Tag Archive: research

  1. E-bikers ride longer and more often – QWIC research

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    Research by e-bike brand, and LEVA-EU member, QWIC shows that e-bikers cycle further and more often than before they bought an e-bike. The research was conducted among 3318 QWIC owners from the Netherlands and Belgium. QWIC e-bikers have started to cycle an average of 55km more per week than they did before purchasing an e-bike. Many feel more energetic as a result and enjoy cycling more, even with a headwind.

    Source: QWIC

    ‘I cycle much more, my health has improved and I have already saved a lot of money’

    ‘I take the bike much quicker’

    Cycling further and more often
    Of all QWIC e-bikers, 1 in 5 (20%) cycle more than 100km per week on average. That’s 5,200 km per year. Which amounts to a bike ride from Amsterdam to the southernmost tip of Spain and back again. There are even e-bikers who cycle more than 300 km per week; they do this mainly to cover their commuting distance.

    ‘My commute has become much more pleasant and less stressful. I can now also determine much more precisely when I will arrive at work’

    ‘My well-being has improved, the daily ride back and forth to work is now me-time

    E-bikes as a healthy alternative
    QWIC users replace with their e-bike on average 86 km per week other means of transport such as cars, motorcycles, scooters, or public transport. The common motivation for this is health and being outdoors, getting more exercise, and having more fun. 

    European Mobility Week & Car Free Day
    QWIC conducted this research in the run-up to the European Mobility Week (Sept. 16 – 22), an initiative of the European Commission. During this week, sustainable urban mobility takes center stage, a theme QWIC strongly supports.

    September 22 is worldwide Car Free Day, the day when motorists are challenged to leave their cars at home and choose more sustainable transportation. Car Free Day is held in 46 countries and in more than 2,000 cities.

    QWIC ambition
    QWIC’s mission – ever since its founding 16 years ago – has been to accelerate the sustainable mobility revolution by getting more people on bikes and making them enjoy every ride. By developing high-quality and innovative electric bicycles, QWIC offers an enjoyable, active and healthy solution for everyday mobility.

  2. Podbike tours Europe and further enhances the FRIKAR design

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    LEVA-EU member Podbike has toured the uniquely designed FRIKAR e-bike around various European trade shows, delighting audiences and making fresh engineering discoveries along the way

    ‘Podbike, meet din 79010’ – Germany’s strict safety standards

    Germany’s rules for bike design and safety are the gold standard across Europe. The Podbike FRIKAR is so unique, that it’s not completely clear which category of bike design it belongs in. Podbike has chosen to abide by Germany’s rules for cargo bikes, as the LEV can carry two people: one big, one small, or one rider and cargo in the rear.

    For example, the FRIKAR should be able to roll off a curb onto the road without any fear of damaging the bike. These simple drops from curb to road surface occur all the time on a bike, so it was necessary to test the effects of constant bumping such as this over time.

    To simulate long-term riding, Podbike has developed a power-driven test rig that allows a FRIKAR to ‘drive’ for days and days on rollers without a break. The fatigue data gathered provided interesting insights, which will assist in ensuring Podbike is first-in-class when it comes to velomobile stability and durability.

    What to do when shock absorbers are not absorbing sufficient shock?

    The biggest finding was that the front suspension wasn’t behaving as expected, being too stiff for the test rig. The suspension wasn’t absorbing enough kinetic energy, making for a bumpy ride and some complex handling. Additionally, unnecessary pressure was exerted on the bike’s chassis which would cause damage over time.

    As a result, Podbike has chosen to change the springs on the FRIKAR’s front shock absorbers. In laymen’s terms, the team has made the front suspension softer. This more supple suspension creates more give in the front end of the FRIKAR, reducing stress on the chassis, and taking a load off the front of the chassis and all the bike’s other components.

    The new springs have different diameters and steel thicknesses than the old ones. They will add a little extra weight, but not much – just a few grams.

    Why redesign the front suspension now?

    Readers may ask, why did Podbike wait until this late stage in the design process to make this change?

    The short answer is that there was not enough test data until now, despite the FRIKAR undergoing 2 years of test driving with the old suspension springs on roads in Norway.

