The Latest News On Electric Bikes
This is your up to date news resource on the latest developments involving electric bikes
Content Credits: The Global Cycling Network
GCN: An Interesting Comparison Ride On Giant’s New Road eBike
This video is bound to ruffle additional feathers among the purists
For many recreational bicycle riders, watching top cycling events on TV with worldclass racers digging deep to reach the summit of some of Europe’s toughest hill climbs, is exhausting in itself, yet many want to somehow experience this thrill. Like the uptick in tennis activity on the local neighborhood courts when the US Open is aired, or the local pickup football games that fill the community parks around Superbowl time, cycling events get enthusiasts out the door and into the garage to dust off the 10-speed.
The problem as we know through our extensive national consumer market research efforts is that the majority of the recreational eBike public are in the Babyboomer category. Our largest percentage age group is 45 to 54, with 55 to 64 coming in a close second. While today’s 55 year old can be the new 40 when a healthy lifestyle has been implemented, but we know that most have worked aggressively, and often played just as hard over their lifetime, so the results often include knee and hip issues that while not debilitating, over a two or three mile ride often resurface.
For traditional cyclists who ride in their wolfpacks and don their nylon-branded kits (the skinny, formfitting race apparel), watching this video will send chills up their spine, but Matt and Simon do make it clear that both of them are in great shape and could manage the alpine course regardless of the assist.
But there is an equal level of anexity among the growing electric bike community that sees these bikes as a full frontal attack on the purist and will undoubtedly become the subject of public ridicule and scorn. The claims of “Cheating” will once again chime to the top and riders of these new road bikes may get shunned, but whether you like it or not, they are coming.
Secretly, some of the top performance riders have wanted this type of bike, not so much for themselves but for spouses and segnificant others who don’t see cycling as a life-long sport but would like to participate in rides with their mates periodically. Still others see this as a great training option as the pedal-assist still requires the rider to put a segnificant amount of effort into the elevation climbs.
For the Electric Bike Association, we just see this as a great example of how a new class of recreational rider can extend their healthy lifestyle and who knows, someday their might be a separate class of eBike road races that combine the management of personal strength with technology.
Electric Bicycle Commuter Travel – Photo credits: Allan Crawford
CNN tech: The case for bicycles’ inevitable triumph over cars
Matt McFarland interviews Horace Dediu and writes about bikes ruling the roads eventually.
Horace Dediu is a highly recognized business analyst who is relied upon by major media outlets like Bloomberg, Financial Times, Forbes and others. Horace also hosts “The Critical Path” a popular technology podcast. He has been studying the future of transportation for the last there and a half years.
In Matt’s article, Horace sees transportation as the hottest frontier in the tech world, sighting flying cars, autonomous vehicles, and even giant airships. But according to Matt Dediu sees it as a familiar, unglamorous technology owning the future, the bicycle.
Dediu goes further to highlight how critical bikeshare programs will be to the future, and that electric, connected bikes will arrive en masse before autonomous, electric cars.
This is great interview, filled with insight into the future possibilities of eMobility and the adoption of pedal-assist, electric bikes. From our point of view, the big picture is fine but to constant reference of Chinese-made products creates real concern. International markets beyond Asia’s shoes have set both manufacturing and safety standards that go well beyond those set in China and without incentives and/or enforcement of regulations, these products leak into the marketplace creating safety challenges for all. A quick search of the recent fire deaths due to illegal and uncertified rechargeable batteries shipped into the US inside of a hoverboard, tells us that improved standards and enforcement will be required before we can count on larger adoption and implementation.
Click here to read the full story.
Electric Bicycle Touring Offers More Traveler Options
Travel Writer Covers The New Trend In Cycling Holidays: Electric Bikes
Pedal-Assist Electric Bikes Just May Revolutionize — and Democratize — The Touring Experience
As writer Valli Herman points out, “recreational bicycle touring has changed gears continuously since the bike’s invention two centuries ago, from Baron Karl von Drais’ wooden two-wheeled “pre-bicycle,” which lacked pedals and was propelled by feet on the ground, to today’s models with low-carbon steel or carbon-fiber composite frames that weigh just a few pounds.
