Tag Archive: Light Electric Mobility

  1. LEVA-EU offers free Battery Transport Info through Cross-Industry Platform BatteriesTransport.org

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    Brussels/Washington D.C., 1 September 2020 – The industry associations for batteries and battery-powered products RECHARGE, EPBA, EUROBAT, PRBA, EBRA, ACEA, MDBTC as well as LEVA-EU announced today the launch of a new information platform for the safe transportation, testing and packaging of battery cells, batteries, and vehicles and equipment containing batteries. With the aim of facilitating access to battery-specific transport information and raising awareness, the eight associations make available free and easy-to-understand content on the requirements as set out by the United Nations, the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and other transport regulations.

    The professional transport of battery-related articles – via air, sea or road – is subject to international, national and regional regulatory frameworks, which include comprehensive administrative and operational measures to ensure the safe transport at all times. The requirements apply to lead-, lithium-, nickel- and sodium-based batteries likewise.

    Transporting an electro-chemical article, as a prototype, final product or waste, means that specific safety measures must be applied. Failing to comply with the obligations is not just a violation of these regulations but a safety risk that our industry is not willing to accept”, said the associations. “Representing a responsible industry, we want to ensure that everyone involved in the transport of our batteries and battery-containing products has access to the applicable requirements”.

    Free of charge, BatteriesTransport.org offers general information for shippers, transport operators and end-users. It also includes frequently asked questions and two dedicated eBooks with all relevant testing, packaging, labeling and reporting instructions per transport mode.

    LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck explains that is quite natural for LEVA-EU to participate in this initiative: “As a professional organization for LEV companies, we are fully focused on assisting our members in the application of all the rules that apply to Light Electric Vehicles. The rules regarding the transport of Li-Ion batteries cover an important chapter in this. A better understanding of the rules gives LEV companies easier access to the market, thereby promoting that market. That in turn contributes to making mobility more sustainable.

    All visitors of BatteriesTransport.org have access to a free on-line version of the eBook on lithium batteries as well as to the FAQ page. LEVA-EU Members have access to the full version of the eBook and can submit specific questions on the transport of Li-Ion batteries to the experts of BatteriesTransport.org.

    BatteriesTransport.org works with some of the most respected experts in the industry to provide information that is clear, comprehensive and updated. The content is revised on a (bi-)annual basis to reflect the regular changes to the regulatory frameworks. Contact [email protected] to support the initiative and help educate on the safe transport of batteries worldwide. Contact [email protected] for further information on LEVA-EU.

  2. Non-Type-Approved E-scooters with Saddle are Illegal

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    In those member states that allow electric scooters on the road, they are clearly on the rise. With that, the offer of e-scooters with saddle is also growing. However, those vehicles are ticking time bombs since they are completely illegal if non type-approved. LEVA-EU, the trade association for businesses in the light, electric vehicle sector, explains why a saddle makes such a difference.

    The growing popularity of the electric scooter is gradually becoming visible in traffic. It is a green means of transport that can contribute to making mobility more sustainable. A number of manufacturers have now added a saddle to that scooter, possibly in an attempt to improve comfort and to promote the vehicle to a wider audience.

    Incalcuable consequences

    In Belgium, which has introduced very favourable rules for e-scooter in its traffic code, the offer of electric scooters with saddle is growing noticeably. Bol.com has an electric scooter “for children” from € 117.99. Via Fruugo, Zipper scooters with saddle are advertised from € 269. MediaMarkt offers the Mpman as an electric balance bike for € 349. In the web shop of the weekly magazine Knack the Ecoscooter is at € 499 and Fnac promotes the Inmotion P1F at € 699.35.

    All these vehicles have one thing in common: they are illegal. All distributors should cease sales immediately and recall all vehicles sold. Should one of these vehicles be involved in a serious accident, the consequences for the involved distributors and manufacturers of the scooters will be incalculable.

    The warning comes from LEVA-EU, the European trade association for light, electric vehicle businesses. LEVA-EU negotiates directly with the European institutions on the technical legislation for these vehicles. As a result, the organization has first-hand correct and in-depth knowledge of the legislation.

    1,036 pages

    Most vendors do not disclose the legal status of these e-scooters with saddle or suggest that they belong to the special category that Belgium has created in the traffic code for e-scooters without saddle.  There is a chance that the distributors themselves are in the dark about the illegality of their merchandise. The legal status of the electric scooter with saddle is the result of 1,036 pages of European legislation that has not evolved with the market and has grown into a gigantic legal bottleneck.