    After some stress cracks appeared in the chassis, it was realized that reinforcement was required. Following this, it was assumed the issue would be solved, but the amped-up fatigue testing this summer on the roller rig revealed that more refinement was needed. Hence, additional suspension development!

    Development enhances the FRIKAR to the max.

    The good news is that following the installation of softer front shocks it was discovered that they extended the FRIKAR’s projected longevity by three to four years!

    A great result, but Podbike is committed to further development as to meet the German cargo bike standard.  Unfortunately, these changes to the front suspension mean the bike’s production will be delayed a little longer. However, while disappointing for some, Podbike’s dedication to quality is highlighted, ensuring only the most superior of products reach end-users.

  3. UDV research: E-bikes are not more dangerous than regular bicycles for most users

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    Source: fietsberaad.nl

    Statistics provided by the German Insurers Accident Research (UDV) indicate that an e-bike is no more dangerous than a regular bicycle in most cases, despite differing opinions.

    As e-bike usage in Germany has grown, so has the associated number of accidents. At a glance, it appears the proportion of elderly people involved in e-bike crashes may have increased, but following analysis, this can actually be attributed to a higher proportion of elderly riders using e-bikes. What is striking is that there are relatively more single-vehicle accidents involving e-cyclists and more accidents generally outside of built-up areas.

    Of course, the question is whether e-cyclists run a higher risk per kilometer driven. E-cyclists in Germany drive on average 1.8 times as many kilometers per day than regular cyclists. Once the difference in distance is taken into account, it is revealed that the age group 34-74 is not at a higher risk. This applies to involvement in accidents, the cause of accidents, and the outcome (injury or fatality). However, the risk is higher for those between 18-34 years old and to a lesser extent the over-75s. German researchers hypothesize that young people may take more risks while riding and use the pedal assist to ride faster than regular cyclists.

    Incidentally, Germany also struggles with incomplete accident figures. The police only register injury crashes and hardly any single-vehicle crashes. Therefore, a research gap is present and further analysis must be considered once data is available.

  4. THOR AVAS launches pedestrian safety survey

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    LEVA-EU member THOR AVAS conducts research to improve road and pedestrian safety. The recently launched survey takes no more than 5 minutes and will aid in deepening the understanding of acoustic safety in relation to LEVs.

    Access the survey, here.

    Please join us and together we will understand how to make the environment more comfortable and safer.” – THOR AVAS

  5. Bafang laboratory centers gain SGS-witnessed Laboratory Qualification Certification

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    On July 6, 2022, SGS Standard Technical Service Co., Ltd. and LEVA-EU member Bafang Electric (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. held their UL2849 Witness Laboratory Authorization Presentation Ceremony in Suzhou and signed a future strategic cooperation agreement.

    The qualification confirms that Bafang’s laboratory meets the high-quality requirements recognized by SGS in terms of test quality, including the laboratory’s test environment, equipment and personnel professionalism, and the accuracy and reproducibility of test results.

    SGS additionally issued a UL2849 certificate for the Bafang M620 drive system and UL1004 certificate for the Bafang eFat G062 motor. Of particular significance is that certification of the M620 system marks a new stage for Bafang, moving from single component certification to systematic integration certification.

    Following certification, Bafang will continue to utilize its in-house laboratory for R&D procedures and to ensure all products meet the highest standard in both technical ability and quality.

  6. A robot on bike paths? The next generation of last-mile delivery solutions

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    Source: Fietsberaad

    THEO is the name given to a self-driving robot delivery method, or ‘bot-as-a-service trike’, that operates on the bicycle path.

    The vehicle was developed in Germany and during testing has delivered its test orders to a closed university site. THEO is primarily designed to undertake fast, same-day delivery of goods and last-mile deliveries by logistics companies.

    The robot’s maximum speed is 20 km/h, with a trolley that can carry a maximum of 100 kg, in 8 individual compartments. THEO is 70 cm wide and 168 cm long.

    The designers describe THEO as a semi-autonomous trike, optimized for cycle paths. Semi-automatic means that THEO’s actions are monitored from a central control room. “If cycle paths are not available, [the robot] is also fast, light and agile enough to drive on conventional car lanes without causing congestion.”

