eBike News: Calbike’s $10 Million eBike Affordability Campaign, Specialized Turbo Levo 2022, UK Budget eBikes and Much More [VIDEOS]
In this week’s news:
- Calbike Campaign for $10 Million from State Funds to Ensure eBike Affordability
- 2022 Specialized Turbo Levo Announced
- New eBikes from COBOC and GT
- Airless Tires from NASA
- New Book on World’s Best Cycle Routes
- More Low Priced eBikes For the UK
- Rad Power Bikes eBike Exercise Test
- Plus All the Latest eBike Biz and Legal News
Calbike’s $10 Million Affordability Campaign
‘E-bikes are the greenest electric vehicle. They deserve the same state support as electric cars.’
So states Calbike’s latest campaign, for e-bike affordability.
Calbike point out what they see as the inequity of California giving a $7,000 rebate to people who buy electric cars, on top of federal tax credits, but zero to people who want e-bikes.
‘It’s time for our state to step up and provide purchase incentives for this greenest of green transportation. That’s why CalBike is sponsoring AB 117, the E-Bike Affordability Bill, which creates a grant program and advocating through the budget process to provide $10 million in grants to help people buy electric bicycles’ they say. Such grants would start in July 2022 if included in the bill.
CalBike say the E-Bike Affordability Program will help some 10,000 Californians to ‘get meaningful assistance to buy a reliable, green e-bike. If we win, Californians will enjoy more bike trips and endure fewer car trips, helping the state reach its greenhouse gas emission goals.’
Calbike also point out that the Governor’s proposed 2021-22 budget includes $465 million to the California Air Resources Board to “improve access to new and used zero-emission vehicles” – the CARB is supposed to prioritize cost-effective projects that have additional co-benefits (like public health and local economies) and which especially benefit low-income residents of disadvantaged communities.
New eBikes & eBike Systems
Specialized 2022 Version of Turbo Levo eMTB Announced
The Specialized Turbo Levo is highly lauded as one of the best eMTBs out there. The 2022 version, say Specialized, is now more durable and versatile than ever, with the following changes:
- Redesigned frame with a customisable geometry concept.
- The Specialized 2.2 motor is still based on the Brose Drive S-Mag motor but software and hardware is updated and the drive belt is even stronger (problems have been reported in past in this area but the new belt is aimed make that truly a thing of the past).
- A fixed and integrated display, the ‘MasterMind’ found in the top tube.
- MicroTune is a new feature that lets you adjust the motor assistance in 10% steps in addition to remaining three main power levels.
- S-Sizing system means more frame sizes (now 6) meaning sizes are aimed at those between 4’10” and 6’6″.
There are plenty smaller detail changes including greater frame protection and fuller integration of magnet and speed sensor.
Naturally the price has gone up too and now stands at an eye-watering $13,000 (and up….)
More detail in our full news story here.
Three New eGravel Bikes from GT
The UK’s OffRoadCC reports on a brand new, three-strong e-gravel range from GT Bicycles, the eGrade Amp, the eGrade Bolt and the eGrade Current with all three e-bikes get the Mahle ebikemotion drive unit, ‘paired with an adventures build or a commuter style spec’.
The Mahle system uses a small rear hub motor and 250Wh frame integrated battery. it’s not the most powerful assist system out there but is certainly one of the lightest and much favoured by relatively fit and sporty riders looking for a bit of electric assist just when they need it.
UK prices range from £2300 to £2900 and there is a flat bar model and two drop bar ones though the article doesn’t give info on availability dates or claimed weight.
Coboc is a German e-bike manufacturer known for its minimalist urban designs, amongst them several single speeds. In recent years they have expanded with a number of multi-geared models and now comes the 11 speed, derailleur geared Brixton. As with other models they use frame-integrated batteries (380Wh in this case) and a rear hub motor and there are Snapit 2.0-compatible system racks, front and rear lighting and mudguards.
With a claimed weight of 18.9 kg / lbs
RRP is €3999 and availability is stated as summer 2021.
More Competitively-Priced eBikes Arriving on the UK Market
UK e-bike dealers are becoming increasingly successful as the e-bike boom continues, so much so that some are now tapping in directly to the booming eastern European e-bike assembly operations. Apache and Crussis are Czech brands that have been picked up by UK retailers (and now importers / distributors) and Rutland Cycling and Ebikesdirect respectively.
Rutland have city, commuting and hardtail eMTB Apache models (all with hub motors) ranging from £999 to £1499 whilst Ebikesdirect stock Crussis models from around £1250 up to £3699 which is not a very good price for a full sus emtb with a top-of-the-line Bosch Performance Line CX motor.
Direct to consumer brands are also now popping up with some regularity, E-Movement being one of the latest. They stand out in the UK as their range includes some electric fat bikes – fat bikes being more unusual in the UK compared to the US market. Their hub motor models are priced from £1099 to £2199.
How Fast Can You FLIT Fold?
FLIT-16 is a quick folding and lightweight, single speed e-bike from the UK launched last year and we have featured regular news posts about it. Just to show how quick it folds FLIT launched a quick fold competition to find the folding king and here’s a video to show just how quick and easy the fold is too.
Rad Power Bikes Real World Exercise Test
Rad Power Bikes are well known as one of the US’s biggest manufacturers of e-bikes (in fact very possibly the biggest). If you want yet more empirical proof that e-biking is exercise then check out this interesting test. OK you are moving limbs and therefore burning calories to a greater degree than being sedentary.
However Rad Power Bikes’ test, involving five riders of different shapes and sizes, had one surprising result as it suggested dialling up the power doesn’t necessarily mean less calories are burned.
