Tag Archive: Light electric vehicles

  1. Europe’s transport volumes and its CO2 emissions see a rise over 5% in 19 years

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    Source: European Environment Agency

    Recent analysis by the European Environment Agency (EEA) has reported an increase in greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and heavy goods vehicles in line with the growth in transport volumes on Europe’s roads over the past two decades.

    The EEA assessment ‘Decarbonising road transport — the role of vehicles, fuels and transport demand’ is part of the  ‘Transport and environment reporting mechanism’ (TERM) series of annual assessments and focuses on greenhouse gases. According to EEA data, between 2000 and 2019, CO2 emissions from passenger cars in the 27 EU Member States increased by 5.8 %, while emissions from heavy goods vehicles increased by 5.5 %. This was due to growing transport volumes and despite advances in fuel efficiency and an increase in biofuel usage.

    Passenger mobility and haulier preferences are yet to change in Europe. Both transport types have maintained and increased their volumes on the road systems, and the efficiency of vehicles’ CO2 emissions, and shifts to greener transport modes, need addressing.

    Electric vehicles are set to play an important role in improving our air quality. Increasing the volume of these engine types will help to decarbonize passenger and freight logistics, although the EEA assessment reports that efficiency-gains are not the simple solution to the greenhouse gas problems. Ride-sharing, fuller cargo loads and encouraging the use of public transport, cycling and walking are also required to decarbonise Europe’s mobility system.

    To support the overall climate neutrality target, the EU goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 90% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels.

  2. Micro launches configurator for its long-awaited Microlino

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    Pricing starts from CHF 14‘990 incl. VAT in Switzerland

    Europe base price will be approximately EUR 12‘500 excluding VAT. Exact prices per country will be announced with the respective launch in that country

    A fully equipped Pioneer with a medium battery pack starts at CHF 20‘990 incl. VAT

    Swiss customers have to make a refundable deposit of CHF 500 to secure their spot on the waiting list

    Deposits in other markets will be launched step by step, depending on market entry in that country

    First test drive events will be announced at the end of June

    The Swiss company Micro has launched its long-awaited configurator today. The more than 30‘000 reservation holders are able to configure the vehicle starting from today. The Microlino marks a new product category between a motorbike and a car aimed to be a more eco-friendly and space-saving alternative to cars. With 12.5kW nominal power, 230l of trunk volume, and up to 230km of range, the Microlino is best in class in the European L7e and L6e vehicle categories. It also is the only vehicle in this category to have a unibody chassis, that improves quality, longevity, and safety compared to conventional tubular frames normally used in the L7e class.

    But not just its design and the features are unique: due to the light weight that enables the use of a smaller battery, the Microlino has only about one-third of the carbon footprint of a conventional electric car. In addition, the Microlino is produced in Italy and 90% of its parts are produced in Europe, making its supply chain more sustainable. “This is why the Microlino is probably the most sustainable weather-protected vehicle in existence”, says founder Oliver Ouboter.

    Along with the configurator, Micro is releasing the official list prices for the Microlino in Switzerland. Prices will start at 14‘990 CHF including VAT. In Europe, prices will start from approximately 12‘500 EUR excluding VAT. The exact list prices including VAT will be communicated closer to the official launch in the various countries. “Despite the challenges in the worldwide supply chain and multiplication in prices of certain raw materials and doubling in battery prices, we are satisfied to launch a premium and unique light electric vehicle at an affordable price“, says Co-Founder Merlin Ouboter.

    The launch edition is called „Pioneer Series“ and is limited to 999 vehicles as an homage to Micro being founded in 1999, with the invention of the first Kickscooter. It is available in two colors only available in the Pioneer Series called Torino Aluminium and Atlantis Blue. All Pioneer Series will be equipped with the medium 10.5kWh battery pack with a range of up to 177km, the sunroof for the ultimate Summer feeling, Infinity-LED Lightbars with integrated blinkers front and rear, premium vegan leather and Alcantara interior, portable Bluetooth speakers, the storage pack and will each have a unique number visible on the inside. In addition, they will all come with an original Micro Kick scooter in the trunk to cover the last mile. The Pioneer Series will have a price of 20‘990 CHF including VAT or roughly 18‘500 EUR excluding VAT in European countries. “The Pioneer Series is for the true Pioneers that want to help make mobility more eco-friendly and space-saving. Because let’s face it: we have to make mobility not only electric but also lighter and smaller“, says Wim Ouboter, who founded Micro in 1999.

    Swiss customers are asked to make a deposit of 500 CHF to secure their spot on the waiting list. Next, they will be selected based on their location, configuration, and reservation date to make their final order. Micro plans to do a series of test-drive events to make sure that as many customers as possible can test drive the Microlino. The exact dates and locations of these events will be announced at the end of June. By then, Micro will also give all details about the service and sales net in Switzerland. The first deliveries will take place from Micro‘s own brand center near Zurich this Summer.

