AVERE Takes up Advocacy For Light Electric Vehicles in EU in Alliance With LEVA

[Press Release]

Brussels, July 22 2014 - AVERE, the European Association for Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles has launched a Light Electric Vehicle Task Force. This new department within the organization will defend and promote the interests of all companies and organizations that are working in the field of electric L-category vehicles. It will operate in conjunction with LEVA.

AVERE was founded in 1978 and has developed into a European network of different types of members such as national associations, public bodies, research & development entities, vehicle and equipment manufacturers, electricity utilities and users. AVERE’s main objective is to promote the use of electric vehicles, in order to achieve greener mobility for cities and countries. The AVERE network extends over 18 European countries and over 1000 individual members. 

Broader perspective

The AVERE Bureau, which took office early this year under the presidency of Belgian Joeri de Ridder, has decided to expand its activities. In the past, AVERE has been mainly focussing on electric cars. The new Bureau wishes to broaden the organization’s perspective to encompass electric mobility in a broad sense, rather than to focus on electric vehicles.

The Light Electric Vehicle Task Force (LEV-TF) is a direct result of this expansion. Also, with the Task Force, AVERE wants to fill the gap caused by the disappearance of ETRA. The European trade association for 2Wheel dealers was generally known as the most important advocate for LEVs at European level. Since ETRA’s dissolution at the end of last year, no one has been consistently following up on the European issues, which are of direct concern to the LEV-sector.

The LEV-TF is complementary to the existing Avere Industrial Task Force (AITF), which focuses on electric passenger cars and trucks. The two Task Forces will be looking for possible synergies.

All electric L-category vehicles

The LEV-TF will deal with all electric L-category vehicles. This category includes many different types of electric vehicles, ranging from electric bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles, to electric tricycles, quads and quadricycles. New types of LEV’s, which have no place yet in current regulations, will also be taken into consideration.

One of core activities of the new LEV-TF is advocacy. The department will for instance at very short notice request for a seat in the European Commission’s Working Group “motorcycles”, in which the European technical L-category vehicle regulations are being prepared. Furthermore, the Task Force will defend and promote the LEV-sector in all other relevant dossiers, such as CEN-standardisation, battery regulations, recycling legislation, … but also in more general dossiers such as EU transport policy, environmental policy or fiscal policy.

AVERE-LEVA alliance

The companies and organizations that sign up for the Task Force will set the advocacy priorities. Participation in the LEV-TF is open to anybody from the LEV-world who has an interest in the European market. In this framework, research institutes are also very welcome. A number of academic institutions, headed by the Belgian VUB, were instrumental in AVERE’s foundation. The relationship with the scientific world has been an important factor ever since.

The new AVERE department offers participants an extensive service package and this in cooperation with USA based Light Electric Vehicle Payment of one contribution, depending on the number of staff in the company or organization, allows for both participation in the AVERE LEV-TF and LEVA-membership. Beneficiaries enjoy a service package that includes joint advocacy as well as individual information/assistance services association LEVA.

AVERE and LEVA are convinced that their cooperation will considerably strengthen the LEV-sector. Both associations have impressive networks, which linked together, are a crucial factor for effective advocacy. It will allow the two organisations to advocate light electric mobility as credible and reliable sectorial representatives, whereas LEV-companies and organisations will benefit directly from the services offered by AVERE LEV-TF and LEVA.

“The Light Electric Vehicle Association has always been a worldwide organization and we have seen considerable growth since our inception in 2008. This partnership will not only allow us to grow further in the EU, but we anticipate growth for the entire LEV industry, which has been our goal from the very beginning.”
— Ed Benjamin, Chairman of LEVA

Services to LEV sector

The AVERE LEV-TF intends not only to provide advocacy and individual services to participating companies and organizations, it also wants to play a liaison role between the sector and the various European subsidy programs. The department envisages setting up a system to inform the sector on funding opportunities for light electromobility in a consistent way. At the same time, the department will consider joining consortia as a partner for projects in the field of LEVs. Avere LEV-TF is currently investigating several invitations under the Horizon 2020 Green Vehicles call. As an organization, AVERE is already part of the European Electromobility Observatory. This project has been set up by the European Commission with a view to mapping electro-mobility in the European Union. To date, LEVs were not fully included in the Observatory. The AVERE LEV-TF will fill this gap.

