Tag Archive: LEVS

  1. NIPV publishes 2020-22 report on LEV fires in the Netherlands

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    Source: NIPV

    The Netherlands Institute for Public Safety (NIPV) is the Dutch public research and knowledge institute that links and strengthens ties between the country’s 25 security regions, central government and partner organisations in the crisis management domain through its four service pillars – scientific research, education, support and information.

    The report introduces the fire risks associated with LEVs, mainly around technical faults and charging. Locations of incidents are mainly in the home, and the dangers of such fires are the blaze itself, as well as the toxic smoke. The report aims to review the ways in which such fires start, and better understand these causes.

    The summary records a total 327 LEV fires over a 2 year period, with 65% involving an electric scooter, electric bikes 24%, mobility scooters 7%, and hoverboards 4%. Most of the fires were caused by arson, which was the cause in 37% of the cases where the cause could be determined. In 35% of the cases, the fire was caused by a technical defect.

    The study notes that with increasing sales, we must be prepared that fires are likely to increase, and recommends as follows:

    “This trend calls for extra attention to the (fire) safety of LEVs by the manufacturers of these vehicles. However, building managers will also need to consider fire risks, such as managers of bicycle storage facilities where e-bikes and e-scooters are parked and managers of nursing homes where mobility scooters are stored. Additionally, individuals with hoverboards and e-scooters should consider the fire risks of their vehicles. Finally, sellers can contribute to the fire-safe behavior of consumers by providing targeted information on the safe use (maintenance, charging, storage) of LEVs.”

    Read the report in full, in Dutch, here.

  2. Take part in the micromobility and LEV survey by Voylt and UScale

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    Short online survey to collect data on Light Electric Vehicles with results expected in May

    voylt is a European portal for sustainable e-mobility that offers interested parties a wide range of information and intuitive buying advice. Together with market research partner UScale, and with the support of the Federal Association of eMobility e.V. and electric empire (Federal Association of Small Electric Vehicles e.V.), vyolt is conducting a representative survey on the subject of micromobility / LEVs. More specifically, it concerns the large number of low-speed, light electric vehicles (LEV) that are used in urban areas for short distances in private ownership or as sharing offers. The hosts shared, “We want to clear up the myths, fake news and prejudices. What’s really going on out there on the street? In fact, many people only discuss based on assumptions – we want to change that!”

    The survey should take 7-10 minutes and you may complete it by following the link below:

    Click to take the survey

    The results will be published at the end of May at the polisMOBILITY Trade Fair in Cologne. You may also find a summary online at https://uscale.digital/news/ from the end of May.

  3. 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%.

  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. New Book on Small Electric Vehicles: an International View on Light 3- and 4-Wheelers

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    This edited open access book gives a comprehensive overview of small and lightweight electric three- and four-wheel vehicles with an international scope. The present status of small electric vehicle (SEV) technologies, the market situation and main hindering factors for market success as well as options to attain a higher market share including new mobility concepts are highlighted.

    An increased usage of SEVs can have different impacts which are highlighted in the book in regard to sustainable transport, congestion, electric grid and transport-related potentials. To underline the effects these vehicles can have in urban areas or rural areas, several case studies are presented covering outcomes of pilot projects and studies in Europe.

    A study of the operation and usage in the Global South extends the scope to a global scale. Furthermore, several concept studies and vehicle concepts on the market give a more detailed overview and show the deployment in different applications.

    The book can be downloaded for free here: Small Electric Vehicles – An International View on Light Three- and Four-Wheelers | Amelie Ewert | Springerhttps://www.springer.com/in/book/9783030658427

    Annick Roetynck, LEVA-EU Manager, was one of the reviewers.

  8. Commission proposes to exclude LEVs from Machinery Directive

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    On 21 April, the European Commission has published a proposal for a new Machinery Regulation. The text holds one crucial point for the LEV-sector: the exclusion of all vehicles for the transport of goods and persons. LEVA-EU is very pleased with this first step towards specific technical legislation for light, electric vehicles.

    The current Machinery Directive entered into force in July 2006. Article 1.2 of that legal text excluded vehicles covered by type-approval from the scope of the Directive. As electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W were excluded from type-approval, they became subject to the Machinery Directive.  Earlier that year, ETRA and COLIBI, the trade associations for bicycle dealers and for bicycle manufacturers respectively, had a meeting with the Commission to see if there was still any chance of avoiding the Machinery Directive for electric bicycles. The Commission responded that this was impossible. However, they did reassure the two associations that there would be a moratorium for compliance in the field of electric bicycles.

    The EN 15194 was already in place at that time and, immediately after that meeting, CEN TC 333 – WG5 set out to harmonize the standard under the Machinery Directive. Such harmonization results in presumption of conformity. In other words, for electric bicycle manufacturers the standard would be a legally secure tool to comply with the Machinery Directive. However, the process took 11 years. The harmonized standard was only published in 2017.

    In the meantime, the Commission has drastically changed the harmonization procedure. Originally, specialist consultants within CEN assisted technical committees in drafting standards that fulfilled the requirements of the Machinery Directive. In the new system, the Commission has awarded Ernst & Young with a contract to provide and lead a team of so-called Harmonized Standards (HAS) consultants. These no longer assist the technical committees, but only assess the text once completed. It turns out to be much more difficult to produce standards which are accepted for harmonization.

