Tag Archive: LEVA-EU Members

  1. A discussion on German cycling: Thomas Herzog, Managing Director of Pendix, and Ernst Brust, founder of the renowned testing institute Velotech.

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    The recent interview covers themes such as Made in Germany, the e-bike boom, and LEVA-EU member Pendix.

    Racing, cargo, or recumbent bike? How do industry professionals such as yourself get around?

    Thomas Herzog: I recently bought a kind of modern Dutch bike from one of our partners. I like the idea behind it. The Dutch company Roetz collects dead bikes from the streets and dismantles them; individual parts are recycled, and the frames are sandblasted and repainted. This is upcycling at its best. Every bike is unique. A little bit retro, a little bit modern, and above all sustainable.

    Ernst Brust: I have a small fleet of bicycles in the basement. Right now, I prefer riding my folding bike, which is ideal for the city. Even with it being so small, there is still room for a Pendix drive; at my age, it’s sometimes necessary! But of course, I have more bikes: one cargo bike, and several racing bikes. The one I ride depends on the situation.

    The bicycle industry is booming. More bikes are sold every year. What do you think about this development?

    Ernst Brust: Well, for me as a bicycle enthusiast it is of course fantastic. I find the development extremely exciting, and I am always amazed at the technological progress in terms of safety. In the 1950s and 60s, the evolution of bicycles came to a standstill because everyone was only interested in cars. Then in the 1980s, innovations slowly came along like mountain bikes with sprung wheel forks and aluminum wheels. At the beginning of my career, I would see bicycles where, for example, the screws were not subject to any standard, which would be unthinkable today. And now ABS systems are being developed to further increase security.

    Thomas Herzog: We don’t want to forget the environmental aspect either. Climate change is a reality. Anyone who rides a bicycle can do their part to ensure that future generations can still enjoy our planet. Today there is a suitable bike for everyone, regardless of whether it is powered by pure muscle power or by electric power. E-bikes and normal bicycles are now almost level in sales. Of course, I don’t believe that e-bikes will completely replace conventional bikes, they are too popular in the sporting field, but for those who use wheels as a means of purpose, i.e. to get comfortably from A to B, I can see e-bikes remaining a big hit.

    Does it always have to be ‘Made in Germany’ for you?

    Ernst Brust: The term is difficult. A modern bike consists of so many individual parts – for every screw, every spring, and every coil to be made in Germany is impossible. I don’t know of a single company where all components are completely sourced from Germany. Made in Europe would be a better fit. When it comes to bikes from other parts of the world, I’m mostly suspicious if I don’t know the manufacturer. There are good and bad companies everywhere, so I wouldn’t generally judge the quality of a bike by its country of origin. In general, I always recommend getting advice and if in doubt, spending a few euros more. If you buy cheap, you often buy twice. Unfortunately, the saying is true all too often.

    Thomas Herzog: I can confirm that I always pay attention to quality, including for Pendix products. Wherever possible, we rely on regional suppliers. This is also the reason that we are based in Zwickau – here we benefit from synergies with the VW plant. Of course, they cannot work without international partners, this has advantages and disadvantages. Supply chains are now longer than they were in the past. So, we need more advanced planning, and the quality must not suffer. For me, the Made-in-Germany principle regards actual production. It is about the selection of high-quality components, the shortest possible delivery routes, and fair working conditions. This creates a quality product.

    In October 2022, the Johnson Electric Group from Hong Kong joined Pendix as a strategic partner. Has the alignment changed anything?

    Thomas Herzog: No, definitely not. Johnson Electric has similar quality standards to ours. It was clear to us from the start that we would only make such a step with a partner on an equal footing and with the same goals. Johnson Electric is a global company, and our cooperation makes it easier for us to access raw materials and components but nothing changes in the processes. We continue to produce in Wilkau, work together with our long-standing partners, and will continue to deliver the usual Pendix quality in the future.

    Finally, a look into the crystal ball: Will Germany develop into a cycling country?

    Ernst Brust: As far as the industry is concerned, yes, the car is out. Since Driving in inner cities is becoming less and less fun, the number of cyclists is likely to increase automatically. A lot of people from the automotive industry are moving to bicycle manufacturing because they see future potential there. And for many newcomers, the bicycle business is now the first choice for many engineers.

