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E-Bike News: $25 Million for NYC Charging Stations, Fuell’s Ultra-long Range E-bike and Much More!
Jun 30, 2023
It’s not often that e-bikes can attract $25 million dollars of federal funding but that’s the amount heading to New York City for new – and hopefully much safer – charging infrastructure designed to stop people charging e-mobility devices (including e-bikes) in housing and businesses and causing a fire risk. If it works and prevents lithium battery fires (some of which have been fatal) then it will all have been worth it.
Elsewhere in this week’s news we have a strong technological innovation theme, with reports about Fuell’s new e-bikes that utilise a mid-drive and gearbox in one style system from Valeo, whilst there’s a nice feature from Bike Europe on Specialized’s history of e-bike innovation in Switzerland.
New York City gets $25 million for safer charging and storage infrastructure
Fuell and Valeo team up for long range e-bikes on Indiegogo
What has Specialized been up to in Switzerland?
E-bike Vision offers third party, safety-accredited batteries
Euro/UK e-bikes sales top 5 million in 2022
NYC Gets $25 million for Charging Stations and Battery Storage
New York city residents who also ride e-bikes will be pleased to hear that a huge investment in charging infrastructure is heading the city’s way in a bid to head off the recent rise in lithium battery fires, some of which have been fatal.
Reports say there will be 173 electric bike charging and battery storage stations at 53 sites across the city with the city paying for another 154 stations to give a total of 327.
The announcement comes in the wake of a series of lithium-ion battery fires in New York City with CBS News reporting that there have been 110 e-bike battery-related fires in New York City this year leading to the deaths of 13 people. The immediate spur for the announcement seems to have been a June 20 fire at a bike shop in the city’s Chinatown that killed four people.
Whilst New York City Housing Authority complexes will be the focus of the installations – this is where many of the lowest paid workers live, including delivery workers whose low wages compel them to use poorer quality e-micromobility equipment more susceptible to lithium fires – the BRAIN article also notes Senator Chuck Schumer saying ‘ there are federal funds available for projects that create charging stations in other locations.’
The new measure had a high profile launch from New York Mayor Eric Adams and Senator Chuck Schumer this weekend:
“The fed-funded NYCHA project is going to reduce and even eliminate potential fire hazards linked to the batteries,” Schumer said.
Can the Fuell / Valeo Combo take on Pinion?
Last week we covered the launch of a combined mid-drive motor and gearbox in the form of the Pinion. In effect this new type of mid-drive does away with the need for derailleur or hub gears at the rear of the bike, making for a neat and very low maintenance system that offers a wide ratio of gears.
The Fuell Flluid has the dual distinction of using the combined motor and gearbox unit from France’s Valeo, whist also claiming an estimated range of up to 225 miles with a single charge of the whopping 2kWh battery (that’s for the Flluid-2 – the step-over Flluid-3 has a battery half that size).
The vital stats for the Valeo 750W mid-drive / gearing combo are 130Nm of torque and a 450% gear range. Gear changing can be switched to automatic mode too, whereby the unit changes gear for you, based on a computation made by its own electronic algorithms.
Fuell also have a more conventional -bike already for sale on its European website; the Fuell Flluid-1 comes in 45 kmh and 25 kmh variants both featuring a Bofeili mid-drive and there is also the promise of a folding fat tire model as pictured above.
What has Cham in Switzerland to do with Specialized?
The Innovation Centre has been at the heart of Specialized’s development of its own mid-drive products – 2016 saw Specialized Europe GmbH move into the enlarged Cham Innovation Centre from where, in 2019, development continued on their highly regarded SL family of lightweight mid-drives which went on to be manufactured at Mahle.
The article has more detail on their mid-drive collaboration with Brose that features on their more powerful mid-drive models:
“It is a Specialized motor, made by Brose,” explains Specialized product manager Marco Sonderegger. “We develop the software, but also some of the hardware ourselves. With our great depth of development, we are one of the very few suppliers to have full ‘power over the system’ in our own hands – including the battery, cable harnesses, display and on-board communication: the Mission Control app and the Specialized Studio configuration software. This is not the case at bike manufacturers…..We develop the software, but also some of the hardware ourselves”
Akku Vision is the parent company of E-bike Vision – a lithium-ion battery manufacturer that produces up to 50,000 lithium-ion battery packs yearly and are the battery supplier for Oli eBike Systems and Revonte drive manufacturers. With the current emphasis on certification of batteries for safety it’s notable – as BRAIN say – that the ‘E-Bike Vision team were displaying EN, ISO, and UL batteries compatible with brands like Bosch, Yamaha, Brose, and Panasonic’ at the recent Eurobike show. They were also displaying a new battery test device.
The article noted the company’s claim that ‘ whilst E-Bike Vision batteries are priced comparable to the brand names, it offers more capacity, as much as 100 Wh more.’
BRAIN also notes ‘The U.S. market accounts for only 2% of E-Bike Vision sales with its batteries sold online at various European sites like Batteri24.de and KS-Bikes.de’ but ‘the company is working toward building a U.S. presence.’
5 Million Plus E-bikes Sold in Europe in 2022
Dayfr website reports ‘14.7 million non-e-bikes were sold in 2022 in the EU and UK, down 9.1% from 2021. But electric bicycles (VAE) reached a record figure of 5.5 million units (+8.6%)’.