E-bike’s are casting their net far and wide this week to include: another small-wheeled e-bike – but this time one that can carry everything but the kitchen sink, an electric balance bike for children, all that’s new in the world of battery tech, Cowboy’s new callout service for those in major cities, bike paths and new trails and finally the creation of new electric micromobility giant. That has to be one of the most varied news mixes we’ve had for a very long time.
In this week’s news::
KBO’s small but capable e-cargobike
PWR launches electric balance bike for kids
Battery recycling and safe storage program for e-bike shops to roll out early 2022
New lithium and supercapacitor tech
Cowboy Care will come to you
Infrastructure bill promises more bike lanes
New York State’s Dryden Rail Trail a step closer to completion
Tier buys Nextbike to hugely expand electric share capabilities
KBO’s NEW E-CARGOBIKE CLAIMS 400 Lb PAYLOAD AND 60 MILE RANGE
KBO (short for keep biking on..) have warehouses in California and Ontario and have just added the Ranger e-cargobike to their e-bike offering.
It follows the current trend for smaller-wheeled e-bikes, in this case using a design based on 20″ wheels with a rear rack carrying capacity of a hefty 120 lb (54 kg), with the bike itself carrying a 400 lb. (181 kg) total load rating. Overall weight of the bike is 77lbs (35kg).
There’s clearly room for a passenger at the rear and footboards are one of the optional extras that make the most of its considerable carrying capacity.
Spec includes a rear geared hub motor with a 750W continuous power rating, 840 Wh battery, mechanical disk brakes, Shimano 7-speed derailleur and all the extras including fenders, LED hardwired lights (including brake light) and a strong looking central kickstand.
The Ranger carries a US$1699 price tag and it’s now available for pre-order with a January shipping target.
PWR’S BALANCE E-BIKE
Balance bikes are regarded by many as the best way for kids to learn to ride a bike. Unlike the use of stabiliser wheels the rear, as the name suggests, they start the child balancing straight away and remove the trepidation that can accompany that first bike ride without mom or dad holding the bike upright.
Now comes an electric balance bike; called the Superbolt, PWR Bikes has introduced this 16-inch wheeled balance bike powered by a brushless 18V motor. Built on a lightweight aluminum frame, the Superbolt has a low standover height of 13.5 inches to fit young riders, a twist grip throttle, and a rear drum brake. It also features three speed modes (5, 7.5 and 11mph), allowing kids to increase speed as they gain confidence. Like traditional balance bikes it is still designed to allow for kids putting their feet easily on the floor to steady themselves.
The idea is to ensure riders can return time expired or faulty e-bike batteries to retailers for safe storage and recycling. Apparently there are about 20 industry suppliers and manufacturers supporting and funding the safe collection and recycling of lithium-ion e-bike batteries to help reduce overall recycling costs. Retailers can begin enrolling in the program in February to become collection sites.
There’s useful practical info in the article too. In addition to a fire-resistant cabinet, HPS, part of PeopleForBikes’ e-bike subcommittee, recommends retailers have: a “charging station cart” of metal wire construction and on wheels so it can be rolled out of a shop quickly in case of emergency; at least one Class ABC fire extinguisher nearby; and a smoke alarm, preferably one wired to the security system that will notify the fire department. HPS said retailers and bike owners should never charge a battery pack unattended.
Automotive World carries the news that Mahle (automotive supplier and maker of the highly regarded X35 e-bike motor system) have teamed up with Allotrope to look at how an electric moped could be used as an urban delivery vehicle powered by an inexpensive small capacity lithium-carbon battery that could be recharged between stops in as little as 90 seconds.
The technology relies on a blend of traditional lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors that charge incredibly quickly (but also typically suffer from not being able to hold the charge for very long). Supercapacitors can be found on vehicles like electric buses where frequent stops allow the supercapacitors to charge up very regularly. If successful, it sounds like it could have applications for e-bikes too.
COWBOY CARE CALLOUT SERVICE
Maker of the slick looking city e-bike, Cowboy, have just made available Cowboy Care which they describe as an ‘on demand, unlimited and fully comprehensive maintenance subscription service.’
Available to Cowboy owners across 22 cities in Europe and the US, the company says it covers everything from ‘cleaning to parts replacement, all the way to flat tire repair’ with ‘certified technicians coming to the address of your choice’.
Cowboy Care covers 14 cities in Europe (Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, London, Gent, München, Bruxelles, Köln, Antwerpen, Rotterdam, Dusseldorf, Utrecht and Frankfurt) and will also be fully operational across 8 cities in the US (San Francisco, NYC -Manhattan and Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Seattle, San Diego and Portland).
Cowboy Care is priced at €20 / £20 / $20 a month, billed annually.
As The Conversation reports, ‘After months of debate and negotiation, Congress has passed a sweeping measure to upgrade many parts of the nation’s infrastructure. The bill provides US$1.2 trillion in funding’. A portion of this will go towards making streets safer for walkers and bikers – in fact some $11 billion is destined for measures designed to make highways and streets safer. That includes investments to improve features that protect pedestrians and cyclists, like updated sidewalks, bike lanes and street crossings.
And talking of infrastructure, check out this Streetsblog USA post that shows the almost magical effect of e-bikes and effective, safe bike lanes; ‘If it feels like there’s more bicycle traffic in New York City these days, it’s because there is. The city streets have seen an increase of 33 percent more bicycle trips in 2020, and during the past five years the number of bicycle commuters has risen five times faster than the other large cities in the U.S. The city, with 1,375 miles of bike lanes, is reaping the benefits of its cycling infrastructure.’
A particularly stunning example of new infrastructure elsewhere in New York state can be found in the form of the Dryden Rail Trail – located in the town of Dryden in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. It is a 14-mile, multi-use trail that—when complete—will link Dryden to Ithaca. As the attractive video below shows us, it’s now a step nearer completion with a new section connecting Ithaca and nearby communities.
TIER BUYS NEXTBIKE
You might wonder why EBR is reporting a business story that concerns two German-based companies – Berlin-based Tier have just acquired Leipzig-based Nextbike.
The real significance could be the emergence of a new giant in the world of electric micromobility – what the buyout has created is Europe’s largest electric micromobility provider, with more than 250,000 vehicles in over 400 cities.
It’s not just shared e-bikes and e-scooters that Tier have in mind; as their PR says “The combination of bicycles, e-bikes, cargo bikes, e-scooters and e-mopeds in free-floating, station-based and hybrid sharing systems creates the industry’s first truly multimodal platform. This makes it much easier for users to choose between different means of transport for each route without using their own car.”
There are even Tier electric mopeds on offer in some Euro-cities:
So UK readers (Tier and Nextbike already operated in the UK) could see a significant rollout of more e-scooters and e-bikes as the two often go hand in hand. The deal might even give Tier the resources and confidence to head over to the US…