    I still see a lot of room for improvement in transport planning, countries like Holland or Norway currently have a clear lead. Municipalities should invest in, for example, more Covered cycle paths which are still a rarity here.

    Thomas Herzog: I think we’re on the right track, but such developments need time. Many people no longer use their bikes only when the weather is good or for tours, but as a means of transport in any season. People ride to work, go shopping, and even on vacation. It is an attitude to life, a lifestyle.

    Also, in the field of micromobility – i.e. the so-called last mile – everything is on the rise. Where suppliers used to be on congested streets, cargo bikes are increasingly on the road today. In my eyes, this one trend will continue to increase, the golden years of the bicycle have only just begun.

  2. LEVA-EU member Cowboy is the first e-bike retail brand to achieve B Corp certification

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    The brand joins a global community of responsible companies that meet the highest social and environmental standards. It’s been years in the making and is just the beginning as Cowboy strives to be better in all they do and lead the way toward a more sustainable future.

    B Corp certification is administered by the nonprofit, B Lab. Its in-depth review of Cowboy’s operations, business model, and product are evaluated across five primary attributes (community, customers, environment, governance, workers) to meet a rigorous standard for benefit corporation certification.

    Cowboy continues to advance sustainability globally while owning its supply chain and logistics – from the sourcing of each part, to delivering a bike to your door, to recycling used batteries and bike parts.

    This recognition is just the beginning for Cowboy. The brand is committed to building more social and environmental practices into how it operates, how they behave as a brand, and how Cowboy performs as a product and service to its rider community of over 40,000 strong and growing.

    “A better bike. A better self. A better world.” – Cowboy

  3. Lavoie: McLaren Applied’s new micromobility company redefining urban mobility through motorsport and luxury automotive engineering

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    LEVA-EU member LAVOIE, a subsidiary of McLaren Applied, introduces the Series 1 electric scooter – created using supercar and cutting-edge global racing engineering excellence.

    McLaren Applied’s LAVOIE is committed to improving personal mobility. Using its heritage in premium automotive, combined with strong pedigrees in engineering and science, LAVOIE re-imagines products you can trust will improve personal transportation and add enjoyment to every journey.

    Operating at the intersection between high-end design and superlative performance, LAVOIE is set to redefine urban mobility and become a major global player in the premium e-mobility market.

    As the urban environment increasingly densifies, cars and mass transport are becoming irrelevant as a means of mobility for those who want to travel quickly, cleanly, and efficiently. The era of electrified micro-mobility is dawning, yet consumers seeking mobility solutions that make them feel good, as well as offer optimum performance, design, and build quality, are bereft of choice. Until LAVOIE

    The Lavoie Series 1: as functional as it is beautiful

    The Series 1 is an e-scooter, but like none ever seen before, thanks to LAVOIE’s user-centric design strategy. Its speed, supercar-standard quality, robustness, stability, safety, and range are designed to make public transport an irrelevance to owners.

    Perhaps its most defining and iconic feature is LAVOIE’s patented one-touch FlowfoldTM system. Designed with rider convenience at the forefront and inspired by the suspension system found on racing machines at the pinnacle of motorsport, a single press of a button folds the front and rear wheel hinges and collapses the stem, achieving the greatest possible reduction in size while maintaining a large and stable deck for when in use.

    Complementing the Flowfold system’s amazing foldability is the fact that the Series 1 is made of automotive-standard magnesium, ensuring a total weight of just 16.5kg. Carrying it into offices, meetings, and homes is simple and easy, eliminating concerns of theft and adding convenience to every journey.

    A two-hour charge on a domestic three-pin plug offers up to 31 miles of range. The Series 1 rolls on large and wide tyres developed to absorb and withstand potholes and bumps.

    As important to LAVOIE as state-of-the-art design and intuitive usability is rider safety. LAVOIE’s ground-breaking lighting system uses rear lights to illuminate the rider, bathing them in a pool of light to ensure they are easily seen by other traffic and pedestrians. The stylish front lighting system illuminates the road ahead, while floodlights on the side of the deck magnify the real estate of the e-scooter on the road and make it more visible for other vehicles. The Series 1 also features indicators which are activated from the ergonomically designed handlebars.

