufacturers both in publicity and in the final scientific report, to be launched in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow this November.

    If you can help, please get in touch with LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, tel. +32 475 500 588, email annick@leva-eu.com.

    Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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