Tag Archive: united states

  1. New York City set to launch ‘Department of Sustainable Delivery’

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    Source: Bloomberg

    To regulate the e-bikes, mopeds, and motorbikes that New Yorkers rely on for delivery services, Mayor Eric Adams announced a new city agency for micromobility oversight.

    New York City announced plans to create a new municipal department to account for the increasing number of electric bikes, scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles that travel the streets to haul packages and deliver food.

    Mayor Eric Adams proposed, in his State of the City address, the creation of the Department of Sustainable Delivery to regulate commercial delivery services that rely on 2 and 3 wheeled micromobility vehicles. These battery-powered vehicles are essential for combating pollution and traffic congestion, however, their emergence has brought controversy around pedestrian and rider safety, the risks posed by e-bike battery fires, and the rights of delivery workers.

    New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, stated “New Yorkers have been clear: We welcome the future of transit and mobility, but we cannot have mopeds speeding down our sidewalks, delivery apps exploiting workers, or chaos on our streets

    Our streets — and how they’re used — have changed, and we’re changing with them. The Department of Sustainable Delivery will be a first-in-the-nation way to let us retake the reins of our streets and ensure that the next generation of mobility innovation works for our workers, our neighbours, and our city, as we continue to deliver on our vision to protect public safety, rebuild our economy, and make this city more liveable for working-class New Yorkers.”

    In a conversation with Bloomberg CityLab, Meera Joshi, the deputy mayor for operations in the city, explained that the newly established organization aims to highlight the positive aspects of the industry while addressing the negatives. The goal is to ensure that New Yorkers maintain their crucial access to 24/7 takeout without facing detrimental consequences. Joshi expressed the desire for a diverse range of items, from a 4 a.m. burger to furniture, to be deliverable to people’s doorsteps.

    She acknowledged the recent growth in app-driven delivery as beneficial for the economy, expanding business bases and fostering innovation in logistics. Joshi noted the positive impact on workers, creating accessible job opportunities. However, she also recognized the challenges associated with this expansion.

    Joshi characterized the current regulatory approach as a reactive “whack-a-mole” game, with different departments handling various aspects. She highlighted the confusion among companies looking to adapt to changes, emphasizing the need for a unified regulatory framework. Drawing parallels to her experience leading the Taxi and Limousine Commission, she advocated for a comprehensive structure for micromobility vehicles, anticipating and managing issues like e-bike congestion and preparing for future technologies like delivery drones and robots.

    The city aims to gather valuable data from on-demand app companies through the new entity, focusing on trip details and demand patterns. This data will inform infrastructure development, such as wider bike lanes on busy avenues to accommodate the growing number of micromobility users.

    Looking ahead, City Hall plans to collaborate with City Council and convene a task force, involving representatives from labour groups and app companies, to shape the regulatory mission of the newly established office. Transportation and labour advocates express concern about potential duplication and added burdens for workers, especially undocumented immigrants. The goal remains to create a safe e-micromobility landscape, encouraging New Yorkers to shift away from cars and trucks. Advocates emphasize straightforward solutions like prioritizing protected bike lanes for safety, liveability, transit justice, and climate benefits.

  2. Congress in rare agreement on e-bike battery bill pushed by NY representatives

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    Source: The City

    Legislation to fast-track standards for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries has unanimous, bipartisan support. But standards that will have the power to change the industry are still months if not years away

    To address the hazards posed by poorly manufactured batteries in e-bikes and e-scooters, New York City officials have implemented measures to curb the rising incidents of fires and injuries caused by these devices.

    Within the first three weeks of 2024, there were nine fires linked to these batteries, resulting in eight injuries. FDNY reported that since 2019, injuries related to battery fires have surged by 1,053%, reaching 150 cases in 2023. Last year, 18 people died in battery-related fires, up from 6 deaths the year before.

    To counter this alarming trend, officials have passed local legislation to prohibit the possession or sale of refurbished lithium-ion batteries. A City Council committee hearing is scheduled to discuss additional e-bike safety measures, and Governor Kathy Hochul plans to propose a bill banning their sale. Public housing leaders in the city have also moved to limit the number of e-bikes per household. Despite these efforts, safety experts argue that true mitigation requires regulation at the manufacturing source.