    Via a bespoke app riders can track the precise location of their Series 1, as well as activate a loud deterrent alarm. The app also enables integrated turn by turn navigation, as well as in-depth stats and ride customisation. The Series 1’s connectivity stretches beyond theft security and riding performance – the app remotely informs the LAVOIE support team of any electronic faults or issues and will notify the owner immediately, activating the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

    LAVOIE’s Series 1 is by any standards an amazing-looking piece of engineering with outstanding performance to match.

    LAVOIE co-founder Eliott Wertheimer said: “We wanted to make a vehicle that’s reliable, faultlessly functional, powerful, stylish, full of state-of-the-art technology – and built the way you would a car or a motorcycle. We knew we could do this by combining our own expertise and experience with a company that operates at the highest level in the fields of automotive, motorsport and electronics.

  4. Amslod opens latest ‘Experience Center’ in Bergen op Zoom

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    Source: NieuwsFiets

    LEVA-EU member Amslod recently opened an Experience Center in Bergen op Zoom. This marks the company’s 19th showroom in the Netherlands.

    Amslod is thus implementing its intended policy to be closer to the consumer. “Not only for the purchase of a new e-bike, but also for service and maintenance,” explains co-director Bert Jonkeren. “We have been working for several years to gradually expand the network of our Experience Centers and we are continuously looking for suitable locations that not only offer sufficient space but are also easily accessible and offer ample parking options. Bergen op Zoom also complies with that.”

    According to Jonkeren, the usefulness of Experience Centers has long been proven. “Last year we made a start to equip the Experience Centers with workshops and technical crew to further increase our level of service. GfK’s recent market research underlines that we are on the right track with this.”
    Jonkeren add that extensive testing of an e-bike before purchasing is not only fun, but also very important for the right choice. “An e-bike is something personal. The right size, comfort, high or low entry, type of engine and support determine your preference. We are 100% convinced that only the manufacturer itself can give the customer the best advice,” continues Jonkeren. “Only our own e-bike experts know all the ins and outs of Amslod e-bikes, down to the smallest detail. You simply cannot expect something like that from a dealer who has to sell multiple brands.”
    According to Jonkeren, the same also applies to the service and warranty departments. “The manufacturer itself can do this the very best. We, therefore, come to the customer’s home after purchase to handle all repairs and warranty questions. In this way, we ensure extra long cycling pleasure. Moreover, by excluding the middlemen, the purchase of an Amslod e-bike becomes a lot cheaper,”.

    Responding to growing demand

    The Experience Center in Bergen op Zoom meets all the requirements that Amslod sets for the showrooms on location. It is easily accessible and has sufficient parking spaces. With the Experience Centers, Amslod hopes to respond optimally to the explosively growing interest in cycling. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and high fuel prices, many Dutch people have rediscovered the bicycle and now prefer to use an e-bike rather than public transport or the car. This development has not gone unnoticed by Amslod, because the production of e-bikes has been scaled up again in order to continue to meet demand.

  5. Van Raam’s ‘safest two-wheeled bicycle in the world’ sees a new release

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    Due to the unique frame construction and motor system, the Balance low-entry bicycle from LEVA-EU member Van Raam is claimed to be the safest (electric) two-wheel bicycle available. With this model, you can always place both feet on the ground while sitting in the saddle. The Balance has many unique riding characteristics and is therefore suitable for many people who cannot cycle on a traditional two-wheeler. Plus, it is completely produced in the Netherlands.

    Renewed Balance low-entry bike

    The Balance bicycle with a low entry has been renewed and can be ordered from October 2022 via Van Raam dealers.

    The new model sees a range of adjustments:

    • Entry has become even wider and lower, making it even easier to get on and off the bike.
    • The lock is more accessible, placed at the rear wheel instead of the front wheel.
    • New design with a modern look, including matte black accents.
    • Instead of vacuum forming, the chain guard is made by injection moulding at Van Raam’s sister company Your Plastic Solutions. This technique makes the chain guard even sturdier.
    • New standard color (Grey Blue Matt, RAL 5008) and new option colours, Signal Red Gloss, RAL 3001 or Light Ivory Matt, RAL 1015.

