Oregonian Uses Disability Legislation to Get Access for his E-Recumbent
Hats off to Chris Billman. He has used disability legislation to battle bureaucracy and win a disabled decal for his two electric recumbents, giving him access to local trails previously barred to e-bikes either legally and / or physically.
Bill was born with curvature of the spine and suffers from spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spaces within the spine) and liver disease. He needs a cane to walk, and when he does, his legs can go numb. Bike riding and especially riding his electric recumbents helps both alleviate his symptoms and give him independence and freedom, no longer having to rely on the wheelchair and van service offered by local transport authority TriMet.
This detailed article from Bike Portland sets out Bill’s struggle with the powers that be, and in particular the DMV (Department for Motor Vehicles) and his ultimate success in getting the vital ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) decal that helps open up trail access and more parking possibilities. And check out the 17ft e-recumbent he rides with his wife!
Interview: 2,800 Miles in 10 days from NYC to Vegas on the Electron Wheel
2,800 miles in 10 days eBiking from New York City to Las Vegas through snow, ice, and wide open lonely roads.
That is 280 miles in a day on average that Max Lippe rode his Electron Wheel to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January.
In this interview Max gives us some perspective on his grueling eBike adventure that includes how he managed to ride that much on his eBike, what he ate, the highlights, the challenges, the funny times, and more.
E-bike vs Black Cab Across London Ride
Lavelle e-bikes are organising an e-bike vs black cab race on Wednesday 28 February in the evening to complete a five mile trip.
This City AM report tells us ‘The competitors will be travelling to the Apple Store in Covent Garden from the Shard and then back again, so not your average commuter’s daily trip, but it is looking to gauge who can travel across central London the quickest.’
Founder, Paul Lavelle says: “Electric mobility is the future of transport in cities and the Power Bike, I believe, is not only fast, but a fun and healthy way to get around the city.”
There will be Lavelle eBikes to test ride at the event.
For more details or to sign up for the event go to the Facebook page: facebook event
New E-bikes and E-bike Systems
New Juiced Bikes & Monthly Payments
Juiced Bikes has been rolling out a bunch of new eBikes lately including the new RipCurrent S that is a Class 3 eFat speed pedelec (pedal assist up to 28 mph). In addition to the new eBikes the are now offering monthly payment options to make owning one of their new models a little easier.
Is it an E-bike? Is it an Electric Car? Meet the Cit-Kar.
There is a growing trend of vehicles that blends all the best aspects of the car (comfort, weather protection and a high carrying capacity) with all the advantages of electric bikes (very cheap running costs, environmentally friendly, small road footprint and the ability and legal permission to travel on bike paths).
Here is one of the latest attempts at such a vehicle, the Cit-Kar from Berlin. Like a car it has four wheels and, in final form, will have full bodywork and a small boot. Like an e-bike it will require pedaling and will have the potential to use bike paths (in several European countries at least), meaning users will feel safe.
Cit-Kar say they already have 750 pre-orders and that after a series of prototypes that delivery of the first production models in 2018 is now their target.
The paper spec certainly looks good; 125 mile range and a payload capacity of 420 litres / 300 kg with independent suspension of all 4 of the 18 inch wheels. It is also designed to pull a cargo trailer or children’s jogger. Power comes via a Brose motor and 1500Wh battery and top assisted speed is in line with European pedelec law of 25kmh / 15.5mph, meaning there is no red tape or registration required as it is still, legally speaking, a bicycle!
Here’s some footage of the prototype in action from a show in Germany last year.
Lyft Follows Uber into Bike Sharing
EBR recently reported how Uber is getting into bike sharing, partnering with Jump in San Francisco. Now Uber competitor Lyft is also adding bike sharing to their auto-based operations, this time by teaming up with city authorities in Baltimore, reports Digital Trends.
This interesting article from Wired poses the question whether e-bike share will threaten the popularity or even the existence of ride hail services like Uber and Lyft. More likely though – says the article – that the most successful ride hail services will start to partner with e-bike share companies, as Uber have done so with Jump in SF. If battery charging, capital investment and bike infrastructure are all in place then the world is e-bike share’s oyster!