Here are details of the five riders in the test along with the power level (the higher the number the more electric assist is delivered) used and the calories burned (each rider was fitted with a heart rate monitor and calorie tracker that allowed an approximation of calories burned over the half hour ride:
- Rider 1 on a RadRover: 6’3″ and 250 lb = 179 calories burned on level 5
- Rider 2 on a RadRover Step-Thru: 5’3″ and 94 lb = 98 calories on level 4
- Rider 3 on a RadRunner Plus: 6’4″ 205 lb = 183 calories on level 3
- Rider 4 on a RadRunner: 5’1″ 108 lb = 121 calories on level 2
- Rider 5 on a RadWagon: 5’9″ 185 lb = 325 calories on level 1
Clearly the calories you burn is also a reflection of your body mass index and cardiovascular condition as the Rad Power Bikes employee who is also a fitness trainer suggests in the video:
Ride the World from April 1st
‘Covering 100 incredible routes, Ride is the perfect way to start cycling the world, whether you’re an experienced road cyclist or have just started cycling in lockdown. Awe-inspiring images and compelling descriptions of each ride will have you ready to jump in the saddle, while handy maps, elevation profiles and practical information will help you plan the nitty gritty of your trip. So whether you want to power up mountain passes in Italy, tackle Bolivia’s infamous Death Road or go island-hopping in Japan: Ride has all you need to start your cycling adventure.’
Airless Tires from Mars?
Techcrunch reports how startup company SMART developed an airless bicycle tire based on technology NASA engineers created to make future lunar and Martian rovers even more resilient.
SMART’s METL tire is based on so-called “shape memory alloy” (SMA) technology which uses interconnected springs and needs no inflation. It also claims better traction when compared to inflatable rubber tires, and also claims some built-in shock-absorbing capabilities.
London at Forefront of ‘Battle for the Streets’
The UK’s Guardian documents the efforts to introduce Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in some of London’s residential areas. Why are they needed? Residential streets it seems have become busier and busier with through traffic over the last decade or so;
‘Between 2009 and 2019, miles driven on its residential streets increased by 70%, in part due to the rise of Uber, online delivery services and GPS technology. Air pollution, meanwhile, plays a role in the premature deaths of nearly 10,000 Londoners each year‘
It’s an interesting long read, documenting both the case for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and the protests and legal challenges they are facing.
USA’s Bird Commits $150 Million to Europe in 2021
Micromobilitybiz tells us that ‘Bird is investing $150 million in Europe in 2021 as part of its commitment to helping sustainable mobility and tech innovation thrive in the continent.’
The e-scooter hire company will use the funds to open ‘micromobility programmes’ in over 50 new European cities.
‘The company will also be launching new mobility products and safety initiatives, implementing the next generation of recycling and second life applications for vehicles, investing in industry-leading equity programmes and securing partnerships across the region designed to improve transportation for all Europeans’ says the article.
Unagi Premium eScooters Raise $10.5 Million
Unagi, who make premium-price folding e-scooters, has raised $10.5m in Series A equity funding so it can bring its subscription service Austin, Miami, Nashville, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle.
This is more of a high quality buy in for end users compared to the hourly, low fee e-scooter rentals that currently dominate the e-scooter market. For $39-49/month, subscribers get personal access to their own high-quality scooter without having to worry about theft or maintenance. Recent micromobility subscription services that have launched or expanded include Swapfiets, Dance, Spin, Voi, Zygg, and Beyond.
EU Type Approval Should Still Not Be Required for eBikes Says Study
Bike-EU reports on the results of a study of the European Union system for classifying e-bikes. The European Commission, the EU’s main policy-making body, commisioned the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory to look at the area of e-bike legal classification and TRL’s main finding was that 15.5mph e-bikes be kept on the same footing as regular non-assisted bikes (or to use the legal lingo e-bike type approval should not be introduced).
The TRL report also suggested moving speed e-bikes (capable of 28mph assist), within type approval categories from the moped category L1e-B towards the L1e-A category for powered cycles and aligning road traffic regulations for new types of Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) with existing national pedal cycle regulations. E-bikes have been included in the group of PMDs together with stand-up and seated e-scooters, self-balancing electric unicycles, hoverboards, segways, electric skateboards and ‘one-wheel’ boards says the article.
Bunch Bikes Take eCargo Offerings onto ABC’s Shark Tank
Bunch Bikes, a direct to consumer cargo bike brand, will appear on ABC’s Shark Tank in an episode that will air March 26. Bunch Bikes founder and CEO Aaron Powell will pitch his company to the show’s “shark” investors and will include the e-cargo bikes.
Germany’s Mahle Expand UK Test Facilities
Germany’s Mahle make the lightweight ebikemotion X35 hub drive system found on many e-road and e-gravel bikes.
Electrive reports that its UK-based subsidiary and development service provider Mahle Powertrain (MPT) is investing a total of 12 million euros in the construction of five new test and development facilities. MPT is a subsidiary of the Stuttgart-based supplier Mahle and also operates a test bench for electric drive systems in Stuttgart.
This includes construction of a test centre for batteries at its HQ in Northampton, England. The report tells us ‘The new facility, which will have its own area for the assembly of battery modules and three climatic test chambers for complete battery packs, will be ready for operation from autumn, according to a company statement.
According to Mahle Powertrain, further new test facilities are to be built in Germany and the United States and will be used, among other things, for the development of drives for e-bikes.
Stay tuned for more e-bike news and reviews and thanks for reading!
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