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E-Bike News: Fuell E-folder, Sonder E-gravel and Lots More!
Dec 21, 2023
The last news of 2023 sees the usual eclectic mix that all our news posts have seen throughout the year. There is a very solid-looking, though weighty, e-folder from Fuell, a much lighter e-gravel range for the UK market only. Battery technology is also a big part of this week’s news in the form of repurposing e-bike batteries for storage and also a new sodium ion technology (new for e-bikes at least) from a Chinese e-bike manufacturer. An intriguing mix!
The Folld-1 features a 750W, 20mph 85Nm Bafang motor with a top speed of 20 mph with throttle (15.5mph in the EU). Battery size is a respectable 720Wh. Full suspension comprises a Mozo Fatman hydraulic suspension fork with 80mm travel and a Fastace ZXC01 at the rear with 125mm travel. There are also Tektro hydraulic disk brakes and an 8-speed Shimano Altus derailleur.
Stated weight is a hefty 82.5 lbs (37.4 kg) and the current discounted price is $1,995/€1,995 (full RRP is $2,495/€2,495)
UK’s Sonder Launches First E-bike
The UK’ Sonder had just launched the El Camino e-gravel bike which uses Kynamic’s BC250 rear hub drive system, a 250Wh battery while outputting 250W and 45Nm of torque. It features an alloy frame and carbon fork.
Prices range from £2699 to £3399 – all models use the same Kynamic drive system but gearing, brakes and wheelsets vary according to model. Delivery is slated for the end of January 2024.
The Sonder bike brand is available through the well-regarded chain of Alpkit retailers – known for manufacturing many of their outdoor products in the UK. They are not to be confused with Sondors – the US firm who were instrumental in kickstarting the budget e-bike scene in the US but who have latterly fallen into difficulties with their attempt to launch an electric motorbike range.
Second Life for Discarded E-bike Batteries
The UK’s ebiketips reports ‘Raleigh’s parent company Accell Group and Dutch firm Refurb Battery are looking to reduce CO2 emissions by giving a second life to discarded e-bike batteries, following a successful pilot where 5,000 used electric bike batteries were repurposed.
Refurb Battery is a Dutch firm that is developing circular energy storage systems. It says it recently assessed more than 5,000 used e-bike batteries, which had a total weight of more than 16 tonnes, from which more than 100,000 battery cells could be reused.’
China’s TAILG To Use Sodium Ion Battery in E-bike
We’ll admit that the TAILG is a new name to us here at Electric Bike Report – despite the fact they appear to be the only e-mobility manufacturer we are aware of to start using Sodium Ion batteries in what PRN Asia calls ‘luxury e-bikes’ – by the looks of TAILG’s website these appear to be from the moped with pedals school of e-bike design.
The report says TAILG report the benefits as:
Super long range, capable of reaching 70 miles even in temperatures below 0°C, while maintaining a speed of 16mph (author’s note – despite the fact that Sodium Ion chemistry is less power dense than lithium ion that is traditionally used as the electrolyte in most current e-bike batteries).
Lifecycle exceeding 2,000 cycles
The battery retains about 93% of its capacity even in the extreme cold of -20°C, making it exceptionally suitable for winter use.
Additionally, the battery’s safety performance exceeds industry standards due to the IPX7-grade waterproof technology that covers the entire pack.
‘An increasing number of landlords and management companies are putting the kibosh on residents keeping e-bikes in apartments and bike rooms, even if they meet international safety standards.
The crackdown comes as illegal or dangerous lithium batteries used in some e-bikes, scooters and mopeds have sparked 243 fires this year, killing 17 people, according to the city fire department. That’s up from 30 battery fires and zero related deaths in 2019.’
The pressure on e-biking tenants appears to come from landlords such as realty companies worried their insurance cover will not be valid if they rent to tenants who store e-bikes inside the property.
This is all despite the fact that City Hall passed legislation in September to outlaw non-UL certified e-bikes and e-scooters some months ago. According to the article, this new UL law has led the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to begin surprise inspections of bike shops in September.
The agency has since issued 81 summonses for selling, leasing or renting uncertified lithium-ion batteries, including to 14 online sellers. The city also wrote 34 cease-and-desist letters to online vendors for selling non-compliant batteries.
The article also quotes sources saying e-bike sales are affected and that it is becoming increasingly difficult to own and use e-bikes that are economic lifelines for many New Yorkers, especially delivery workers.
Class-action Complainant vs Rad Power Bikes Drops Complaint
Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (BRAIN) reports ‘A man who filed a class-action lawsuit in September against Rad Power Bikes for allegedly manufacturing a faulty fork and quick-release skewer design has dropped his complaint after the brand did not respond to a summary judgement motion.’ The original claim was that the front wheel came off during a sharp turn, throwing the complainant over the bars.
There still appear to be several lawsuits against Rad Power Bikes as reported in Mens Journal.