Smoove Tech at the Heart of Paris’s New E-bike Share
We have already reported on the rollout of e-bike share in Paris but this Cleantechnica article gives you the low down on all the technology behind the 30,000 or so connected e-bikes worldwide that Smoove boasts.
REVOLVE are folding wheels. The video gives you a better idea of how they look and work.
As this Bikebiz article explains, they are not commercially available yet and there are still potential design hurdles to overcome before they could ever gain widespread use on everyday bikes or e-bikes.
Aluminum to be as Strong as Steel?
Aluminum is used for the majority of e-bike frames, with steel a distant second. But aluminium is only lighter by volume, but this is not necessarily the case when its more fatigue-prone nature is taken into account (i.e. in general aluminium bike frames need to be made with thicker walls than steel ones to resist that fatigue – though the issue if complicated as this Quora discussion shows!).
Indeed, there may be a host of other reasons why bike companies choose aluminium over steel.
But might aluminium one day reign even more supreme if it can be made structurally stronger at the molecular level? This is what this US-Chinese research project is aiming at (of course its not just about making stronger bikes, there are countless other applications).
Solar Road in China Has Potential to Charge Electric Vehicles
We missed this news when it happened at the end of last year but figured it’s so interesting you would like to know about it anyway. The UK’s Telegraph reports that “The special section of Jinan’s southern ring road one-and-a-quarter miles long is the first photovoltaic highway in the world and was due to begin operation by the end of 2017.”
It looks more like a conventional road surface than other solar roads we have featured in the past and more up to the task of high-speed, heavy duty traffic as its top layer is made from ‘transparent concrete’. Most interestingly though this video states it has the future potential to wirelessly charge vehicles as they ride over it.
Amsterdam Plans More Intercity Cycle Lanes – Inspired by E-Bikes
Various Dutch language reports have outlined how the bike lane network in the wider area around Amsterdam will be expanded considerably and signing and lighting will also receive an upgrade. Local government has set aside a budget of 30 million euros reserved for work to be completed by 2025.
One report states that “Because of the rise of the e-bike more and more people take the bike for longer distances from city to city, especially for their work. Research by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has shown that ten thousand electric bicycles are being ridden around in our country.”
And “According to the authors of the bike network expansion plan, the new network also makes it easier to cycle from the city”
UK’s Manchester to Get Unheralded Bike Infrastructure Investment?
There is a new mayor in Manchester, a new Cycling and Walking Commissioner and a new plan for huge investment in cycling, as detailed here. It wants nothing less than ringfenced £1.5 billion pledged over ten years to transform the city from a car-centric metropolis into a cycling and walking friendly environment. Watch this space for new developments.
Speed Pedelecs to Hit the UK Streets – this Time legally
This bike Europe article gives more detail on how it is now possible (says one particular dealer) to register and ride speed pedelecs on the UK’s roads. Previously this was only possible in theory, by registering the s-pedelec with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. In practice applicants found it impossible to obtain correct applications forms or to understand any forms they received.
But now Electric Bikes Sussex say they have successfully negotiated the process and can help s-pedelec buyers negotitate the process. As the article points out, one consequence of registration for public road use means the bikes are considered mopeds (legally speaking) and therefore the rider needs a moped helmet, registration plate, insurance and a suitable driving licence.
Riese and Muller have a wide range of s-pedelecs available in the UK and say they are working with their dealer network and the DVLA to produce an s-pedelec factsheet that will help guide s-pedelec customers through the registration procedure.
Riese and Muller also point out that, as s-pedelecs are legally classed as mopeds, they may qualify for grants or loans towards electric vehicles when 25kmh limited pedelecs do not (being in the same legal bracket as bicycles).
For example s-pedelecs will qualify for the interest-free Electric Vehicle Loan of up to £10,000 on electric motorcycles currently available in Scotland via the Energy Savings Trust.