    Good elements are preserved
    Alongside a number of improvements, the core elements that were present in the previous Balance have of course been retained.

    VanRaam describes the new model’s benefits:

    • The bicycle has a unique frame construction: a low step-through so the rider can always have two feet directly on the ground while remaining seated on the saddle. It is slightly different from a normal low-entry bike, which has a low entry point, but a high seating position. We call this false safety, getting in and out is easier, but the driver is still sitting high and when suddenly stopping, things can go wrong.
    • With the Balance, the overall ergonomics of the frame are such that the rider can easily get on and off due to the low entry, but also sits lower and still can make an optimal pedalling movement. This is because the rider is not above, but behind the bottom bracket. Due to the different seating position, the rider can remain seated on the saddle and still have two feet on the ground. The rider also sits lower, so that the center of gravity is also lower.
    • A more forward pedalling movement allows you to use the power of your legs better than with a classic bicycle. This makes cycling extra easy and comfortable.
    • Other advantages of the unique frame construction are less strain on the wrists, back, neck and shoulders.
    • Many variations of the model are available such as pedal assistance/e-bike, and accessories such as a stick holder.

  6. QWIC Dealershows: preparing for a successful 2023

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    In the months of August, September and October, LEVA-EU member QWIC’s Annual Dealershows took place in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. In total, Dealershows were held over 12 separate days at various locations spread across the 3 different countries. Almost 1,000 people visited the Dealershows.

    During the QWIC Dealershows, contact with the dealer is central. This is the time to discuss the cooperation between dealers & QWIC and to hear what dealers think of current and upcoming collections. Dealers can also ask any questions they may have regarding the models and brand.

    Newest QWIC model: the QWIC Mira
    This year, a key feature was the presentation of the latest e-bike, the Mira. QWIC received positive reactions to this new model, which fills the gap between the well-run Premium i series and the award-winning Premium Q.

    Hans Terpstra, Teamlead Sales Representatives NL & BE, on the Dealer Shows: “We wanted to show our (potential) dealers why it is nice to work with QWIC, that we have made improvements and continue to improve. That there is a stable collection for 2023 and we wanted dealers to leave confident of a great partnership. I think we have all succeeded well in that.”

    At the QWIC Roadshow in Germany, the main focus is our contact with the dealers”, says Rasched Abu- Isbeih, Sales Manager Germany at QWIC. “Pre-orders for the coming year are already being gladly taken up, since above all the good availability of the QWIC Portfolio can be underlined. Highlights of this year’s Roadshow were, in addition to the new QWIC Mira, which complements the portfolio in the Comfort segment, many personal conversations, and countless test drives.”

    Like last year, the technical corner was very well received. Here, dealers could ask their questions to the QWIC technical service staff. There was also a special counter for the QWIC Dealer Portal where visitors could view the latest novelties and ask questions. QWIC was present with a large team (from the technical service team, representatives, and customer service) and of course, the entire QWIC collection was present and available for testing. 

    Become a QWIC dealer?
    QWIC has over 750 dealers in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Contact the team directly at verkoop@qwic.nl.

  7. LEVA-EU member Bird Publishes Independent Vehicle Life Cycle Analysis, Setting a New Standard for Emissions Reporting Quality

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    The report launched in Paris today will be the industry’s first ISO-critically reviewed LCA and indicates ‘Bird Three micro-EV’ is among the lowest emission vehicles in Europe, with a five-year lifespan.

    Bird Global, Inc., a leader in environmentally friendly electric transportation, today announced a major micromobility milestone as the company is set to become the first operator to achieve an ISO-critically reviewed vehicle Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), prompting a new industry standard and enabling reliable comparisons across European modes and vehicles. 

    Bird’s cradle-to-grave LCA report confirms that the Bird Three, the company’s latest and most sustainable vehicle, has a lifespan of up to five years after refurbishment and is among the most climate-friendly vehicles on the road in European cities – including other shared modes and public transport. Travelers in European cities who take a Bird Three account for on average approximately 21% less greenhouse gas emissions per kilometer than taking the metro, 77% less than driving a gas-powered car, and 87% less than taking a ride-hail car.

