June 27, 2023

⬅️ U.S Reverses 40+ Years of Pedestrian Safety

Plus, major new ebike and scooter policies from New York, Ireland, Japan, Italy, Connecticut, Utah, and beyond.

ICYMI: For the first time ever this year at Micromobility America, I will be judging The Mobility Innovation Awards - a live pitch contest for transportation leaders (minimum 10 years old) to showcase how they are driving innovation at the intersection of EVs and urbanization. Learn more about the contest and how to apply here.

What You Need to Know Today

Pedestrian traffic deaths in the U.S. reached 8,108 in 2022 - it’s the first time that more than 8,000 pedestrians have died in a single year since 1980. While many states actually reported a decrease in fatalities, others (including Arizona, Virginia, and Oregon) saw the opposite. This grim trend can be explained by the growing popularity of larger, more deadly trucks and SUVs as well as increased instances of speeding after the pandemic.

… In response to heightened risk of pedestrian deaths from SUVs and trucks, New York is considering a bill to hike registration fees for larger vehicles. Whereas New York residents currently pay roughly $100 every two years to own a Ford Explorer, the new bill would require a bi-annual payment of almost $700 for a vehicle of such size. Also, in recognition the danger caused by large electric vehicles, owners of heavy duty EVs, such as a Ford F-150 Lightning, would no longer qualify for a $1,000 EV credit under the new bill.

Connecticut is launching its first electric bike incentive tomorrow. All residents 18 or older will qualify for a $500 ebike voucher, and members of disadvantaged communities may qualify for an additional $500. (Connecticut residents interested in the incentive program should act fast - a similar program opened in Salt Lake City this month, only to completely sell out in just a few days.)

German electric bicycle exports are expected to surge this summer. Q1 reports show an impressive 56% increase in exports, year over year. Since 2019, German e-bike production has increased by 70%, now significantly outpacing the production of “acoustic” bicycles.

On the most recent episode of Ride On!, James and Julia share their takeaways from Micromobility Europe and Eurobike 2023, and they also talk with Alix Olen of AsyncBike about their new A1 model. (We’re pleased to announce Alex Nesic is the winner of the Async A1 electric bike giveaway. Congratulations Alex!)

  • Also, the deadline for our NIU KQi3 Pro giveaway has been extended to this Friday (June 30th), so make sure to comment, subscribe, and enter your email for a chance to win!

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will be hosting a public meeting on micromobility battery safety on July 27th at 10:00 am EST. All interested parties are invited to attend the meeting either in person or virtually, and written comments for discussion may be mailed or submitted electronically. Additionally, individuals may apply to serve on a panel or make an oral presentation during the meeting - see website for further details.

New York City will invest $25 million in federal grant money to install 173 charging and storage stations outside of public housing. With this investment, along with a citywide ban on the sale of non-UL certified batteries, authorities intend to curb the spread of ebike-related battery fires. (New York City is also piloting a new set of e-bike and e-scooter use rules that will allow residents to ride their vehicles on the paths and greenways of the city’s parks.)

Additionally, a new bipartisan bill in the US Senate seeks to limit the import of unregulated ebikes and batteries into the United States. Current trade restrictions allow countries such as China to sell products directly to US consumers without inspection by Customs and Border Patrol, provided they are sold for under $800. The bill seeks to reduce the use of this loophole, known as the “de minimis” threshold, in order to prevent the importation of unsafe vehicles and batteries.

Could AI be the answer to the battery fires? Eatron Technologies has developed an AI-powered algorithm to predict when an EV battery might fail.

How fast is India’s moped fleet electrifying? Lighting fast. Last year the adoption rate for two-wheel EVs grew nearly 40%.

Chinese electric scooter brand Yadea is gearing up for a $1B investment in its first Philippines-based factory. Yadea currently owns six production facilities in China and one facility in Vietnam, yet growing local demand for scooters as well as reduced taxes in the Philippines have made it an attractive investment.  

The City of Bologna has announced plans to implement a citywide speed limit of 30 km/h (18 mph) by 2024, in an effort to improve local safety and walkability.

Europe’s shared scooter market showed serious growth last year, with the total number of vehicles on the continent leaping from 285,000 in 2021 to 700,560 in 2022. Additionally, Europe saw a 17x increase in the total number of scooter trips, from 14 million in 2021 to over 240 million in 2022.

According to a new survey by McKinsey & Company, 30% of global mobility users plan to increase their usage of micromobility (defined as electric scooters, bikes, mopeds, and other two-wheelers), and 27% would consider integrating microcars into their mobility mix in the coming decade.

Italy appears to be cracking down on e-scooter traffic violations. A draft amendment to the country’s Transport Code would requiring license plates and turn signals for private e-scooters. As well, private scooter users would also be required to wear a helmet and possess insurance. Interestingly, it appears that the new laws will not apply to bicycle or e-bike users.

Conversely, Japan will be lifting drivers license requirements for e-scooters above the age of 16 starting in July.

Meanwhile, the president of Ireland has signed a new transportation bill that will (eventually) allow private and shared scooters to operate legally on public roads.

Sydney-based e-bike subscription company Zoomo is now offering four-wheel EAV cargo bikes, per a recent deal between the two companies. Businesses will now be able to rent and finance EAV fleet through Zoomo, which will also provide maintenance and corresponding fleet management software as part of the subscription.

Similarly, Berlin-based last-mile delivery company Cycle recently introduced their 20Fifty electric cargo bike for businesses, which has a modular design capable of satisfying multiple use cases. The 20Fifty operates on a powerful 1000Wh battery and claims a load capacity of up to 400 lbs, which can be hauled via rear rack, refrigerated container, or a detached trailer. Preorders for the 20Fifty are expected to open during Q2 of 2023, with mass production beginning during Q4 of 2024.

BikeFlex, another e-bike leasing company, has also announced a new partnership of their own with Solarcycle, a solar-powered e-bike charging solution. With this partnership, businesses that lease vehicles from BikeFlex will also be able to lease solar-powered charging stations for their fleets.

The new commercial-grade ALECS electric cargo bike from Pashley features a unique tilting mechanism that gives the vehicle the stability of a tricycle without compromising on maneuverability. This patented design is intended to improve rider experience and cut down on delivery times for last-mile couriers. Also, the ALECS can handle up to 242 lbs of cargo, and it accommodates a range of rear cargo containers.

PS… Micromobility America is coming to the SF Bay Area on Oct 19-20 for our largest summit yet, featuring two jam-packed days of programming, expos, and test rides revolving around the future of urban mobility by small EVs. And until this Friday (June 30th), you have an unbeatable opportunity to score Early Bird tickets for only $250 - don’t miss out!

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