    Achieving this goal necessitates federal legislation, a challenging prospect given the divided and unproductive state of Congress. Surprisingly, there is bipartisan support for regulating the batteries, as evidenced by a pending bill in Congress. This legislation aims to empower the Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish federal standards for the safe construction and import of these batteries.

    New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with Representative Ritchie Torres, have been advocating for such legislation since last year. Without this authorization, the Consumer Product Safety Commission lacks the regulatory authority to impose mandatory standards. The absence of mandatory standards allows manufacturers to adhere to safety measures voluntarily, leading to an influx of poorly made products and subsequent battery malfunctions, explosions, and fires.

    The bill has garnered significant support during its progression through the House of Representatives, receiving unanimous approval in both a subcommittee and the Energy and Commerce Committee. Though viewed as a positive development by consumer product safety experts, the journey ahead involves Senate consideration and, if successful, a significant delay before the mandatory standards take effect, potentially extending to at least another year.

    Despite the extended timeline, consumer product safety experts view this legislation as a crucial step. However, the process involves Senate deliberations and, as of now, there is no immediate information on its status. Regardless of the legislative outcome, the implementation of mandatory standards would represent a pivotal move to address the widespread issue of e-bike and e-scooter battery fires and associated risks.

  3. Up to $1,500 in tax credits proposed for ebike buyers in Biden plan

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    As part of the Build Back Better proposal, purchasers could get a credit of up to 30 percent against the cost of the bike

    Source: The Verge

    A proposed federal tax credit for new electric bike purchases has passed the most recent round in Congress, with the especially positive news being that, following its reduction by the House of Representatives to 15 percent, the credit rate is back to 30 percent.

    Ebikes are an invaluable tool in improving not only the health of our planet, but also the general population, and such an incentive could have a real impact on the uptake of electric powered bicycles in the United States. In an country where mass adoption of ebikes is still struggling, such a move has the potential to make a real impact on the population, and on related infrastructure.

    All three ebike classes are included as eligible in the incentive, up to a wattage of 750, and with the 30 percent refund capped at $1,500. It is worth noting, that as a fully refundable tax credit, lower-income individuals would be to claim it

    As for further details, the proposal would not be applicable to ebikes costing over $8,000, and the 30 percent credit is gradually reduced once the bicycles costs more than $5,000. It is also a means-tested concept, therefore according to tax status, the credit would begin phasing out $200 for every $1,000 spent on the purchase for individuals who earn $75,000, heads of household earning $112,500, and married couples who file jointly earning $150,000.

    This would be a welcome move for climate and active mobility campaigners. Indeed, the cause of protecting both our environment and our health naturally go hand in had. With ebikes costing thousands of dollars as standard, such incentives can help to make real progress in these areas and change lives. In reporting on the credit, Verge noted that a recent study found that if 15 percent of car trips were made by e-bike, carbon emissions would drop by 12 percent.

    Further benefits found within the lengthy, 1,600 page bill may be welcome news to cyclists, with pre-tax commuter benefits for those who cycle to work or use bikes shares, similar to those which exist for people using park-and-ride or public transit. The proposed bicycle benefit would allow cyclists to get up to 30 percent of the parking benefit — currently equivalent to $81 a month, less than $1,000 a year.

  4. Cowboy expands into United States

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    LEVA-EU member and well-established Belgian ebike brand Cowboy has announced its entrance into the US market at the Micromobility Conference in San Francisco, beginning with the new Cowboy 4.

    “In 2020 alone, motorists in New York lost an average of 100 hours stuck in traffic,” said Tanguy Goretti, CTO and co-founder of Cowboy. “The arrival of Cowboy offers millions of Americans the opportunity to travel carefree through the city, exercise more and enjoy free time in the great outdoors…At the moment the market is even less mature than in Europe, but we see positive signs of rapid development and change of mentality in several major cities, both among cyclists and governments. Launching Cowboy here in the US is a logical step.”

    With further expansion also taking place in Europe, including Sweden and Denmark, the launch brings the total number of markets in which Cowboy is active to twelve.

    Source/read more: https://vakbladfietsmarkt.nl/connected-e-bike-merk-cowboy-breidt-uit-naar-de-verenigde-staten/

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