Modern-day bicycle touring hit critical mass during the 1976 Bikecentennial, when about 4,100 self-supported cyclists rode coast-to-coast across America. About 95 million Americans rode a bike for recreation at least once in a year, according to a March 2015 report commissioned by PeopleforBikes, which promotes the benefits of bicycling.”
The article goes on to point out that the Werksman family was heading off for another adventure, this time through the Provence region of France, and on electric bicycles. They said, “We wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for the e-bikes,“ Werksman said. “I’m 57; my wife is 55. We are the perfect demographic for these e-bikes. Our kids are grown, and we wanted to do something a little out there. We were tired of flying somewhere, staying in a hotel and walking around museums all day.”
The story goes on to say a growing number of bicycle touring outfits are discovering how electric bikes can add more fun to more tours for people with a wide range of physical abilities and athletic ambitions.
“I’m sure there are some travelers for whom the athletics are part of the goal,” Werksman said. “If I hadn’t had an e-bike, I would have had a terrible time in the hills of Tuscany.”
Enterprising operators now realize that there is a much broader market of potential travelers who want to experience the thrill of cycling through amazing countryside, but physical challenges have kept them from doing so. For the electric bike community, getting consumers onto electric bikes to experience the benefits and fun is a win, win. If promoting touring is they way to motivate consumers to experience eBike riding, so be it.
Click here to read the full story.
2017 Electric Bike Expo – Long Beach – Melissa Balmer Presenting
The Start of the NBDA Series: A Peer-2-Peer Conversation About eBikes
Using the Backdrop Of A Consumer Event To Bring Dealers & Manufacturers Together For Straight Talk Education
While the Electric Bike Expo series is designed to introduce eBikes to the general public, it has also become an important gathering place for bicycle dealers who are either currently offering electric bikes or are contemplating doing so in the near future. The ability to come and test ride so many different brands and models allow them to better understand the direction of the industry while determining what might work best with their own set of customers.
For some, the ability to remain anonymous while observing both manufacturer presentations as well as the interactions with consumers gives them ideas on what is really important to know before jumping into the sales mix of pedal-assist electric bikes.
The new industry educational series that will be offered at four of the eight tour stops. A pre-cursor event was held in Long Beach with the support of both the NBDA as well as Bicycle Retailer. Attendees traveled from as far away as Virginia to participate. It was brief and highly interactive, and at the end, the attendees received great food and a chance to test ride the bikes on display.
The first official NBDA session will kick off at 1pm on Friday, March 24th at the San Francisco Bay Area Expo, which is being held at the San Mateo County Event Center. The 2-hour program is for dealers and industry members and will be presented and moderated by Charlie Gandy, co-Chair of the California Bicycle Coalition, Steve Elms, of the National Bicycle Dealers Association, and our own Melissa Balmer. All attendees will be given the chance to speak and exchange ideas. The sessions will be recorded for future association webinars. Registered attendees will get some great food and time to test ride the bikes.
The First of the 2017 Electric Bike Expos in Long Beach Draw Major News Coverage
CBS2 Los Angeles
The Success of the event:
A Combination of education, experiential entertainment and fun brought more than 1300 people out, even in the rain!
With more than 130 different, state-of-the-art electric pedal-assist bikes to test ride, everyone seemed to get their fill.
Filling more than 45,000 square feet of space in the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center parking lot, the first of the eight 2017 Electric Bike Expos kicked off with strong crowds from the more than 500 advance registrants who signed up online, on Friday afternoon. Within thirty minutes following the opening of the registration desk, riders from all over the region made their way onto the test track.
An industry discussion presentation between local retailers and manufacturers drew attendees from as far away as the Richmond, VA. Led by Melissa Balmer, Charlie Gandy, and Allan Crawford. This is the start of a series of dealer educational initiatives that will include the NBDA in four of the tour stops.
