Tag Archive: Light electric vehicles

  1. LEVA-EU says ‘blanket’ EU regulation ‘choking’ light electric vehicle sector

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    The European trade association LEVA-EU is calling for an urgent change in EU regulations, it says are seriously hindering manufacturers at a time when cities are encouraging use of light, electric vehicles (LEV) as an alternative form of transport during the coronavirus crisis.

    LEVA-EU, the only trade association in Europe that works exclusively to represent light electric vehicle businesses, has presented proposals to the European Commission to revise rules it believes are inaccurate and can put users in danger.  It says the Covid-19 crisis has brought its proposals into sharp focus and is urging the EC to schedule changing the ruling as a matter of urgency.

    The advocacy group, whose work concerns a wide range of one, two, three and four wheel LEVs including E-bikes, speed pedelecs (E-bikes that can achieve speeds of up to 45km/h), E-cargo bikes  and E-scooters, says the central issue is that the Regulation class light electric vehicles (LEVs) in the same category as mopeds and motorbikes and as a result isvery seriously hampering the industry at ‘absolutely the wrong time’.

    Annick Roetynck, LEVA-EU manager, said the EC only has to look at all the cities across Europe opening up cycle lanes as the public scrambles to find safe alternative forms of transport. She called for ‘root and branch’ change to further unleash innovation and enterprise in the LEV sector much of which is made of up dynamic small to medium size firms.

    Our concern centres on Regulation 168/2013 which establishes the technical legislation for L-category vehicles, in other words mopeds and motorcycles. At the request of the Commission, the European Council and Parliament decided in 2013 to only exclude electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250 W from this L-category. So, all other electric bicycles are included in technical legislation, which has originally been written for internal combustion engine mopeds and motorcycles.

    The legislation has 1,036 pages of text, to a large extent dedicated to emissions, noise and other technical aspects which are totally irrelevant for electric bicycles. Manufacturers have to figure out which of these 1,036 pages are applicable to, for instance, their speed pedelecs or their E-cargo bikes with more than 250W. And if they manage that all, they have to go through a totally inaccurate type-approval procedure, which costs at least four times more than what the Commission predicted in their impact assessment before drafting Regulation 168/2013.

    This regulation is a significant barrier to SMEs and choking growth at a key time when the popularity and profile of LEVs as a sustainable form of transport, especially in these testing COVID-19 times, is set to soar. We must not hold back innovation and growth in this sector.

    Annick Roetynck says that classing LEVs in the same category as mopeds also presents considerable safety issues for riders. Most light electric vehicles in the L-category are able to achieve a maximum cruising speed of 30-35kmh, yet classing them as mopeds forces them off cycle lanes and onto roads among traffic achieving speeds of at least 50kmh. That difference in speed results in very dangerous and unpleasant riding conditions.

    In its proposals to the EC, LEVA-EU cites the Belgian project 365SNEL, carried out in the past 18 months where 106 people tested a speed pedelec for commuting for three weeks. After the test, 20 per cent of participants effectively swapped their car for a speed pedelec LEV.

    The research showed that price was putting off some consumers from investing in a speed pedelec, but LEVA-EU says inflated prices are the result of the complicated regulations facing manufacturers.

    Annick Roetynck said the organisation is campaigning to protect the industry as more people move to LEVs in the future. LEVA-EU acts on behalf of around 50 members across Europe and estimates about three million E-bikes alone were sold in the European Union during 2019. About 98 per cent of these were E-bikes with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W, which shows the extent the technical legislation for L-category obstructs the development of new types of E-bikes.

    She said: “It has become very clear to LEVA-EU that the European technical rules for LEVs are hampering their market development. Research has shown that the biggest obstacle to getting more people to consider LEVs is still high prices, yet this price is a direct result of extremely complicated, inaccurate European technical rules. As a result of these rules, riders are often forced to ride in dangerous conditions because the speed difference between them and other means of transport is often life-threatening.

    In an open letter to the Presidents of the European Commission, Parliament and Council, LEVA-EU also calls for an amendment to the EU Green Deal. Even though the European Environment Agency has argued that shifting to walking, cycling and public transport is crucial for Europe to meet long-term sustainability goals and policy objective under the EU Green Deal, the Commission’s Communication has no reference to such a shift. LEVA-EU therefore calls upon the Commission to include the shift to walking, cycling, public transport and using light, electric vehicles (LEVs) as a key element in the Green Deal and consequently put that shift at the centre of the forthcoming strategy for sustainable and smart mobility.