    Customers outside of Switzerland can for now use the configurator and make a reservation without a deposit. Once deliveries in a market are near, these customers to have to make a deposit to secure their spot in the waiting line. The next markets that will be launched are Germany and Italy. First deliveries for these two markets are expected by the end of 2022.

    The company targets to produce up to 1500 vehicles this year in a factory that it is operating in Turin, Italy, together with its partner CECOMP. Eventually, the company will be able to produce up to 10,000 vehicles in this factory per year. “The demand that we see is huge and we are considering increasing our capacity even further in the future. For this year, we focus on quality, not quantity“, says Oliver Ouboter. The first customer deliveries in Switzerland will take place this summer, and German and Italian deliveries will start towards the end of 2022.

    All Technical Specifications:

    Max. Speed                                                                            90 km/h

    Acceleration (0-50km/h)                                                   5 s

    Nominal Power                                                                      12.5 kW

    Peak Power                                                                             19 kW

    Torque                                                                        89 Nm

    Range                                                                                       91/177/230 km*

    Batteries                                                                                   6 kWh, 10.5 kWh, 14 kWh**

    Charging Time 0-80%                                                           4h (6 kWh Battery)

    3h (10.5 kWh battery)

    4h (14 kWh battery)

    Battery chemistry                                                                 Lithium-Ion (NMC/NCA)

    Curb weight                                                                             435 kg (excl. battery)

    Seats                                                                                          2

    Trunk volume (l)                                                                    230 l

    *Preliminary data
    **Available Q1/23

  3. EP votes ICE-cars and vans out by 2035

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    In a plenary vote on 8 June, Members of the European Parliament adopted their position on proposed rules to revise the CO2 emissions performance standards for new cars and vans with 339 votes in favour, 249 against and 24 abstentions.

    With the adopted text, which constitutes Parliament’s position to negotiate with member states, MEPs support the Commission proposal to reach zero-emission road mobility by 2035 (an EU fleet-wide target to reduce the emissions produced by new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 100% compared to 2021). Intermediate emissions reduction targets for 2030 would be set at 55% for cars and 50% for vans.

    Additional details of Parliament’s proposed measures are available here.

    Quote

    Rapporteur Jan Huitema (Renew, NL) said: ‘An ambitious revision of CO2-standards is a crucial part of reaching our climate targets. With these standards, we are creating clarity for the car industry and can stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers. In addition, purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers. I am thrilled that the European Parliament has backed an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and supported a 100% target for 2035, which is crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050.’

    Next steps

    MEPs are now ready to start negotiations with EU member states.

    Background

    On 14 July 2021, as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, the Commission presented a legislative proposal for a revision of the CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The proposal aims to contribute to the EU 2030 and 2050 climate objectives, to deliver benefits to citizens by deploying zero-emission vehicles more broadly (better air quality, energy savings and lower costs for owning a vehicle), as well as to stimulate innovation in zero-emission technologies.

    Photo by Matt Boitor on Unsplash

  4. Podbike updates on manufacturing progress

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    LEVA-EU Member Podbike reports on an intensely busy time at headquarters as they focus on delivering their first run of bikes to pre-order customers.

    During some last-minute design checks, Podbike staff discovered that the rivets used on the FRIKAR’s base plate did not match the manufacturer’s claimed technical specifications. To fully ensure reliability, Podbike are undertaking additional fatigue-testing to check the rivets’ durability.

    With the testing ongoing, Podbike hope that no changes will be needed. However, if the rivets are found to be not strong enough, new base plates will be built. These are due to arrive in July.

    Podbike have reiterated that first FRIKAR deliveries will go to customers in Norway and then to customers in Germany. Starting in 2023, Podbike will launch in other countries, one at a time.

    Podbike also report on engineering tweaks to the FRIKAR’s design, which have been integrated following insightful comments during last year’s test ride tour of Norway and northern Germany.

    One issue which has challenged Podbike’s engineers is unwanted noise inside the cabin. The electric motor, plus the sound of the driver pedalling, was a bit too loud for some.

    Podbike are working to optimize the solution while also avoiding adding too much weight, and report that solving the noise issue will take time. They acknowledge that this is a common issue for every velomobile where the drivetrain and moving parts are inside the rider cabin, rather than hidden in a separate, heavy and soundproofed engine compartment.

    Finally, Podbike have shared details and a short video of their new Dynamometer Jig for dyno testing the FRIKAR.

    Those interested in contributing to the Podbike crowdfunder can register their interest here.  