Need for LEV representative

The AVERE LEV-TF will be managed by Annick Roetynck, former Secretary General of ETRA. In the 18 years she has worked for ETRA, she has acquired a thorough knowledge of EU institutions and policies. At the same time, she developed a vast network both in the LEV-world and in the EU political world. She is looking forward to this new challenge.

“My work for ETRA has convinced me that the potential for light electric vehicles in European mobility is infinite. Only, the sector did not make itself heard enough in the European institutions. As a result, LEVs were very often overlooked, neglected ... With ETRA, we started to bring about change. I am thrilled that AVERE offers me the opportunity to continue this work.”
— Annick Roetynck, AVERE LEV-TF Manager

According to AVERE President Joeri de Ridder, there is a clear need for an organization to defend and promote the interests of the light electric vehicle business in the EU. 

“Until recently, ETRA assumed this role but today, no association is advocating LEVs at European level. The European Commission’s White Paper on Transport prescribes halving the use of ‘conventionally fuelled’ cars in urban transport by 2030 and phasing them out completely in cities by 2050. This change over should include LEVs, to a much larger extent than today. This is exactly what we will aim to achieve with the AVERE LEV-TF.”
— Joeri de Ridder, AVERE President

AVERE LEV-TF at Eurobike

AVERE LEV-TF will share booth number FW-OG103, on the first floor of Entrance West. Visitors who wish to meet Annick Roetynck to discuss the AVERE LEV-TF can contact her before the show for an appointment: email a.roetynck@pandora.be, tel. +32 9 233 60 05. AVERE LEV-TF and LEVA will host a networking dinner on Thursday (25/09) evening in the Zeppelin Restaurant.

About AVERE

Founded in 1978, AVERE is a European network comprised of members including vehicle and equipment manufacturers, NGO’s, associations, interest groups, public bodies, research & development entities, electricity utilities, users. Its main objective is to promote the use of battery, hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles, for individual and fleet use, in order to achieve greener mobility for cities and countries. The AVERE network extends over 18 European countries and over 1000 individual members. 

For further details on AVERE, please contact:
AVERE President Joeri de Ridder, email chair@asbe.be, tel. +32 477 63 39 23
Website: www.avere.org 
Facebook: www.fb.com/AVEREEU
Twitter: @AVERE_EU

About LEVA

The Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA) represents the strategic interests of light electric vehicle retailers, dealers, distributors, manufacturers and suppliers to promote the development, sale and use of LEVs worldwide. Members receive support and educational resources to expand their businesses while initiating efforts to influence and adopt legislation, regulations, performance standards, promotion and general best practices in the light electric vehicle industry.

For more information, visit:
Website: www.levassociation.com 
Facebook: www.fb.com/LEVAssoc
Twitter: @LEVAssoc 

Posted on July 23, 2014 .

The 2013 and 2014 USA Electric Bike Market Numbers Explained

With a population of more than 316 Million people, buying about 15 million normal bicycles most years, and a demographic that is shifting to an older, but active generation of baby boomers…the USA seems a natural market for electric powered two wheelers.  

The European market, about 742 million people, buying about 20 million bicycles most years, is both larger, and buys fewer bicycles per capita than the USA.

However, much of Europe regards a bicycle of any type as transportation. (As well as for sports, fitness, and recreation.) This is a cultural norm and in such cultures ebike markets grow more quickly.

The USA is almost universal in regarding a bicycle as a device for sport, fitness, and recreation.  For the USA, transportation is a car.

Transportation use of bicycles in the USA occurs in two general forms:

  1. Low cost transport for people who cannot afford a car (or cannot drive due to a DUI conviction).
  2. Transport in places where parking, and traffic congestion are problems – large cities like Boston, New York, San Francisco, etc.

Electric bicycles are transportation devices for almost all buyers. Yes, there are new models that may be contenders to replace or supplement mountain bikes, and there is fun and recreation in riding about the gated community in Florida, or in the technical gadgetry of a new ebike. But for most ebike buyers, transportation is the primary intended use.

In the USA, transportation is usually an automobile. And cheap, used, cars are widely available. Adding to this cultural preference for autos is the resistance of the ordinary bicycle dealer who often has a background as an athlete, and regards electric bikes as “cheating”. As well as the dealer being aware that they are not well equipped to explain, support, and service such bikes. (The Light Electric Vehicle Association has an ongoing program to train electric bike technicians in the USA. www.LEVAssociation.com)

The result has been that the rate of growth of the USA electric bike market has disappointed many people.