    In the letter, LEVA-U has rephrased the EEA Statement: “Shifting to walking, cycling, light, electric vehicles and public transport is a duty for Europe to meet long-term sustainability goals and policy objectives under the EU Green Deal, in honour of all COVID-19 and air pollution victims.

    The LEV market represents an exciting future for cities and towns across Europe, but this potential will be lost if we do not make urgent alterations to current legislation. We will continue to act as a voice for our members to ensure we remove any barriers to trade and get more people to do their bit for the environment by choosing an LEV.

    LEVA-EU Member Rad Power Bikes testifies:

    LEVA – EU member Arno Saladin, European business manager of Rad Power Bikes in the Netherlands, says the combination of technical legislation and traffic codes is stifling an industry that has great potential. The business has focused on manufacturing e-bikes with a speed of up to 25kmh and maximum power above 250W (L1e-A), but he says that while a business has the time to navigate legislation in different countries, it is often confusing for the consumer.

    He said: “We haven’t expanded our line-up because our customers are facing so much uncertainty when they purchase a product in some countries, so we decided it would be much easier and clearer to produce 250W e-bikes.

    Light electric vehicles are a very new sector of the market but we find that the legislation is not created at a basic level for the consumer to use the products with confidence. That’s why we see a lot of manufacturers not introducing new models even though there is a clear demand for these types of vehicles. It’s a chicken and egg situation where, if the regulations and traffic codes were clearer then more businesses would be interested and the sector would grow. However, the decision makers say that it’s too small a sector to give it attention, but I believe that as soon as the legislators understand what they need to do, this market will rocket.

  2. CAKE Wins 2020 Automotive Brand Contest Award

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    05 May 2020 – LEVA-EU member  CAKE  announced that its utility-focused electric motorbike and scooter Ösa, has been named as a recipient of the coveted Automotive Brand Contest Award. Presented by the German Design Council, this high-profile international award recognizes outstanding automotive brand and design achievements in the automotive industry. This is the second Automotive Brand Contest awards for CAKE, having first won “Best of Best” for the Kalk OR at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.

    “Another ABC Award! And, this time, for the Ösa. It’s incredible. Being recognized and rewarded by the vehicle industry is among the most gratifying highlights for us – a bunch of people from the ‘outside’ with our roots in gravity sports,” remarked Stefan Ytterborn, founder and CEO of CAKE. “With the goal of transitioning society toward zero-emissions, we are determined to combine excitement with responsibility and to develop new electric motorbikes for leisure as well as for efficient transportation. We are honored to be noticed by the German Design Council and the Automotive Brand Contest for these efforts.”

    The Automotive Brand Contest is the only international design competition for automobile marques and has emerged as one of the important events in the sector. With the competition, the German Design Council honors outstanding product and communication design and draws attention to the fundamental importance of brand and brand design in the automotive industry. In this context, the focus is on the integral and consistent use of the brand across all media and products.

    Learn more about the Ösa @RideCake.

  3. Environmentally-friendly graphene bio-inks for rechargeable batteries and energy storage devices

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    Source ​Letizia Diamante @ Graphene Flagship – Researchers at Graphene Flagship partners Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, CIC EnergiGUNE and INCAR-CSIC, Spain, have produced rechargeable batteries and energy storage devices made of a non-toxic and environmentally friendly graphene-based material.

    With current metal-ion batteries reaching their theoretical limitations in terms of cycle life, capacity and power, researchers focused on metal-air alternatives, such as sodium-air (Na-O2) batteries. Equipped with sodium anodes and oxygen-trapping cathodes, these devices have interesting and unique rechargeable capabilities: NaOis produced when the battery drains its stored energy, which is then recycled back to form metallic sodium and oxygen when the battery charges.

    In this study, a cathode was made using a porous graphene-based aerogel. The Graphene Flagship team fabricated it by electrochemically exfoliating graphite foils with the help of molecules derived from DNA building blocks, such as adenosine monophosphate. These biomolecules insert into the graphite structure, causing the foils to swell. The foils are then scraped off and processed further, resulting in the formation of graphene flakes, around 1-2 nm in thickness and 400-600 nm in width.

