Tag Archive: LEVS

  1. 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%.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Briefing EP TRAN on Covid-19 & Urban Mobility

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    At the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN), a rapid-response briefing was recently published entitled “COVID-19 and urban mobility: impacts and perspectives”. This is a document well worth reading, especially for the light, electric vehicle business.

    The briefing provides an overview on the state of play and trends of urban transport since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It outlines four scenarios, the prevalence of one or the other depending on the priorities established by policy makers and service providers. The briefing delivers general recommendations for a post-COVID-19 smart and sustainable urban transport and a set of desirable actions on how to integrate EU response into existing policy priorities.

    Some of these recommendations and desirable actions directly concern the LEV-business, a summary.

    Adapt infrastructure

    Among these (private means of transport), car use should be discouraged as it significantly contributes to congestion and pollution, given the still-limited (6.8%) market share of e-cars sales. Nevertheless, the purchase and use of private bicycles, both traditional and electric, e-scooters and e-mopeds can alleviate the demand for PT. In order to avoid conflicts between these soft modes, it is necessary to adapt the infrastructure and reorganise the management of the spaces, possibly in a flexible way. Technology improvements now allow these small vehicles to reach a 25-30 km/h speed.

    If the separation from the sidewalks for pedestrians seems obvious, the opportunity to design separate lanes and spaces between normal bicycles and electric soft vehicles should also be considered. Alternatively, an increasingly widespread network of secondary roads with speed limits between 20-30 km/h (see example of Brussels) makes it possible to make room for faster soft modes on the roads. This would prevent, at least in the short term, interventions on the infrastructure, which require extended times and a commitment of resources that are difficult to find in times of crisis.

    Radical behaviour changes possible

    A green restart is an opportunity for sustainable and smart transport strategies to regain momentum.

    The EU should strongly support the development of financing schemes for the purchase and procurement of zero-emission vehicles and other non-polluting technologies. EU funding instruments such as InvestEU and CEF could steer private and commercial investments into zeroemission vehicles and deployment of related charging infrastructure. Scrappage or purchase subsidy schemes should be extended to electric bicycles, possibly with reciprocal approaches at European level, as they have been successfully applied in Germany, France and Italy.

    The crisis has shown that radical behaviour changes are possible, even in the short term. However, these cannot be entirely delegated to the initiative of citizens or single companies. Behaviour changes should rather be induced (or guided) by bold public policies, in the interest of – and agreed with – the community. The challenges for the development of resilient, smart and sustainable urban transport systems have been made more evident by the outbreak of the pandemic, but have not changed. They need to be addressed through agile and inclusive governance mechanisms and integrated policies. These are outlined in the the forthcoming EP study on “Sustainable and smart urban transport”.

    The full briefing is here: https://bit.ly/3jkrRYe

    Photo by Chloe Evans on Unsplash

  9. Commission Asks TRL to Revise Technical + Road Use Rules for ALL LEVs

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    On behalf of the European Commission, TRL has started an investigation into the appropriateness and accuracy of European rules governing light, electric vehicles. The Commission had announced this research at the LEVA-EU symposium in February but then seemed to indicate that the scope would be limited to “Personal Mobility Devices”, i.e. e-scooters, self-balancing vehicles, monowheels, etc. The scope now appears to include all LEVs, which creates a unique opportunity to prove the need for fundamental change.

    Last February, LEVA-EU organised a symposium on the legal status and market position of the speed pedelec. This symposium, attended by the European Commission, clearly showed how European technical rules result in great difficulties for manufacturers and that the categorisation as L-vehicle create great safety risks for speed pedelec riders.

    Speed pedelecs are not the only LEVs suffering from inadequate and outdated rules. As electric cargo-bikes take up an ever increasing role in city logistics, the 250W limit to keep them out of the L-category becomes an ever increasing obstacle. There are legal bottlenecks for LEVs excluded from the L-category just as well. Some Member States, such as the Netherlands and the UK, still forbid e-scooters on public roads. Other Member States develop their own technical rules, thus undermining the principle of European harmonisation and the single market. The national terms of use for electric tricycles and quadricycles, excluded from the L-category are totally unclear and uncertain.

    E-scooters with saddles or very light mopeds, which are technically very similar if not identical to e-scooters without saddles are not excluded from the L-category. They are therefore subject to an extremely complicated, expensive though inaccurate type-approval, upon which they are subject to the terms of use for conventional mopeds including the wear of a motorcycle helmet.

    The only LEV to enjoy a much better regulatory framework is the electric bicycle with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W. This vehicle has been excluded from the L-category, as a result of which it became subject to the Machinery Directive. This has allowed for the harmonised standard EN 15194, whilst all member states have given this e-bike the same legal status as conventional bicycles. As a result, this market has been growing very steadily for several decades now.

    But to make mobility more sustainable and green, the EU needs a wider variety of LEVs. Markets, other than e-bikes 25 km/h-250W, such as speed pedelecs have only enjoyed a limited growth even though there is a clear potential. Or, the vehicles are under threat of very sudden and arbitrary changes in national rules that could suddenly destroy the market. The response of the Dutch government to the Stint accident is the best example of such threat. The insane penalties decreed by France for LEVs exceeding their speed limitation by construction is yet another sword of Damocles for the sector.

    LEVA-EU has been pleading and working for a fundamental change of the rules ever since its foundation. Without such change, the EU will never be able to achieve its Green Deal’s objectives, which include a 90% GHG emission reduction by 2050.

    At the February symposium, the EC representative announced the Commission’s intention to order a study on how LEVs, such as e-scooters and self-balancing vehicles (PMDs) could be included in the type-approval. This study has very recently been initiated by TRL and its scope appears to be broader than what the Commission announced in February.

    TRL is calling on all LEV stakeholders for their input. TRL is interested “to hear about the effects of national and regional regulations on the safety of, and market for, PMDs. We are also interested to hear any ideas that stakeholders might have for the best ways in which new and existing PMDs could be regulated in order to safely and efficiently integrate them into road use. We understand that the scope of this project includes vehicles that might already be type approved in the L category, e.g. cycles designed to pedal and cargo bikes and we are therefore open to suggestions regarding any improvements that could be made to that system.

    LEVA-EU is extremely pleased with this widened scope that allows for research into the accuracy of the rules, not only for PMDs such as e-scooters and self-balancing vehicles but also speed pedelecs, electric cargo-bikes, electric bikes with more than 250W (L1e-A), etc. Further good news is the fact that TRL is not only going to consider technical regulations but also road circulation measures to ensure the safe deployment of these machines in the EU and the effect of regulation on the PMD market in the EU. Current problems are to a large part resulting from the fact that Regulation 168/2013 was designed without any consideration as to the effect of the technical categorisation on the terms of use for the vehicles.

    LEVA-EU herewith calls upon ALL stakeholders concerned to state their views on current LEV-regulations as well as their proposals for improving the rules. TRL is currently collecting input and plans a webinar some time in September.

    For all further details, please contact LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck, tel. + 32 9 233 60 05, email annick@leva-eu.com.

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