The total sale of ebikes in the USA has been difficult to calculate.  There has not been a uniform way to describe imports of ebikes in the US Customs records. There is no HS number assigned to electric bicycles, and so importers often choose between various 8700 series numbers in the “other” category, or declare the bikes as parts, or toys. Written descriptions vary widely: Ebike, electric bicycle, low speed electric assisted bicycle, pedelec, electric bicycle parts, and on and on. 

eCycleElectric (www.eCycleElectric.com) and Electric Bicycles World Wide Reports, (www.EBWR.com) have worked on estimating the USA ebike market for about 19 years.

Methods used by eCE and EBWR have varied. Attempts to organize self-reporting by the industry were unsuccessful. And searches of customs records turned out to be a learning process as detective work uncovered a myriad of ways to be confused or misdirected about electric bike imports. Anecdotal reports were often inflated or deflated.

For the last three years, eCE has subscribed to Import Genius, a service that provides access to US Customs databases. We quickly learned that searches confined to HS numbers or to a few descriptions led to only part of the imports.

So we developed a list of all known brands, and known major suppliers to USA brands. And all the search terms that we could find that would yield results. We checked on consignee addresses, and tried to detect logistics companies and trading companies that were involved. We were surprised by the results, as it seems the USA buys more electric bikes than was generally believed by the industry.

Last year, we announced that the USA ebike market had roughly doubled to approximately 158,000 units imported in a 12-month period. We then endured a great deal of criticism from a variety of sources that stated we must be wrong. And observed a number of conflicting reports about the USA market size.

This is easy to understand – a casual search of import records would probably give the researcher the idea that only 60-80,000 units were imported during 2013. And this is often the result that we hear promoted.  And for many of the USA electric bike brands, who have sales in the dozens to hundreds of units, it is hard to believe that so many ebikes are entering the USA.

So we checked our work. Carefully. And we found even more ebikes were imported than our original tally. We bought more services from Import Genius, looked again and compared, and then found even more bikes!

But we were aware that there was plenty of room for us to be in error since classification of the shipments was not exact, and under many descriptors.

So here is a detailed look at what we found:

Searching under electric bike, electric bicycle, electric bikes, electric bicycles, ebike, e-bikes we found: 136,943. es, we did adjust for duplications, which do exist.

Then there are the gray items with ambivalent descriptors. They could be toys, they could be scooters, but many of them are probably electric bikes. They came from OEMs that build ebikes, and the unit numbers compared to the weight of the shipment seem a lot like ebikes.

Next we took a look at the parts purchases of companies that assemble ebikes in the USA, from parts mostly imported from China. That group includes some companies that sell complete bikes, and some companies that sell DIY kits or just sell parts.

So we took the total weight of those parts and divided by 60 lbs, as we thought that 60 lbs of ebike parts was pretty close to one ebike, one way or another.

Total for vague descriptions and parts: 94,546
Raw total for USA market in 2013: 231,849

Now we know that we have accidentally included some units that are not ebikes. And we get accused of being too optimistic. And we want to be conservative. So we used an adjustment factor: 25% reduction in the total to adjust for our possible mistakes.  That gives us an adjusted total of 173, 886 units of ebikes imported into the USA or parts that were assembled into ebikes in 2013. (Yes, more than our original claim.)

We can be sure that not all of these sold through at retail. But since we are not hearing screams of anguish from the industry and we are not hearing about closeout sales to reduce inventory – it appears that there are no huge carry over inventories straining the system in the USA.

So what about 2014?

We are in the midst of studying 2014. But we have found more than 60,000 units imported so far. That may be off pace for a repeat of last year, but maybe not. We will release our results at the end of the year.

So, if the USA bought 173,886 electric bikes in 2013, where does that put us in comparison to other ebike markets?

We are in the top 10 nations, I think. And we are a very big country with a lot more room for the market to grow than any European nation, or Japan. Many factors are urging Americans towards more sustainable transportation, and ebikes are a vital part of our future – no matter how slowly they may be growing.

I foresee a day when the USA will be the third largest national market.  And it is not far off.

Posted on June 25, 2014 .