    The Graphene Flagship researchers also highlighted a secondary function of these biomolecules: they are adsorbed on the surface of graphene, allowing the flakes to be dispersed in water. The resulting conductive ink is preferable over others that contain organic solvents for several reasons – above all, due to its low impact on the environment. The Graphene Flagship researchers then used a freeze-drying technique to transform the ink into an aerogel, suitable for the battery’s cathode. These new batteries could be recharged 50 times with an efficiency of 94%, which is a very competitive result that out-performs other graphene-based cathodes.

    We believe that the phosphates in these biomolecules are the main reason for this success. These chemical groups allow NaO2 to be recycled more quickly during the charging phase,” explains Nagore Ortiz-Vitoriano, from Graphene Flagship partner CIC EnergiGUNE, who co-authored this study.

    With no need for any additives, this graphene ink was also used for printing electrically conductive patterns as part of storage devices, such as micro-supercapacitors. These devices showed a remarkable performance, comparable to the current graphene-based devices, and retained around 75% of the initial performance after 5,000 charge/discharge cycles.

    We will keep refining the structure of our devices and continue to improve their capacity and cycle life, as well as reducing the energy losses during operation,” says Jose Maria Munuera, from Graphene Flagship partner CSIC, and corresponding author of this study.

    By demonstrating that an aqueous graphene-based bio-ink improves the performances of batteries and supercapacitors, this work provides a novel sustainable material solution to advance the field,” comments Vittorio Pellegrini, the Graphene Flagship’s Work Package Leader for Energy Storage.

    Andrea C. Ferrari, Science and Technology Officer of the Graphene Flagship and Chair of its Management Panel, adds: “Meeting the sustainable development goals is at the core of the Graphene Flagship science and innovation. Energy applications are amongst the promising impact areas for graphene and related materials. This works shows a sustainable approach for the production of graphene to be used in re-chargeable batteries, with a double advantage for the environment.


    J.M. Munuera, J.I. Paredes, M. Enterría, S. Villar-Rodil, A.G. Kelly, Y. Nalawade, J.N. Coleman, T. Rojo, N. Ortiz-Vitoriano, A. Martínez-Alonso, and J.M. Tascón. High Performance Na-O2 Batteries and Printed Microsupercapacitors Based on Water-Processable, Biomolecule-Assisted Anodic GrapheneACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces12 (1), 494-506 (2019).

  4. FreeFlow has New Funding Round open

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    LEVA-EU member FreeFlow Technologies (FFT) has developed the world’s lightest power to weight e-bike motor, allowing riders to travel faster and further for less effort. At the core of their motor is the innovative, patent protected transmission system technology. The heart of the system is called a flex wave harmonic drive.

    Their technical team is based at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry. This state-of-the-art facility provides rapid prototyping capabilities as well as additional resourcing of some of the most technically minded engineers. This enables FFT to be very fluid and able to work with the latest developments in materials and design logic.

    Back in 2018, FFT attracted sufficient capital to develop their idea. At that time, Foresight Williams Technology (FWT) made a sizeable investment and Martin McCourt (former CEO of Dyson) became Chairman of a newly created Board. Neil Edwards (former Operations Chief at Dyson), became the CTO.

    More recently David Hemming joined as MD. David is well-connected in the cycling industry and has experience with big brands such as Marin and Cannondale. He was the Commercial Director for Rapha/Team Sky, commercialising their brand to a global fan base and has raced mountain bikes professionally.

    The FreeFlow patented e-bike motor is for the OEM customer.  “This is a very attractive proposition for the bike industry in that it only takes just north of ten minutes to install and is incredibly easy to build a frame around. It’s a very efficient system due to the Harmonic, with a 50km range per charge while using it on full power, brands can play with bigger batteries to increase the range. The system’s simplicity is so efficient that when not turned on, it rides just like a normal bike, and its compact design makes the bike look like a normal bike, a key design statement for us, brands and the end consumer. We now have almost a dozen brands under NDA/JDA agreements to move forward with the ETS system,” explains David Hemming, Managing Director

    FreeFlow has a new funding round open and they are keen to talk with potential new investors. The unique product attributes enable premium pricing and high margins. When combined with a modest cost base, low overheads and low capital requirements the result is compelling.

