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E-bike News: Lightweight Ghost EMTB, Federal E-bike Subsidies (Not) and Much More!
Sep 23, 2022
IDoes Ghost’s recent announcement they will use the lightweight (8.8lb) Fazua 60 mid-drive system on a new line of emtbs in 2023 show where the future lies for hardcore e-mtb riders? That weight – and it’s the total system weight including battery – is as much as some mid-drive motors alone. Of course, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, as rider reaction and review opinion filter back from the bikes online, as and when they move out of the ‘announcement’ phase and into real world use.
Elsewhere this week we take a look at whatever happened to federal e-bike tax credits, shared micromobility that lets you take a passenger onboard and a promising-sounding second life solution for ‘retired’ electric vehicle batteries.
Death of federal e-bike tax credits put the spotlight on state actions
The Veo Apollo – a shared e-bike made for two
Mercedes and Batteryloop use old EV batteries to help power Swedish homes
Carlsbad’s 50ft e-bike dismount rule hits the local headlines
500 share e-bikes imminent in London, England
TWO GHOST RIOTS – BUT WHICH ONE IS ELECTRIC?
German bike manufacturers Ghost recently released two almost identical looking e-bikes – Path RIOT and RIOT AM Full Party , both carbon framed full suspension downhill mountain bikes (ie ones that are extra sturdy with long travel suspension).
They look virtually identical but the big difference is that the former is electric and the latter isn’t. Pick them up and you might more easily tell the difference as the electric version weighs 42lbs and the ‘analogue’ cousin comes in at 33lbs.
Whilst that’s quite a difference for bikes that, electric features aside, share exactly the same geometry and a near-identical spec, 42lbs is still very light for a full-sus e-mtb. That’s largely thanks to the Fazua Ride 60 mid-drive. This relatively new drive system from Germany’s Fazua boasts an increase in torque with a claimed figure of 60Nm – right up there with some heavier mid-drive motors.
You can check out the full Ghost Path Riot range here, though note they will not be available until next year. Ghost’s use of the Fazua Ride 60 takes them in the same direction as Haibike and Transition – with a mid-drive system with an all in weight of around 8.8lbs (that includes a 430Wh battery) it will be interesting to see how many more brands adopt the Ride 60 and whether it can challenge beefier mid-drives like Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha and Brose.
FEDERAL E-BIKE TAX CREDITS DROPPED BUT SUBSIDY PUSH CONTINUES AMID DEBATE OF EFFICACY OF ‘E-BIKE DOLLARS’
BRAIN says ‘The (e-bike) industry expressed disappointment that the Inflation Reduction Act leaves out an e-bike tax credit and other initiatives that were part of more ambitious but failed climate-change legislation earlier this year.’
All hope is not lost though as the article adds ‘proponents won’t stop advocating for federal subsidies and expanding those on the state level.’ The article quotes a Colorado bill that ‘invests $10 million for incentives and $2 million for share programs in 2022-2023 and allows local governments to create programs meeting communities’ needs and provide an equity component.’
In other words it seems any state level programs that there are will be more likely to be means tested in some way. Interestingly there are those within the industry that actually question the efficacy of subsidies in terms of getting people on e-bikes – it quotes Richard Thorpe of Gocycle who thinks incentivizing use of e-bikes is more important, whilst Tony Ellsworth of The Ride Group e-bike line thinks infrastructure is the best use of funds to encourage bike and e-bike use.
VEO – THE SHARED ELECTRIC SCOOTER FOR TWO…
Insideevs reports on how Chicago-based micromobility specialist Veo developed a new Class II electric share bike that can carry two people. Class two means throttle control of the 750 watt hub motor – though only up to the EU spec of 15.5mph. Claimed range is an impressive-sounding 45 miles on a single charge and claimed payload is ‘up to 400 pounds’.
Veo certainly sounds to be something of a micromobility pioneer; it claims to be the first profitable micromobility company in the industry. The article emphasises Veo’s in-house R&D, ‘wherein most, if not all, of its deployed vehicles are developed and feature proprietary technology.’
WHAT SHOULD THE EV INDUSTRY DO WITH ‘RETIRED’ BATTERIES
EBR has reported on several e-bike industry incentives regarding recycling of e-bike batteries. This generally involves some kind of melting or shredding process of the old batteries.
A more sustainable, greener option still is being pioneered by the electric car industry as Electrive describes how ‘Batteryloop, the subsidiary of Stena Recycling specialising in connecting used EV batteries, will use batteries from Mercedes-Benz vehicles for stationary energy storage systems ordered in Sweden. The company has received three orders for its BLESS III storage system, each with 2.8 megawatts, to be installed in Sweden. This will use retired batteries from Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles.’ That’s enough for several thousand homes.
CARLSBAD, SAN DIEGO ASKED TO REVIEW ‘E-BIKERS WALK’ ORDINANCE
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on how ‘Bicycle riders are asking Carlsbad to modify an ordinance adopted earlier this year to address community concerns about the rapid increase in e-bikes and other powered mobility devices.’
Incredibly, ‘Included in the ordinance is a provision that requires e-bike riders to dismount and walk any time they come within 50 feet of a pedestrian or equestrian on a trail less than five feet wide.’ So it’s perhaps not surprising that “Any rider following the law would spend more time walking their bike than riding it,” states a letter to city officials from Will Rhatigan of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.
E-BIKE SHARE COMING TO LONDON VERY SOON
The UK’s Move Electric details how ‘The Santander Cycles bike share scheme in London will expand to include 500 electric bikes later this month.’
The unpowered version of the bike share scheme has proved massively popular with Londoners and visitors alike – the article tells us that 10.9 million rides were taken on the scheme’s 11,500 non-electric bikes in 2021.