E-bike News: New York Tightens E-bike Certification, Canyon Update and Much More !
The recent move by New York City Town Hall to mandate much higher standards for new e-bikes and e-scooters sold there in future has grabbed many headlines and if the US e-bike industry follows their lead it could have a big impact on the type and price of e-bikes available in the US in future. However, possibly even more profound in its impact is Bafang’s announcement that it will start manufacturing electric motorcycle drivetrains. To date many traditional motorcycle manufacturers have been very slow to electrify their model range; if they wait much longer they may find the likes of Bafang, Super 73 and Cake all stealing their thunder, not to mention their market share.
In this week’s e-bike news:
- NYC Town Hall mandates UL certification for new e-bikes
- Carbon, titanium, aluminium – different approaches to e-folders
- Canyon – new, super-capable models announced
- Montana e-bike trail access stalls
- Denver – results of e-bike subsidy scheme analysed
- E-bike companies getting into e-motorcycles
NEW YORK EXPECTED TO BAN SALE OF NON-UL CERTIFIED E-BIKES AND OTHER E-MOBILITY PRODUCTS
Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) reports that New York City Council has just ‘passed its lithium-ion battery safety legislative package in reaction to the growing number of fires, including prohibiting the sale of e-bikes, other powered mobility devices like e-scooters, and batteries that don’t meet recognized certification like UL.’
The bill is widely expected to be signed into effect by New York Mayor Eric Adams. If and when that happens newly-sold e-bikes would need to meet UL 2849 or similar certification and batteries would have to meet UL 2271.
These are stringent requirements and at present only a small number of e-bike firms make their e-bikes to these standards yet the new law has a potentially huge effect for e-bikers in NYC. As BRAIN notes, ‘If Adams signs it, to be legally sold, rented, or leased in New York City, an e-bike would need to be certified to UL 2849, which is a standard that covers an e-bike’s full electrical system, including the battery, charger and motor. Likewise, a powered mobility device would need to meet UL 2272 and all lithium-ion batteries sold separately would be required to meet UL 2271.’
The city regulation goes into effect 180 days after it’s signed. Repeated failure to comply could mean fines up to $1,000 per violation.
It will be interesting to see how the situation develops; with the likes of Bosch e-bike systems one of the few to be UL 2849 compliant, it could mean a huge contraction of the NYC market as these pricier machines come to dominate, hand in hand with a burgeoning black market in non-certified products. This BRAIN follow-up article suggests that the whole US market is moving towards UL2849 certification.
TWO VERY DIFFERENT LIGHTWEIGHT E-FOLDERS
Now crowdfunding, the ADO Air e-folder has a claimed weight of 16kg / 35.3lbs and features a carbon-fiber frame. The Early Bird offer of 1199 Euros certainly looks attractive given the bike also features torque sensing power delivery and a belt drive. There are Euro and US spec versions.
Meanwhile over in the UK, the highly-regarded Cytronex retrofit kit is now available in a form specially adapted for the titanium-framed Brompton T-Line and the first (extremely complimentary) review has already appeared, commenting ‘the Cytronex for Brompton T-Line could well be the lightest multi-geared electric folder out there at 11.65kg.’ The downside is a £5810 / $6897 price tag.
Perhaps of most interest are the choices of frame material and relative weights of the bikes; ADO have gone with carbon-fiber and Brompton with titanium. With carbon-fiber being the lighter material, volume for volume, it’s perhaps surprising to see the Brompton option come out so much lighter. That’s not to say that carbon-fiber can’t produce a very lightweight e-bike, as the 22.7lbs / 10.3kg / Hummingbird Electric Gen2 demonstrates. Even with conventional aluminium, it’s possible to produce a very light e-folder, as the UK’s FLIT say their forthcoming M2 will weigh around 14kg / 30. lbs.