    This raise will take them to and beyond the September launch at Eurobike. For more information please contact:

    David Hemming
    [email protected]
    +44 (0)7880-1898869

  5. Best LEV-Practices during Covid-19

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    Some parties come up with inventive solutions to deploy LEVs in the fight against the corona virus. Below is a list of such best practices. Do you know any initiatives that are not in the list below? Let us know by e-mail: [email protected]

    Read more on Covid-19 measures in Europe @ourwebsite.

    We will update this information regularly. Latest update: 05 May.

    Stay safe!


    • More road space for cyclists in Vienna. Read more @Wien.orf.
    • Click and collect campaign by NOX Cycles to improve online business. Read more @Radmarkt.


    • A number of cargo bike suppliers in Antwerp rent their cargo bikes out to businesses that have to supply goods or services to customers. Read more @iBike.
    • Traffic lights in Brussels adjusted to the needs of pedestrians and cyclist during Corona. Read more @bruzz.
    • City of Gent in favor of expanded footpaths and cycleways. Read more @VRT.

    Europe / Worldwide

    • LEVA-EU member QWIC deliveres their e-bikes for free now. Read more @QWIC.
    • Examples on how cities and micromobility operatores respond to the current situation. Read more @eBikeLabs.
    • How local authorities keep moving during Covid-19. Read more @PolisNetwork.
    • Funding by the New Zealand government for expanded footpaths and temporary cycleways. Read more @Stuff.
    • Research on sustainable urban mobility during Covid-19. Read more @Tumi.
    • Maintaining essential mobility during a pandemic. Read more @Eltis.
    • Creating space for cycling within 10 days. Read more @mobycon.



    • LEVA-EU member Carla Cargo offers free shipment of their bicycle trailers within the EU. Read more @Carla Cargo.
    • Rental bike provider Nextbike GmbH offers free usage of their fleet for 30 minutes. Read more @Radmarkt.
    • Temporary expansion of bicycle lanes during Corona in Berlin. Read more @Berlin. Find also a document with the setup for these bicycles lanes. Read more @berlin. 
    • Free of charge webinar about home office tools special for bicycle branche. Read more @radmarkt.
    • Nüwiel offers free use of their electric trailers for local organizations in Hamburg. Read more @Nüwiel.



    • More road space for cyclist in Milan. Read more @Citylab.
    • Building a future for active forms of transport like cycling in Rome. Read more @Lastampa.

    The Netherlands

    • Private shopping at bicycle dealer Robert Schut. Read more @Tweewieler.
    • Overview of local initiatives and the roll of electric cargo bicycle logistics. Read more @Cargobikefestival
    • Rental of electric cargo bicycles at a reduced rate for small enterprises. Read more @Cargoroo.


    • Free bus services for health professionals in Madrid. Read more @Madrid.

    United Kingdom

    • Free e-bike rental for NHS staff. Read more @Fully Charged.
    • LEVA-EU member Insync offers discount on a range of bikes for NHS staff and emergency service workers. Read more @Insyncbikes.
    • Free Glasgow Nextbike memberships and e-bike rides for NHS staff extended. Read more @Nextbike.
    • LEVA-EU member Wisper offers discount for NHS and all essential workers. Read more @Wisper.
    • ”Find an open bike shop” website launched by ACT and BA. Read more @bikebiz.
    • TfL considering more road space for cyclists. Read more @theGuardian.
    • ‘Pop up’ cycle lanes in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Read more @Scotsman.

    United States

    • Find a round-up of intitiatives focussing on Active Transportation during Covid-19. Read more @newstransportation.
    • Find here a dataset on cities expanding walking and bicycling access during Covid-19, provided by Tabitha Combs. Read more @thedataset.

  6. Insync Discount Deal for NHS Staff and Emergency Workers

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    2 April – LEVA-EU member Insync Bikes launched a new discount deal on a range of bikes for NHS staff and emergency service workers.

    Insync Head of European Operations Eddie Eccleston said ‘’the offer would see all Britain’s emergency services staff given 20 per cent off on an exclusive range of Insync Lectro e-bikes, road bikes, and mountain bikes as well as women’s bikes’’. Eddie said ‘’the bike range is being offered to help NHS and emergency services staff undertake essential journeys and commute to work, instead of risking infection on public transport, as well as to keep fit and strengthen immunity’’.