  5. 17 ‘eHubs’ now operational in Amsterdam

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    Source: fietsberaad

    The final 7 Amsterdam hubs have recently been completed, bringing the total to 17. At such locations, city-goers can borrow a shared bike, cargo bike, car, or scooter.

    The eHubs have become operational on a trial basis with a subsidy. Further European cities including Arnhem, Nijmegen, Leuven and Manchester are operating similar schemes. The hubs act as a research point for various universities conducting research on the interchangeability of shared mobility in modern cities.

    Three of the recently added eHubs are located at the Amsterdam Science Park. Three other eHubs are set up in Amsterdam-West and one is operational in Watergraafsmeer.

    Due to the Hubs only becoming functional in recent months, their success cannot yet be confirmed. However, other EV rental schemes have seen steady increases since launch.

  6. Podbike is crowdfunding

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    Podbike is now raising capital, and is offering followers the opportunity to join its quest.

    Podbike aims to redefine urban mobility with a 4 wheeled e-bike designed for life in the cities of tomorrow. With full weather protection and room for an adult and a child, this e-bike has been designed to be license free. It will allow a user to access bike roads to save time and money, while doing good for the environment and yourself. 

    In a statement by CTO and product developer, Per Hassel Sørensen, the company shared news of its crowdfunder:

    “I have some exciting news to share!

    We are launching a crowdfunding campaign to ignite the next stage of our journey.

    Being a feisty start-up is exhilarating, but growth requires cash. We have received funding to date, but, befitting our company’s founding principles, we also want to involve you, our grassroots supporters.

    Because YOU are the heart and soul of our brand!

    We are thankful that our concept of a human powered vehicle has been greeted so warmly by so many. Our community of customers is growing – we now have more than 32,000 like-minded people who are following us through emails, newsletters, and social media. 

    We feel fortunate to say that we now have 3,500 pre-orders!

    When I joined Podbike, I made a commitment to excel in three areas: Product, Environment, and People. I wanted to build vehicles that were functional, elegant, made to last, and have as little impact on the planet as possible.  If you would like to take part in the next stage of Podbike’s journey and invest in the company – YOUR company – please register your interest by going to our crowdfunding site below.”

    Interested investors are invited to register here.

  7. LEVA-EU & DLR present LEV4Climate to EU Commission

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    On Thursday 12 May, DLR and LEVA-EU were invited to contribute to a Sustainability Talk of the European Commission’s DG Innovation and Research. The theme of the talk was: “Deeply transforming mobility systems and cities – The case of light electric vehicles” The hybrid event attracted more than 50 Commission officials from a variety of DGs.


    On behalf of DLR, Mascha Brost presented the study*, commissioned by LEVA-EU, on the potential of LEVs in tackling climate change by reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). Annick Roetynck outlined the European LEV framework and made the direct link to current policy. Among other things, she called for better LEV regulations. She argued: “To achieve increased uptake and use of LEVs to substitute the use of large, heavy vehicles, the EU must identify and remove legal bottlenecks hampering technological and market development of LEVs without any further delay. Furthermore, in policies developed at all levels of government, LEVs should be dealt with as a separate vehicle category, which requires its own specific rules.

    The relevance of LEVs in tackling climate was made even clearer by Anastasios Kentarchos, Advisor Climate Science and Innoviation at DG R&I. He responded to the LEV study from a climate science perspective, by linking to the recent IPCC report that states that the current pledges will not be sufficient to limit warming to 2°. “As a result, every solution counts”, Mr Kentarchos concluded.

    Laure Ledoux, Head of Unit Greening, Safety & Buildings at DG HR, explained the Commission’s plans to be climate neutral by 2030 by reducing GHG emissions by 60%. One of the main focusses is mobility, more specifically commuting, for which the objective is to reduce GHG emissions by 45%. She announced a new mobility plan by the end of this year, which will hold incentives for all means of transport.

    At the end of the meeting, Thomas Arnold, Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals at DG R&I formulated 3 main conclusions. Firstly, systemic changes are necessary to encourage climate change mitigation. Secondly, Commission officials should look into what support they can get from their employer to make their mobility more sustainable. Thirdly, the electrification of mobility is currently focused on heavy vehicles, while much lighter vehicles appear to be available. The effects of electrification in combination with a significant weight reduction needs to be further investigated.

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    * The DLR LEV4Climate Study,  was commissioned by LEVA-EU and is supported by FairlybikeMicrolino,  Podbike  and  Superpedestrian. Further sponsoring of LEVA-EU’s efforts to raise awareness on the emission saving potential of Light Electric Vehicles is still welcome. Please contact Eddie Eccleston for futher details: eddie@leva-eu.com, tel. +32 472 32 9770.

