Ride Review
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September 13, 2023

Ride On! #27: NYC's failed eBike replacement policy, Recumbents FTW, Interview with Patrick Wirth at Baloise Group

James and Julia discuss policies from traffic cameras to fire safety and also interview Patrick Wirth from Baloise Group on their investment strategy.


We’re incredibly excited to introduce the first round of speakers joining us at Micromobility America in the SF Bay Area this October! Manufacturers, operators, brands, policymakers, investors, media—and this is just the start. https://micromobility.io/events/micromobility-america We are giving away some GOFLUO gear. Leave a comment here and head on over to ridereview.com for your chance to win. https://ridereview.com/giveaway/win-a-gofluo-bodyflower-and-bag Chapters: 00:00 - 5:20 Announcements and giveaways 5:21 - 8:59 NYC enforces traffic cameras 9:00 - 14:18 NYC Equitable Commute Project off to slow start 14:19 - 17:18 Lavoie buys Vanmoof 17:19 - 19:52 Kenya shipping electric motorcycles at scale 19:53 - 31:58 Vehicle Launches! 31:59 Interview with Patrick Wirth at Baloise Group NYC has speed cameras cranking Here’s a novel idea for reducing car deaths: enforce traffic laws. One year after introducing its new 24/7 automatic traffic ticketing system, New York City speed violations have reportedly dropped by 30%. Small mode shift leads to big gains A good argument for why motorists should want to see more ebikes on the road: “Studies have shown that a mere 10% shift from car drivers to bike riders has resulted in a 40% reduction in traffic congestion. Even if you never touch an ebike, you would benefit from supporting their increased use.” Lavoie buys Vanmoof Cult ebike brand VanMoof has been bought out of bankruptcy by Lavoie, a company that makes high-end scooters based on McLaren Applied’s Formula 1 technology. VanMoof’s bankruptcy earlier this summer had left its more than 190,000 riders in limbo. NYC Equitable Commute Project can't get off the ground New York City’s ebike trade-in program—designed to help delivery workers swap low-quality, fire-prone bikes for safer, industry-certified models—is off to a rocky start. Since July, only three bikes have been traded in. Experts say the city’s 60,000+ delivery workers aren’t participating due to language barriers, cost of the trade-ins, and a slow and somewhat difficult approval process. Kenya is making the US programs look silly. Kenya has revealed the details of its ambitious new plan to encourage electric motorbikes adoption through a manufacturing partnership with the African startup Spiro. “[President] Ruto said Kenya currently had 1,000 of the new bikes, with another 10,000 on their way, and that Spiro had established a plant with the capacity to assemble 1,000 of the vehicles daily.” Vehicle Launches The new V13 Challenger from Chinese manufacturer InMotion is a thrilling new electric unicycle that reaches a staggering top speed of 87 mph (140 kph), powered by a 4,500W motor with a maximum torque of 300 Nm. Outdoor YouTuber Jack Steward claims to have built “the world’s tiniest cabin” so he can tow it behind his electric bike. U.K.-based Northern Light Motors has a new line of recumbent bikes that look almost like Formula 1 racecars. The 428, 557, and 630 models are fully electric, weatherproof ebikes, with an eye-catching body and futuristic cockpit encased in a protective shield to stave off the elements. Prices start at £4,000, or $5087. Speaking of Specialized, the company just launched the new Globe Haul LT electric cargo bike, a heavy duty hauler equipped with a throttle and a top speed of 28 mph (45 kph). The $3,500 bike has a carrying capacity of 176 lbs (80kg), a 700W hub motor equipped with a torque sensor, and a UL-listed 772 Wh batter with a range of up to 90 miles (96 km). Cannondale’s Cargowagen and Wonderwagen Neo are two newest additions on the electric cargo bike scene. The Cargowagen is a longtail that can haul up to 80kg, while the Wonderwagen has a giant front bay that can carry 100 kg, plus another 27kg on the rear rack. Both models are powered by capable Bosch motors, giving them a top speed of 28 mph (45 kph). From our file interesting-but-not-recommended finds: A university student in England uses disposable vape batteries from eBay to power his electric scooter. San Diego-based Juiced just revealed its new Scorpion X2 electric moped, a more affordable, step-through electric bike in the moto-style that features a 1,000W motor, a 52V and 15Ah battery pack claiming 55 miles (88 km) of range, and all-terrain tires. Interview with Patrick Wirth Today we have Patrick Wirth on the show. Patrick is the VP of Mobility at Baloise Group. Baloise, is a European insurance company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Founded in 1863, the company offers a range of insurance and pension solutions, as well as investment products. VC. It is very cool to see an insurance company get into VC and take a different approach to not only investing but also the ongoing relationship these companies might have with an insurance company.


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