    Recently, the draft standard for electric mountain bikes was rejected for harmonization. The EN 17128 for Personal Light Electric Vehicles, i.e. without a seating position and self-balancing, didn’t make harmonization either but was published anyhow. As a result, a vehicle complying with this standard is not presumed to be in conformity with the Machinery Directive. EN 15194 is also under growing pressure. The Netherlands have lodged a formal objection against the harmonization due to inadequate battery safety requirements, whilst Germany demands a vibration test. In fact, EN 15194 should be fundamentally revised, but in the current circumstances it is unlikely for the revised standard to make it through harmonization. Also, it is becoming increasingly clear that certain requirements are only included in standards just for the sake of complying with the Directive, not because they are absolutely necessary to guarantee safe electric bicycles or other LEVs.

    End of last year, LEVA-EU sent a position paper to the Commission pleading for the exclusion of light, electric vehicles from the new legislation. The trade association argued that the Directive had never been intended to cover vehicles and that the Commission’s proposals for the new Regulation would exacerbate the problems.  The proposal holds new requirements which would be difficult for LEVs to meet and increase the administrative burden, which is already significant, even further.

    LEVA-EU’s plea has finally been heard by the Commission. In the Impact Assessment the Commission concludes: “The MD already excluded means of transport by air, water, rail networks, and means of transport by road regulated in the EU’s type-approval legislation. By default, vehicles that were not regulated by that legislation were covered by the MD. Although a vehicle may fall under the definition of machinery, the purpose of the machinery legislation is to address the risks stemming from the machinery performing its function (such as excavator in a construction site), not the risks related to its circulation on the public roads. This option would make clear that the revised MD does not apply to means of transport, regardless of the speed limits, with the exception of machinery mounted on these means of transport. The means of transport includes all vehicles, the only objective of which is the transport of goods or persons. The following vehicles would therefore be excluded from the revised MD: (i) light vehicles, such as electrically power-assisted cycles, hover boards, or self-balancing scooters; (…)

    The exclusion of LEVs from the Machinery Directive will not necessarily create a legal vacuum. First of all, it will take some time for the European Parliament and the Council to adopt the final text, which will provide for a transitional period. After that, there are two possibilities. Either, the General Product safety Directive, which covers all products not covered by specific safety legislation, can take over. Alternatively, the Commission could develop new specific LEV-legislation. It appears that the Commission Unit that has ordered the TRL-study on so-called Mobility Devices, is considering such a new initiative. LEVA-EU will continue its efforts for LEVs also to be excluded from Regulation 168/2013 and for a new horizontal LEV-Regulation to replace both the Machinery Directive and type-approval legislation.

    Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

  9. LEVA-EU marks victory in fight for light electric vehicle sector as Commission accepts legislation is ‘unsuitable’

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    LEVA-EU, the voice of the light electric vehicle sector, is celebrating a campaigning victory after the European Commission confirmed legislation governing light electric vehicles was unsuitable.

    The Commission has acknowledged that the Machinery Directive, in place to ensure a common safety level for machinery placed on the European market, is not suitable for vehicles.

    LEVA-EU, which has campaigned for the removal of light electric vehicles from the legislation, hailed the landmark ruling, which it said would allow businesses in the sector, previously hindered by the legislation they must navigate, to reach their full potential.  

    The victory comes at the same time as a study for the European Commission by the transport consultancy TRL found that type-approval legislation for light vehicles in Regulation 168/2013, is unfit for light electric vehicles such as electric bikes, e-scooters, hoverboards, etc. and that separate legislation should be drawn up.

    LEVA-EU manager Annick Roetynck said it was now essential that a new regulatory framework specifically dedicated to light electric vehicles (LEV) was created without delay.

    LEVA-EU had previously proposed that LEVs up to 50 km/h should be taken out of both Regulation 168/2013 and the Machinery Directive. Instead, it proposed, the EU should develop a new horizontal Vehicle Regulation, which could be complemented with harmonised standards and, if necessary, for certain vehicles even type-approval.

    She said: “From the day the association was established, LEVA-EU has argued that both the Machinery Directive and Regulation 168/2013 are ill-adapted and inaccurate for light, electric vehicles. TRL has clearly taken on board LEVA-EU’s arguments, which were submitted as proposals to the study.

    It seems to us that, given the urgency of the climate crisis, no further time should be wasted in removing legal bottlenecks to unlock the market potential of light electric vehicles.

    TRL presented its study on what it termed Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) and type-approval legislation, aimed at helping the Commission decide whether current technical legislation should be changed, during the Spring meeting of the Motorcycle Working Group.

    Some PMDs, such as speed pedelecs or cargocycles with more than 250W of power, currently come under type-approval. Other vehicles, such as electric bikes with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W, e-scooters or self-balancing vehicles, are excluded from type-approval and come under the Machinery Directive.

    Among the recommendations of the study, TRL proposed the creation of a dedicated regulatory framework for PMDs separate from Regulation 168/2013 and the Machinery Directive.

    It also suggested aligning road circulation regulations for new types of PMD with existing national pedal cycle regulations and regulating maximum speed at an appropriate level for safety and infrastructure (25 or 30km/h).

    The study also said that, if it was necessary to regulate maximum motor power, then this should be done at a level that did not discourage the development of new vehicle configurations (1,000W). It said any fresh proposals should “ensure that regulations do not stifle the development of the cargo bike industry”.

    Ms Roetynck said the confirmation came exactly 15 years after previous organisations had lobbied the Commission in vain to exclude electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W from the Machinery Directive.

    She said questions remained over how the Commission would follow-up on its conclusion and said LEVA-EU’s proposal for a dedicated new category of Zero Tailpipe Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) was the only fundamental solution.

    She added: “The study is not completed yet and the Commission concluded that if they were to go ahead with a review, that work would not be initiated before the second half of next year. LEVA-EU will continue to ask the Commission about this timing, as we believe the current arrangements are damaging LEV businesses.

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