    THEO is registered with Mobilitylab, a partnership between several provinces to get startup pilots off the ground in the field of mobility. The intention is that these startups will test their innovative solution in the regions of Rotterdam, Noord-Brabant, Limburg or Utrecht.

    (Image: Fietsberaad)
  7. New German portal showcases the subjective safety of bicycle paths

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    Source: Fietsberaad

    The web-portal highlights what infrastructure should look like if it is to be experienced as ‘safe’ by the rider. The portal will act as a point of reference for future developments.

    The new portal allows the comparison of 1,700 cycling scenarios and infrastructure solutions. Data is based on an online survey of approximately 22,000 participants and 400,000 reviews.

    A cycle path that is experienced as safe by a rider increases the chance of use, and so the goal of the portal is to ensure paths feel safe; safe development will convince more individuals to consider cycling. Of course, the perception of safety is subjective, hence the study method.

    The cycle path check aims to visualize this subjective aspect. In the online database, 1,779 different embodiments for bicycle infrastructure have been identified with filter options to choose from. These include, for example, marking, presence of parking, separate bicycle paths, whether car-free, etc.

    The German Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Traffic funded the website, which was developed by FixMyCity as part of the national bicycle traffic plan. Visit the new portal here.

    An example cycling scenario, rated highly ‘safe’ by cyclists (Source: https://radwege-check.de/)
  8. Bafang completes the building of its EMC Laboratory

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    The electromagnetic compatibility facility will substantially and positively impact on LEVA-EU member Bafang’s product development, driving up quality and efficiency while reducing costs

    After two years and a capital investment of more than ¥10 million (approximately 1.44M€), Bafang has successfully completed the building of an Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) laboratory, becoming one of the few companies in the global electric system industry to own such a facility. The Bafang EMC laboratory will provide a large amount of test data support for future product projects and effectively achieve the key aims of “cost reduction, efficiency increase, and quality improvement”.

    What is EMC?

    Imagine that when you turn on a vacuum cleaner, the TV next to you becomes blurry. This phenomenon is called Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), occurring when a device conducts its voltage or current and influences other devices. In the process of product manufacturing, solving the EMI problem is a key task, and EMI interference will be exposed through EMC testing. An EMC laboratory can fully verify the immunity of a system‘s equipment in its electromagnetic environment, which could be also called electromagnetic sensitivity. In addition, an EMC lab can judge whether the system equipment causes EMI that is above a particular limit to other equipment.

    Bafang‘s EMC Laboratory

    The Bafang EMC laboratory covers an area of about 120 m² and has both a Semi-Anechoic Chamber and an EM Shielding Chamber. The testing capabilities cover eBikes, civilian goods and components, and can fully meet the EMC testing requirements for motors, human-machine interfaces (HMIs), controllers, sensors, batteries, chargers and various other products.

    Based on the ISO17025 laboratory management standard, the Bafang EMC laboratory not only has comprehensive testing methods, but can also achieve mutual recognition of data with top laboratories in the world due to the advanced equipment within.

    R&D & Cost Reduction Advantages

    With the continuous accumulation of experience in EMC testing and rectification, Bafang will cultivate more excellent and highly talented EMC-focused testing teams and hardware professionals, with the aim of minimizing EMC-related problems across the product range. Bafang‘s EMC Laboratory will also speed up overall project R&D progress and provide a solid foundation for R&D innovation.

    It is foreseeable that with its high utilization rate and relevant industry qualification certification, the Bafang EMC Laboratory will accelerate a considerable reduction in costs related to EMC pre-compliance testing and components‘ CE certificating, and so, will truly achieve the company’s “cost reduction” goal. In line with Bafang’s commitment to creating advanced laboratory facilities, in addition to the EMC laboratory, the Bafang Laboratory Centers also feature spaces dedicated to Environmental Reliability, Battery, Mechanical Reliability, Aging, Acoustics and more. This large-scale, comprehensive laboratory structure ensures product stability and effectively improves the competitiveness of Bafang in the market.

    Scan the QR code to view a VR panorama of Bafang Laboratory Centers

    In the future, Bafang will strive to obtain laboratory qualifications accredited by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS), and continue to promote quality management to a new level.

  9. 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.

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