Tag Archive: LEV

  1. 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

  2. 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%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. COP26 – Light Electric Vehicles – Urgent call for Emissions Research

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    The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference. It is scheduled to be held in the city of Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021 under the presidency of the United Kingdom. This Conference is an unmissable opportunity to draw attention to what light electric vehicles can contribute to the fight against climate change. In this framework, LEVA-EU launches the following urgent call for research.

    Task: model the micromobility future

    The emissions case for the mass adoption of electric vehicles has been made, repeatedly and in detail. Some transport emissions modelling exercises have begun to include cycling as a factor. Few however have modelled the effect of recent mass adoption of e-bikes. To our awareness, none have incorporated the possible effect of optimal adoption of light mobility across the full range of vehicle sizes and categories. For LEVA-EU, light mobility includes all vehicles in the L-category as defined by Regulation 168/2013, as well as all vehicles excluded from the L-category as listed under Article 2.2 of the said Regulation.

    This call for research requests a rapid emissions modelling exercise to be completed for COP26 (11/21) to characterise a truly zero emission transport future, at least for the majority of journeys which are short, in the developed and developing world, currently using motor cars.

    If we place ourselves in the year 2030, and assume we successfully decimated transport emissions, while maintaining our mobility, what does the fleet look like? Which vehicles are we using and for which journeys? How, in emissions terms, did we get there?

    Time and resources

    This study needs to be completed by the end of September in order to allow aligned and targeted public documentation to be formulated, as well as a PR strategy for use in the run-up to COP26, te ensure the conclusions are communicated to Conference delegates, governments and media.

    To bring global credibility, it is felt that whilst the core modelling exercise will need to be undertaken by a small group with experience in the field, it would carry additional credibility if a consortium of authors representing all continents and major (emitting) countries acted as reviewers and co-signatories of this work.


    The main deliverable for this commission is an interactive spreadsheet model of mobility as it needs to be in 2030 for the Paris Agreement emissions reductions scenario to have been met, primarily through a major modal shift away from the majority of short, slow and local journeys being taken by full-sized ICE vehicles to those journeys completed instead in sub-500 kg vehicles.
    A second deliverable is an accessible, interactive ‘data visualisation’ tool for decision makers, building on the model, that permits them to explore scenarios and self-educate as to why light mobility is the most expedient and least expensive solution to true zero emission personal and light goods transport.

    Are you interested in carrying out the study? Are you interested to review and/or co-sign? Please contact LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, tel. +32 475 500 588, annick@leva-eu.com. The deadline for expression of interest is Friday 16th July.

    Funding opportunities

    This research will be part of a wider initiative aimed at encouraging research into different aspects of light, electric vehicles. Also, LEVA-EU will be working to facilitate networking between LEV-researchers. This initiative will create interesting and attractive funding opportunities (sponsorship). If you are already convinced of the need to invest in LEV-research and how research can help your business grow and prosper, please contact Annick Roetynck for further details.

  9. Standardised labels for correct recharging LEVs

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    Source: ACEM – A brand new harmonised set of labels for electric vehicles and charging stations will start to be used throughout Europe as of 20 March this year, in line with the requirements of the EU Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (2014/94/EU).
    As well as appearing on charging stations, the labels will be placed on all newly-produced electric mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles in a clear and visible manner.

    The aim is to help consumers identify the right recharging option for their battery electric vehicles by harmonising labelling across the entire EU.
    In order to assist both consumers and the operators of charging points to understand these new labels, a coalition of European vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure operators and the electricity industry have published an informative brochure. This brochure, in Q&A format, explains the purpose of these labels, their design and in which
    vehicles they will appear.

    The brochure for electric vehicles is now available here: https://bit.ly/2ZZ1hN5

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