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January 30, 2024

Congress in Rare Agreement on E-Bike Battery Bill

The new bill, which has remarkably earned unanimous support in the House of Representatives, would enable mandatory federal safety standards for lithium-ion batteries.


By Tyson Roehrkasse

Welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter, your weekly digest of important events and industry news in the world of personal transportation.


What You Need to Know Today

A bill that would fast-track new standards for lithium-ion batteries sold in the US has remarkably strong bi-partisan support in Congress as it nears a full vote. The bill would empower the CPSC to create mandatory federal safety standards for batteries. While this is great news, it’s important to note that if and when this bill passes, it could still take up to a year (or more) for those new standards to be put in place and actually affect the industry.

Jersey City is the first major city in the USA to implement a municipal system for secure charging and storage of electric bikes. Built in partnership with Oonee, the network will be free for residents, relying on advertising and sponsorship revenue.

Schwalbe, a major producer of tubes and tires for bikes, is moving all production operations to Vietnam. The company cited “tense situations” in the bicycle industry and will still continue R&D and administrative operations in Indonesia.

Ride-hailing company Ola is investing in taxi and delivery services via electric two-wheelers, after a successful pilot program in Bengaluru completed 1.75M rides. Ola will provide taxi services directly, and will provide the logistical layer for e-commerce delivery platform ONDC.

Kenyan manufacturer Powerhive is ramping up production of its flagship electric motorcycle, the Spark. Now in its third generation, the Spark has a range of up to 100 km (62 miles) and owners can pay 450 shillings (roughly $3 USD) per day for unlimited battery swaps at Powerhive stations.

India-based Bajaj Auto is ramping up production of its signature electric moped line, the Chetak. The company has expanded its charging network, improved supply chain support, and launched new premium variants of the Chetak line, and is targeting an increased volume of 15,000 units per month by the end of Q1 2024.

New York City is creating a new municipal department tasked with regulating electric two-wheelers used by delivery drivers. Called the “Department of Sustainable Delivery”, the new project has high hopes of creating a safer micromobility landscapein a city that has struggled with a lack of infrastructure and fires from cheaply made batteries that lack safety certifications.

Amsterdam’s law enforcement is upgrading to fully electric motorcycles. The new Experia models are manufactured by Italian startup Energica, with an impressive battery capacity of 22.5 kWh, which translates to rougly 420 km (261 miles) of in-city range.

Recycling specialist Lohum signed a multi-year contract to handle end-of-life battery recycling for Tork Motors, an electric motorcycle manufacturer based in India. From Tork founder & CEO Kapil Shelke: 

“When we speak about sustainability, it is not just about emissions and being environment-friendly in the short term. We also need to be mindful of recycling the batteries at the end of their lifecycle, and we must start planning now for the future.” 

Bulgaria continues to invest in bicycle manufacturing with a new e-bike plantcompleting construction in the city of Plovdiv. The plant has an expected capacity of 350,000 units per year; for reference, the Balkans already export over one million e-bikes annually, 99% of which go to other European countries.

Have you heard of California Forever? This is the placeholder name for a new city planned in Solano County, CA. Intended to prioritize walkable infrastructure and hoping to create at least 15,000 jobs, the venture is backed by billionaire tech moguls and needs voter approval before it can begin.


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