    “Insync is a family, community bike brand and we passionately believe in cycling as a force for good,” he said.  “We want to offer a helping hand to the brave men and women in the NHS and across the emergency services who have to keep working through this crisis. It is positive that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has allowed bike shops to stay open as way to promote and encourage cycling. Cycling and keeping fit improves immunity and sensitivity to vaccines and we want to help workers access the benefits of cycling, at an affordable level.”

    Read more about the discount at the Insync owned www.parkersofbolton.co.uk website. Eddie Eccleston said ‘’Insync would also be offering the range through Independent bike shops and those dealers which wanted to promote the NHS range should contact Insync direct.’’

    Check our article on best LEV-practices during Covid-19

  7. CAKE Wins Red Dot Design Award 2020

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    LEVA-EU member CAKE  becomes a two-time winner of this esteemed award, receiving honors for the performance-oriented Kalk in 2019 and the utility-focused model, Ösa, in 2020.

    CAKE, the Swedish manufacturer of lightweight electric motorcycles, announced that its utility-focused motorbike and scooter, Ösa, has been named as a recipient of the 2020 Red Dot Design Award. This is the second time CAKE has received this renowned award in the Car and Motorcycle category. The performance-oriented model Kalk won at its debut in 2019. For the 2020 award, CAKE is pleased to see their utility motorbike and scooter platform Ösa winning as well!

    The distinction of the Red Dot has become established internationally as one of the most prestigious seals of quality for design. The Red Dot Jury comprises some 40 international experts who test, discuss, and evaluate each entry individually, live and on-site. The jury only awards products that feature an outstanding design.

    “Given all that is taking place in the world right now with the rise of this horrible pandemic, now is not the time for asinine celebration. But we must say that we are incredibly honored to be recognized by the Red Dot Jury,” says Stefan Ytterborn, CEO & Founder of CAKE. “Like everyone on the Red Dot team, we are a bunch of colleagues and associated vendors, manufacturers, and partners, looking beyond now, crossing our fingers that the light will come sooner than later to our current hardships. And this award gives each of us every bit of extra energy to do just that. To borrow from the Hamiltons, ‘Through!’”

  8. Global Ministerial Call for 30 km/h

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    The Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Sweden resulted in the Stockholm Declaration. Representatives of over 140 countries gathered on this two-day event and acknowledged the need for broad stakeholder cooperation when it comes to road safety. The Stockholm Declaration consist of eighteen resolutions among which the call to reduce maximum speed to 30 km/h in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix.

    The Stockholm Declaration is the outcome of a conference that connects road safety to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Eighteen concrete steps have been put forward in this political agreement based on the recommendations of experts and their scientific assessments.

    Find below, some of the eighteen resolutions.

    • R3: call to reduce road traffic deaths by at least 50% from 2020 to 2030.
    • R8: call to speed up the shift toward safer, cleaner, more energy efficient and affordable modes of transport and promote higher levels of physical activity such as walking and cycling as well as integrating these modes with the use of public transport to achieve sustainability.
    • R11: call to limit maximum speed to 30 km/h in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix.

    From a European perspective. This plan could help to meet the goals set out by the European Commission on road safety. One the long-term targets is to reduce road traffic fatalities almost to zero by 2050. A goal which has been put forward in the Swedish ‘’Vision Zero’’ and also have been put forward in this document.

    Background information on the Swedish  ‘’Vision Zero’’. In 1997, the Swedish Parliament adopted a new long-term goal and strategy for road safety, Vision Zero. The goal is that no one should be killed or seriously injured through a road accident. From a global perspective, Sweden back then had already a ‘low figure’ of fatalities by road accidents of 7 per 100000 inhabitants. Since the implementation of this policy, the number of traffic fatalities have been halved.

    Find all the information on Road Safety Sweden

    Photo by Sean Benesh on Unsplash
  9. Carla Cargo news during COVID-19

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    LEVA-EU member Carla Cargo encourages everyone helping each other and stay at home to prevent the rapid spread of the virus. A special word of support for their bike messengers to keep up the great logistic work of delivering groceries to people under quarantine.

    Carla Cargo’s offer in times of COVID-19 is the free shipment of CARLA’s within the EU. Please find out here what code you need to fulfil the requirements. So far, the production of new trailers is still running and new trailers can be delivered within a maximum up to 8 weeks. Find also their new video that gives some great insights on how to deliver cargo loads with a bicycle trailer like CARLA!

    Find the article of Carla Cargo and new photos of their trailers in action!

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