CANYON – NEW MODEL DETAILS
Well-known German bike and e-bike manufacturer Canyon have announced four updated versions of popular e-bike models. The new pedelecs use drives from Bosch and Fazua. In addition some models feature ABS braking, anti-theft warning with tracking function and light carbon frames. Details are:
Canyon Roadlite:ON CF 9 LTD from £4,799
Combining speed and comfort for city and touring use, with carbon frame, wireless electronic gear shifting and the new, lightweight Fazua 60 mid-drive. Claimed weight is 14.85kg / 32.7lbs.
Canyon Commuter:ON 7 from £3,199
This fully-equipped commuting model also uses the Fazua Ride 60 drive system and has a claimed weight of 17kg (37.5lb).
Canyon Pathlite:ON 9 LTD SUV From £5,249
Marketed as a superbly-equipped trekking/touring/adventure e-bike with a super powerful Bosch Performance Line CX Smart System. Notably it includes Bosch ABS braking.
Canyon Precede:ON AL From £3,349
An urban commuter with the accent on load-carrying and using the Bosch Performance Line or the Active Line Plus drive with a carbon-framed version using the Bosch Performance Line CX. Gearing low-maintenance, heavy duty in the form of an Enviolo stepless hub and Gates carbon belt drive.
MONTANA E-BIKE TRAIL ACCESS LAW RUNS INTO OPPOSITION
Two bills passing through the Montana legislature seek ‘to expand electric-assist bicycle access to encompass “anywhere a regular bicycle can be used” — including on natural-surface trails’ according to the Flathead Beacon. This includes ‘public lands or places managed by the state where bicycles that are solely human powered are allowed, including but not limited to streets, highways, roadways, bicycle lanes, and bicycle or shared-use paths, and natural-surface trails.”
The ‘natural surface trails’ part of the proposed law appears to have been somewhat controversial, with the legislation stalled on third reading in a narrow 49-48 vote, failing on the House floor Feb. 24.
MORE NEW E-BIKE RIDERS AND LESS CAR TRIPS – DENVER’S E-BIKE PROGRAM
Streetsblog reports on the seemingly dramatically positive effects of Denver’s e-bike subsidy program; ‘According to a new joint report from the city of Denver and a coalition of state and national organizations, a whopping 71 percent of the 4,734 Denverites who received an e-bike subsidy last year reported that their new rides helped them reduce the amount they drove, replacing an average of 3.4 gas-powered vehicle trips every single week.
According to surveys, nearly one-third (29 percent) of those riders were completely new to biking before they joined the program, and 67 percent came from low-income households that qualified for up to $1,700 in vouchers, which was enough to get many of them their bikes for free. (The remainder received between a $400 and $900 discount, depending on whether they bought a cargo bike.)’
EBR doesn’t cover electric motorcycles as a rule, but occasionally dip into their world, especially when the companies concerned also make e-bikes.
Swedish manufacturer of premium light electric two-wheelers Cake ‘has announced its partnership with Automotive Solutions, the leading provider of electric vehicles for business demands in Greece…..This new partnership includes an order of 1,500 motorcycles, which will be distributed throughout Greece and Cyprus beginning in Q2 of 2023.’ It’s notable not only as the company’s latest area of international expansion, but also because Cake have one very remarkable looking e-bike in their range of vehicles, the Aik.
There are online reports that Super 73 – renowned for its motorcycle style e-bikes – may be about to take its C1X motorbike design into production in 2023. Meanwhile well-known e-bike name Bafang have announced the establishment of T&D, an ‘evolution of Bafang’s electrical drive-system offering, focused on the sphere of e-motorcycles…..Under our e-motorcycle moniker, T&D, we have engineered five drive systems to cater for all motorcycle enthusiasts. On offer are off-road, sports, touring, urban, and indoor entertainment drive systems, all developed in our own pioneering, Suzhou- based laboratory.’
I’m all for regulating the e-bike industry. However, AFAICT, what NY is doing will force prospective customers to either shop at a neighboring state, order direct to consumer or go the DIY route.