    The LCA emissions model was reviewed and documented by Ramboll, an independent Denmark-based engineering and consulting company, specializing in sustainability and corporate responsibility.  The LCA is being critically reviewed by EarthShift Global, a third-party ISO expert, to ensure that the methods, data, and analysis are consistent with ISO standards for LCA. Bird’s LCA is also one of the industry’s first aligned with the New Urban Mobility Alliance’s (NUMO) forthcoming LCA guide for cities. 

    Manufacturing and assembly of Bird’s electric scooters is included within the LCA along with additional manufacturing of components for replacements, transportation of vehicles to target European cities, charging and fleet management, and scooters’ disposal at end-of-life.  Conservatively, the LCA takes no credit for Bird’s renewable energy credits, carbon offsets, or robust program of end-of-life recycling. 

    The hardware and software powering Bird Three have been expertly crafted to create the most eco-conscious shared e-scooter available with best-in-class durability. Features include Aerospace-grade aluminum and the Bird Three’s proprietary battery system which travels farther on fewer charges, with industry-leading IP68-rated battery protection to keep it safe from dust and water. The vehicle also boasts independently tested and verified impact resistance; pneumatic tires and smart acceleration technology to reduce wear and tear. 

    Bird’s LCA sets a new industry standard for emissions reporting quality, enabling reliable comparisons across European modes and vehicles, and helping Bird to identify and reduce emissions wherever possible,” Shane Torchiana, CEO, Bird. Not only does this work further demonstrate our commitment towards the planet, but is a call to action for all other operators to follow the same standard so that together, we can address misconceptions around vehicle lifecycles and educate our city stakeholders with the information they need to make informed decisions when selecting a responsible micromobilty partner.

    By following expert recommendations and best-practice methods for their LCA, Bird is demonstrating leadership in their commitment to rigorous, transparent greenhouse gas emissions reporting, which will enable city governments to make more informed decisions and – if widely adopted – enable emissions reductions across the micromobility sector,” Leah Lazer, Research Associate, New Urban Mobility alliance (NUMO), World Resources Institute.

  8. Bafang M620, designed for the heavy-duty cargo bike market

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    Source: Nieuwsfiets

    The latest market studies by major electric bicycle associations clearly show steady growth in the e-cargo bike sector, which will continue to increase in the coming years. LEVA-EU member Bafang is responding to this with the launch of the M620 mid-engine.

    In particular, the segment of heavy, commercially used e-cargo bikes (payload between 500 kg and 1 tonne) give many engineers a headache when choosing the most suitable and sustainable drive concept. Bafang is working intensively to develop solutions to meet the demands placed on these last-mile transport vehicles, which in turn help to meet global requirements for reducing CO2 emissions. Through exchange between the R&D department, users and manufacturers, Bafang has gained knowledge and insights for the effective research and development of its new technical milestone.

    Integrated differential, smooth reverse drive function

    Bafang has opted for a solution that is specifically aimed at use on chain- or belt-driven heavy-duty tricycles. Bafang creates entire systems that work in synergy for this application, for example, the powerful mid-engine M620, with a new 3-speed automatic gear hub, plus an integrated differential grid, and reverse gear. According to the Chinese manufacturer, these form the ideal system solution in combination with a powerful and reliable mid-mounted motor.


  9. Takeover of Klaassen Parts by Van Raam

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    As of September 1, 2022, LEVA-EU member Van Raam will take over Klaassen Parts. The company continues under the name Your CNC Solutions. Your CNC Solutions will focus on both serial and single-piece turning and milling work.

    Personnel and machines will move to Euroweg 12 in Varsseveld before the end of this year. With this acquisition, Van Raam has taken a great step in expanding its sister companies.

    In addition to Klaassen’s current machinery, Your CNC Solutions will utilize Van Raam’s existing machines and professionals. Your CNC Solutions will continue to supply Klaassen’s current customers.

    Dominik Tempels is the new point of contact in the form of company manager. Guido Klaassen will focus on innovation and new technical possibilities.

    Left: Guido Klaassen; right: Jan-Willem Boezel (Technical Director, Van Raam)
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