The raffling off of the Tempo eBike through two local non-profit charities generated an estimated $6,000.00 going towards great local causes.
Studies of the attendees showed that people came from places like Chesterfield, MO; Gilmer, TX; Traverse City, MI; Stanford, CT; Hawaii, and British Columbia, Canada. From within California, people traveled from as far north as Santa Rosa, Columbia, and Fresno. To the south, we had riders from Chula Vista, Palmdale, and Lakeside.
The participating retailers from did well enough that one returned to meet with a real estate agent and an architect to enter into negotiations to bring a new electric bike store to the downtown Long Beach area.
The next event is already shaping up to be a great one as we head to the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Mateo Expo Center on March 24-26, 2017.
WATCHARA PHOMICINDA, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
The Press Enterprise Article:
Moreno Valley urging employees to take a bike
A six-month trial program has workers hopping on city-owned bikes to pedal instead of drive.
/ STAFF WRITER
As lunch approached, Eric Lewis and three co-workers at Moreno Valley City Hall stepped out for a bite.
But instead of getting into a car, they hopped on four bicycles for a short ride to the Towngate Shopping Center.
There was one more twist, aside from their mode of transportation. The bikes belong to the city.
In January, Moreno Valley began testing a bike-sharing program to encourage employees to drive less by instead riding a bicycle for short errands or lunch breaks.
“The use is growing as the weather improves,” said Lewis, the city’s traffic engineer.
With sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s, one particular day was ideal for him and the other three to take a quick ride up Frederick Street to Jersey Mike’s, where they locked the bicycles outside and went in for sandwiches.
The city bought two electric bicycles but last week had borrowed two more from a local store to test different sizes of bikes.
The bicycles come equipped with batteries and, at 50 pounds, are twice the weight of a normal bike, Lewis said. The battery gives riders a little extra help when they need it to supplement their pedaling.
They have three settings: full boost, eco-boost or no boost. With the electric assist, the bikes can reach speeds of up to 28 mph.
“As you pedal, the bike actually helps you,” said Danny Astorga, a city construction inspector who joined Lewis for the ride. “That’s when you really notice the difference.”
Iconic Long Beach Landmark – Photo courtesy of Allan Crawford
Bring on the e-bikes and get more people out of cars
By Lloyd Alter
Many who promote cycling have mixed feelings about e-bikes; many riders of regular bikes complain that “if you’re able, save a little bigger piece of the environment and use your human power.” Now Tom Babin has a look at the issue in the LA Times . He notes that only 152,000 were sold last year in the US, “a figure that would be more than 5 million if Americans used them at the same rate as western Europeans.”
Tom lists the usual issues: crazy rules that don’t distinguish from scooters with vestigial pedals that are too big and too fast, and lack of good bike infrastructure. California has just changed its rules to separate low power pedelecs from the bigger faster scooters, which is needed all over North America. (In Europe, pedelecs are limited to 16 MPH and 250 watts, far less than you see on American e-bikes.) And attitudes are changing:
After years of consternation over mixing pedal and motor power, cycling advocacy organizations also are finally throwing their support behind e-bikes. Dave Snyder, the executive director of the California Bicycle Coalition, backed the state’s new legislation based partly on the idea that e-bikes help out those who “just can’t ride as far or as fast as they need to.”
Norwegian City Government Offers Up Financial Supplement To Buy Electric Cargo Bikes
While the Electric Bike Association is all about getting US consumers interested in electric bicycles, we found this article interesting and relevant. A number of US cities could benefit from similar investments.
The city of Oslo Norway is so enthused to get people on bicycles that starting the beginning of February it will offer residents a supplement of up to $1,200 to buy electric cargo bikes. There are no pre-qualifications such low-income status or even a promise to cut down on driving to qualify.