    In 2009, the European Commission had to rewrite the technical requirements for mopeds and motorcycles. It was already clear then that the internal combustion engine would have to make way for its electric counterpart and that classic mopeds and motorcycles would be supplemented or replaced by a series of light, electric vehicles with the electric bicycle in the lead. The Commission then, with the approval of the European Parliament and the Council, stubbornly refused to write future-proof legal texts. In 1,036 pages, Regulation 168/2013 and the 4 associated implementing regulations mainly describe the limitation of emissions and safety features, which are not relevant for light, electric vehicles.

    Saddle = moped

    The Commission was prepared to exclude the classic electric bicycle (25 km / h-250W) from Regulation 168/2013, along with a number of other vehicles, which they did not know how to handle in type-approval. This was the case for vehicles that “are not equipped with at least one seating position” (Article 2.2.j of Regulation 168/2013). Electric scooters that are not equipped with a seat are therefore excluded from the type-approval for mopeds and motorcycles. As a result, as far as the traffic codes are concerned, these scooters end up in a legal vacuum, which Member States can fill at their discretion.

    To fill this vacuum, Belgium has devised the category “locomotive machines” (voortbewegingstoestel (NL) – engin de déplacement (F)). Belgium stipulated in the traffic code that these vehicles are allowed to drive up to 25 km / h. In addition, they get a similar position on the road as bicycles, they do not require a license plate and no insurance. The user must not wear a helmet and does not require a driver’s license.

    Put a saddle on that scooter and the story is completely different. Then it is vehicle equipped with at least one seat. So, it is subject to type approval in the category L1e-B “moped” and in the Belgian traffic code it comes under “moped class A”. As a result, you must register it, apply for a license plate and pay insurance. You are also obliged to wear a motorcycle helmet and at least have an AM driving license. You must also be at least 16 years old to drive such a scooter. Bol.com’s scooter for children is therefore doubly illegal in a manner of speaking.

    There is no (scientific) research that supports the decision to submit e-scooters with a saddle to type approval and without a saddle not. At the time, decision-makers just put a wet finger in the air, as they did when deciding on the 25 km/h and 250W limits for the electric bicycle.

    Highly dangerous

    However, it is impossible to have the Zipper scooters, Mpmen and Ecoscooters of this world comply with the European type-approval for mopeds and motorcycles. The technical requirements are totally inaccurate for these vehicles. Even if you manage to get a type of electric scooter with saddle approved, it still does not guarantee a safe vehicle. The same problem also occurs for example for speed pedelecs or electric cargo bikes with more than 250W. However, if you keep the saddle of all those vehicles under 54cm, you don’t have to meet type approval after all (exclusion from Article 2.2.k); legal nonsense pushed to an extreme.

    Another, much bigger problem is that most Member States do not have a “moped class A”, like Belgium has, or the Netherlands with “snorfiets” or Germany with “Leichtmofa”. All mopeds in L1e-B mopeds are treated as one and the same vehicle in the traffic codes of those Member States. In most of these cases, mopeds are not allowed to use cycle paths. This is how the feather weight Zipper, Mpman or Ecoscooter, which often doesn’t even reach 25 km / h, ends up between cars and freight traffic that drive much faster. This creates life-threatening situations. This problem also occurs with speed pedelecs, the majority of which cannot reach 45 km / h but rather have a cruising speed of 30 to 35 km / h. This appeared from recent research commissioned by the Flemish Environment Department (see https://bit.ly/3cTQtnI)

    4.2 million deaths a year

     LEVA-EU has recently made an urgent request to the Presidents of the Commission, Council and Parliament for a rapid and fundamental revision of Regulation 168/2013. In addition, LEVA-EU has developed a concrete and practical proposal as to how to replace the legal bottlenecks with rules for light, electric vehicles that will enable the market to grow safely.

    LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck adds: “In the Green Deal and other European policyy instruments, several billion euros are earmarked for making mobility green and sustainable. Improving legislation for electric scooters and other light electric vehicles is a measure that is virtually cost-free, much needed and guaranteed to generate millions, if not billions, of euros. And yet Europe continues to systematically put that measure off. This is unacceptable.

    Meanwhile, the Commission has replied to the LEVA-EU request. They announce yet another study, the results of which will be published in the first quarter of 2021. Only then could a debate on a possible revision of Regulation 168/2013 be started. Should a proposal for review be made, it will need to be approved by the Council and Parliament.