  8. ICBF announces 2022 dates – in collaboration with World of eMobility

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    Source: Cargo Bike Festival

    The International Cargo Bike Festival (ICBF) will take place in Amsterdam, 27-29 October 2022.

    Attendees of ICBF 2022 will find the festival in a special cargo bike-focused area of the wider World of eMobility 2022 event – a hybrid B2B / B2C trade show that saw its debut in 2021. The cargo bike festival will be a unique and innovation-focused affair, including exhibition space, indoor test track, and cargo bike conference.

    Discover more via the official ICBF website, here.

    The event will take place at Expo Haarlemmermeer, a multifunctional venue surrounded by nature, in the heart of Randstad. The exclusive location has an industrial look and feel and is just a stone’s throw from Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam. The unexpected peace and tranquillity amidst the hustle and bustle of the Randstad, and the striking architecture of the building, blend in perfectly well with the lush nature surrounding it.

  9. Swiss Federal Council: power does not play significant role for speed limited vehicles

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    Nine years after the publication of Regulation 168/2013, with its wretched 250W power limit, the Swiss Federal Council has finally been the first to officially come to the conclusion that this or any other power limit makes no sense. The Council writes: “The engine power does not play a significant role for vehicles of which the speed is limited by design.” Of course, this may not convert the EU, whilst this 250W continues to cause damage to the LEV-sector on a daily basis. However, what LEVA-EU has been preaching since its establishment has now finally been officially endorsed by a legislator. This makes it harder for the EU to continue to deny that Regulation 168/2013 should be urgently revised for the benefit of LEVs.

    The Swiss Council has taken the finding one step further and concluded that traffic should be reorganised on the basis of the principle of kinetic energy. This is another assertion that LEVA-EU has long been proclaiming loud and clear. The Council writes: “Decisive for the safe coexistence of different modes of transport in the same area and for traffic flow are speeds that are as uniform as possible. In the event of a collision, the kinetic energy of the parties involved is decisive for the severity of the accident. The engine power does not play a significant (…). For these reasons, vehicles are assigned to traffic areas on the basis of their speed and weight. For the dimensioning of the traffic areas, the space requirements, the
    requried space and the width of the vehicles are also decisive for the dimensioning of the traffic areas.

    Below is the full press release on the planned reform:

    The transport of goods with small electric vehicles and so-called cargo bikes is booming. As a result, road space in urban areas is under greater strain. In the view of the (Swiss) Federal Council, the traffic space in these areas should be used more in favour of non-motorised traffic in the future.

    In the cities and agglomerations, more and more different vehicles are travelling in the same traffic areas. This increases the risk of accidents. On the basis of parliamentary proposals, the Federal Council has analysed how the scarce traffic areas can be better used and how the coexistence of road users can be improved. The corresponding report is now available: https://www.newsd.admin.ch/newsd/message/attachments/69506.pdf

    Goals of the Federal Council

    The Federal Council is guided by the following three objectives for its further work:

    1. Sustainability: the Federal Council recognises the growing importance of emission-free, smaller and slower vehicles. They contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the better use of limited traffic areas.
    2. Safety: the Federal Council wants to increase road safety, especially for non-motorised traffic. Therefore, the scarce traffic space in urban areas should be used more in favour of non-motorised traffic when building and planning transport infrastructures.
    3. Simple and comprehensible regulations: for the categorisation of vehicles and the regulations for their use, the Federal Council strives for simple and future-proof solutions.

    Based on this, the Federal Council proposes the following new regulations:

    • In principle, the pavement should continue to be reserved for pedestrians. As before, this does not apply to scooters, roller skates and other devices that do not have an electric drive.
    • Bicycles, e-bikes with pedal assistance and purely electrically powered vehicles are to be permitted in bicycle traffic areas. Legally, this category refers to small vehicles that may be driven without a driver’s licence and that weigh a maximum of 250 kg (today 200 kg), have a maximum width of 1 m and travel at a maximum speed of 25 km/h. For fast e-bikes, there is an exception. There is an exception for fast e-bikes. E-bikes with pedal assistance up to 45 km/h may use both the bicycle areas and the road.
    • Electric vehicles with a weight of max. 450 kg (with driver’s licence category M or F) may also travel on the bicycle areas at a maximum speed of 25 km/h.
    • As before, small electric vehicles must be equipped with at least one steering bar or grab rail and have two independent brakes. Vehicles that do not meet these requirements will continue to be excluded from the use of public spaces.

    Further procedure

    Based on these principles, the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) will concretise the standards concept, check the effectiveness of the operational and organisational measures and, based on this, draw up a revision of the road traffic law.

    Photo by Alin Andersen on Unsplash

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