According to the article authored by Feargus O’Sullivan in the Atlantic CityLab, “The grant, which goes toward buying a bike with a small electric motor that allows it to carry heavier loads in a basket or trailer, may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t a total free-for-all. The city will pay up to 25 percent of the bike’s cost, capping the grant at 10,000 kroner. Electric cargo bikes currently cost between 20,000 and 50,000 kroner ($2,400 to $6,000), meaning that buyers will still have to rustle up between $1,800 and $4,800 from their own funds. That’s a lot of free municipal money for a pretty niche mode of transport.
So why is Norway’s capital putting its money behind cargo bikes? Because Oslo needs to push for a further shift away from cars if its air is going to be breathable. Like many European cities, Oslo’s air quality has been pretty poor so far this winter, leading the city to put a temporary driving ban on diesel-fuelled vehicles in order to help clear the atmosphere.
Tempe passes ordinance regulating electric bicycles
Tempe City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance Thursday that implements safety rules and procedures for electric bicycles, which are not regulated by the state.
The ordinance includes the following regulations:
- Defines electric bicycles and electric personal assistance mobility devices as compared to other light motorized vehicles
- Grants electric bicycles all rights and duties applicable to bicycle riders, including yielding the right of way to pedestrians
- Limits electric bicycles to speeds of 28 mph or posted speed limit on roads and bike lanes, and 20 mph on shared or multiuse paths
- Prohibits anyone under the age of 16 from riding an electric bicycle, and requires any rider or passenger under the age of 18 to wear a protective helmet
- Violation of this ordinance would result in a minimum of $100 per occurrence
UPS Starts Testing eBike Delivery Vehicles in Portland
Before the start of the holiday delivery season, UPS announced its first eBike in the U.S. This new electrically-assisted tricycle began delivering packages in Portland, Ore., on November 21. UPS anticipates this eBike prototype could become a component of its delivery capabilities in some other cities across the country. The deployment of the eBike is part of UPS’s ongoing commitment to reduce carbon emissions as city populations and e-commerce grow, and traffic, noise, and air quality challenges continue to rise.
“Early in our 109-year history, UPS operated as a bike messenger company,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president, global engineering and sustainability. “While we have evolved and developed a vast network of ground and air vehicles, the bicycle may be making a comeback as we navigate through crowded urban areas and continue our focus on environmental sustainability.”
The success of this pilot program was first demonstrated in 2012 in collaboration with the city of Hamburg, Germany. It focused on developing a new and sustainable method of delivering goods to urban areas. UPS placed four containers at central locations in the city for interim storage of packages for UPS service providers. From these points, deliveries were made on foot or with specialized bicycles called “Cargo Cruisers,” UPS’s electronically-assisted tricycles. These alternate delivery solutions helped ease traffic congestion and reduce emissions each working day. Due to the success of the pilot, the Hamburg program was extended in February 2015 for another two years. That model serves as a guidepost for the company’s new program in Portland, Ore.
“Portland, like all cities, is looking for ways to fight urban congestion and pollution,” said Portland Mayor, Charlie Hales. “It’s great when a company like UPS brings us a unique solution that will help us combat climate change and protect the environment.”
Portland was a logical choice for the first U.S. deployment as UPS already uses traditional bicycles for delivery seasonally in the city.
The eBike is equipped with battery-powered electric motors that make it possible to cover further distances, carry substantial loads, and navigate hills and other types of terrain. Maximum energy efficiency is achieved when combining battery power and human power simultaneously. The eBike can be operated solely on battery power or pedal power. During the testing phase, UPS will evaluate the reliability, design, integration to the city’s infrastructure and acceptance of the vehicle. If successful, UPS envisions additional eBike deployment and testing in 2017.
Bike Path Anniversary
2017 is the 50th Anniversary of the first bike lane in America. Installed in Davis California, they were protected bike lanes, just like the college professor/bike advocates had seen traveling in Europe on their summer vacation.
Yesterday People for Bikes completed their Green Lane Project, almost 400 protected bike lanes installed and inviting riders of all types to experience the joy of bicycling.
Congratulations to the Davis pioneers and bike advocacy professionals who have led the way, specifically Martha Roskowski and Randy Neufield. Click here to read more about the People4Bikes Green Lane Project.
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