    Annick Roetynck: “This means that it could take at least another five years before our sector can have any hope of removing the legal bottlenecks. That is downright unacceptable. More than 400,000 people have died of Covid-19 so far. But meanwhile, 4.2 million people die from air pollution every year. Mobility is clearly a growing part of that problem. Why is Europe blocking the opening of the market for light electric vehicles? Why does Europe continue to ignore the potential of light electric vehicles to make mobility more sustainable? ” LEVA-EU does intend to keep knocking on the European door.

    The Dutch version of this article is here: https://bit.ly/3fk5AZj

  3. Italy’s Change to More Active Forms of Mobility

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    The Italian government is considering financial support for more sustainable forms of mobility, now that ‘’phase 2’’ in combatting Corona is underway. Although the decree is still not formalized, new infrastructure for (electric) cycling, e-scooters etc. is being considered as well.

    The ministry of transport is discussing ideas to change mobility, especially in urban areas. Since using public transportation in times of Corona is problematic, several ideas are on the table. The focus is on purchase subsidies of €200 for (electric) bicycles, e-scooters, e-hoverboards as well as on new infrastructure and the official inclusion of cycle paths in Italy’s traffic code, ‘’Codice Della Strada’’.

    Another objective is to get more people ready for zero-emission mobility vehicles, which also may help to combat air pollution, a problem that many Italian and European cities in general were already facing before Covid-19.

    Read more @gazzetta.it or find information at the Ministry of Transport.

    Interested what is happening else in Italy? See for example the plans of Milan’s counselor of mobility Marco Granelli, which resulted in 35 km of new cycle paths around the city. Bologna is speeding up the expansion of its bicycle infrastructure network. Capital city Rome considers the implementation of what they call ‘’soft mobility’’ forms like cycling. Torino wants to promote more active and sustainable forms of mobility.

  4. Ellio’s Headstart

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    LEVA-EU member Ellio took a headstart, even though Belgium is basically in lockdown. Within one month, a substantial amount of customers bought the recently released Ellio speed pedelec. It seems to be that projected targets will be achieved earlier then expected.

    Now changing mobility patterns become visible as an effect of all Corona measures, the Belgium based start-up appears to benefit from this shift in modes of mobility.

    Ellio is happely announcing that a second batch of 250 Ellio’s is in production and soon available to public. Ellio testrides may be booked here: https://rideellio.com/boek-een-testrit.

    Find Ellio’s press release in Dutch.

  5. Bafang’s Opens New Taiwanese Office

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    LEVA-EU member Bafang has recently opened office in Taichung City, Taiwan. To represent Bafang in Taiwan, they have appointed Denise Huang as their contact agent.

    The fact that Taiwan plays a key role in the transformation from traditional bicycle production to modern e-bike production has led Bafang to install its own sales office in Taichung City. Although Corona/Covid-19 is still a pandemic and causing severe disruption worldwide, Taiwan’s economy is gradually returning to normal.

     “Our Taiwan representative needed to be experienced with OEM manufacturers, supply chains and the current global market trends. That’s why we are glad to join forces with Denise who has developed keen insider knowledge after more than 10 years in the bicycle industry for several OEM and aftermarket businesses”, said Sunny He, Bafang’s co-founder and deputy general manager.

    Denise Huang added: It’s my honour to become Bafang’s Taiwan agent and I already enjoy the many different challenges I expected from my new occupation. To create and keep good relationships with all Taiwan customers is the service that has top priority to me – and to Bafang – in our common goal: to be a trust-worthy business partner for our customers and to further be part of the sustainable success story of e-mobility.”

    Bafang’s Taichung office services OEM customers in Taiwan for sales, after sales, product presentations and all other aspects of OEM needs and requests.

    Denise Huang, Bafang’s Taiwan Contact Agent in Taichung City (TW). Photo: Bafang

     

  6. Training for Speed Pedelec Users in Belgium

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    The Flemish foundation for traffic expertise (VSV) has launched training for compagnies and their employees on how to have safely ride a speed pedelec.

    Main goal of the training is to raise awareness on the use of a speed pedelec. The course consists of a theoretical part which educates attendees on the national traffic code, position on the road and relevant traffic signs. Part two is practical and trains attendees on how to use their speed pedelec in a functional and safe manner.  Additionally, there is a group discussion among the attendees about risk perception.

    VSV hopes to improve the safety for speed pedelec users and with that the overall traffic safety in Belgium.

    Find more information about the training @ https://www.safe2work.be/slim-op-speedpedelec/

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