October 3, 2023

⏮ Onewheel’s Total Recall

Inside the CPSC’s Recall on 300,000 Self-Balancing Boards.

What You Need to Know Today

Let’s start with a word on safety this week: Last week, U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres introduced legislation in Congress proposing a national safety standard for the lithium-ion batteries used in micromobility devices. The proposal comes in response to a rise in fires caused by gray-market batteries. 

Faulty batteries are an undeniably serious issue, but the real killer on our roads is oversized trucks and SUVs—a problem that Washington seems content to ignore. Pedestrian and cyclist deaths in the U.S. are up 60% over the past 12 years, coinciding with a steep increase in sales of SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans. 

Finally the CPSC announced a voluntary recall for 300,000 Onewheel electric skateboards across the U.S. in response to four known death cases between 2019 and 2022. Any fatal accident that happens on our roadways is a tragedy, but once again, risk is a matter of perspective. Owners of the Chevy Silverado were involved in 7,718 fatal crashes between 2015 and 2020. Where’s the recall on GM? 

Sales of bicycles in Germany reached a record $7.8B in 2022, with ebikes accounting for nearly half of sales, according to the German Bicycle Industry Association. 

The rising demand for ebikes has not gone unnoticed by the German auto industry. Porsche eBike Performance announced it is currently looking at European locations to build its own ebike motor factory.

The Revolve Air, a wheelchair that can fold to cabin-luggage size, is now available to preorder on Kickstarter.

The California Air Resource Board has released its budget for the next fiscal year and it includes an additional $18M for electric bike rebates on top of $13M that was already allocated. 

Portland, OR’s Ride2Own program is gearing up to fund 90 ebikes for low-income residents. The program is backed by a grant from Portland General Electric and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. 

Laundryheap, the world’s largest 24-hour laundry pick up and drop off service, is partnering with Delivery Mates to integrate more electric cargo bikes into its fleet. 

Energica Motors has been chosen by the French government to supply its police force with electric two and three-wheelers. The modified adventure bikes will be equipped with an assortment of accessories for law enforcement like lights, sirens, and other essentials. They’ll pack 101 horsepower and go from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Flanders, in northern Belgium, will become the first region in Europe to require residents to take a special exam in order to obtain a speed pedelec license. 

Ahead of the Japan Mobility Show, Honda has revealed a second new electric scooter inspired by the iconic 1980s Motocampo: Meet the Honda Pocket.

Denver is harnessing data from smart watches to identify high-stress areas for cyclists. The data collection flows through an app called MPATH, which allows cyclists to submit data regarding their heart rates to assess stress levels. The data will ultimately be used to inform future infrastructure decisions. 

Car congestion is being replaced by “bike traffic jams” as Paris pushes motorists out of the city center in the run-up to the Olympics. 

On the latest episode of Ride On! James and Julia talk to NYC Climate Week, bike buses, and Honda’s new scooter, as well as interview the founder behind an interesting new front-loading cargo bike startup. Listen in.

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