European TWIN project gets the go-ahead

[Press Release]

Nieuwegein, 16 June 2014 - The Dutch agency responsible for projects subsidized under the Leonardo da Vinci program has definitely approved the Twowheel Innovation Network (TWIN) project. TWIN is a Transfer of Innovation project (TOI) aimed at developing European training on electric bicycles for dealers and their mechanics.

Partnership

Following the go-ahead, the partners can now start up the real work. TWIN is a direct result of the completed E-Bike partnership project. The E-Bike partnership project finished in 2013 and yielded a completed competence profile in the field of electric bicycles for dealers and mechanics. In the new TWIN project, the partners will develop actual courses on the basis of this profile. The TWIN partners are the national training institutes Innovam (NL), CELF (DK) and Syntra West (B), the Dutch foundation and knowledge centre Pro Work and former ETRA Secretary General Annick Roetynck. The training institutes will be mainly responsible for the actual development of the training. Pro Work will supply logistical support, while Annick Roetynck will take care of communication and dissemination.

E-Bike assessment tool and training package

In a first phase, the partners will work on a tool that will allow any training institute in Europe to assess the existing knowledge on electric bicycles of dealers and mechanics. That assessment will enable the training institute to detect any gaps in their knowledge and offer, with the support of a training package, a tailor-made training to bridge those gaps. Towards the end of the project end 2015, a workshop for all European training institutes will be organised with a view to demonstrating the assessment tool and presenting the electric bicycle courses that should be developed by then.

European certification system

The TWIN partners consider this project as only one next step in a long-term process. Their final objective is to create a European Twowheel Academy, a platform that develops European harmonised training for all the segments in the two-wheel business. This should considerably facilitate and encourage the development of two-wheel courses in those member states where there is no training available yet, where training is incomplete or needs updating. It will allow training institutes to easily implement existing knowledge and best practice, instead of having to “reinvent the wheel”. As for the dealers and their mechanics, the introduction or improvement of training will enhance their competences and will allow them to market their professionalism. The system will be officialised and strengthened by means of a European certification system. Finally, it will also be embedded in the European Qualification Framework. This Framework provides for a harmonised qualification structure so that a two-wheel mechanic diploma obtained in, say Croatia, is equal to the same diploma obtained in Sweden. The concept of the European Twowheel Academy and the certification system will be laid out in the TOI project.

Database

The consortium is currently developing a database of all training institutes in the European Union, which either already provide for electric bicycle training or have an interest in offering such training in the future. Also, the consortium is making an inventory of all existing competence profiles for such training. All relevant information on the above can be sent to Annick Roetynck (a.roetynck@pandora.be - +32 9 233 60 05).

Coordination

Innovam carries out the coordination of the TWIN project. Please contact Ramon Salceda (r.salceda@innovam.nl - +31 30 60 87 952)  for any further details you may need on TWIN.

Posted on June 17, 2014 .

What Happened, What Comes Next: A Recap of Important Events from the 2013 Electric Bike Industry

 Senior Managing Director of eCE and LEVA Chairman, Ed Benjamin at Interbike 2013 in Las Vegas.

 Senior Managing Director of eCE and LEVA Chairman, Ed Benjamin at Interbike 2013 in Las Vegas.

The Electric Bike Industry enjoyed a successful year in 2013. Here is recap of what happened in some of the most important markets.

Electric bikes sales in China grew, but slowly. There is now an estimated 170 million electric bikes in use in China and the replacement of aging electric bikes is around 25 million units a year. This is in addition to the replacement of lead acid batteries in the fleet that is a stunning 300 million sets of 12V SVRLAs per year. Today, almost all lead acid batteries are recycled and are made in safer factories due to crackdowns from the Chinese Government.

Europeans showed how much they love electric bikes in 2013. The German market is now bigger than the Dutch market, electric bikes are selling well in nearly every EU member state with great, but not grand sales coming from France, The UK, Switzerland, Spain and Austria. According to our records there are 264 brands of electric bikes offered in the EU at this time. In addition, Bosch has made an impressive successful move into the EU market and is the most popular and demanded drive system supplier.

Although still small, the USA electric bike market doubled from 2012 to 2013 and is now about as big as Holland’s market. Over the last two years many new importers and product developers entered the US market but the top three electric bike brands in the USA remain to be Currie Tech, Prodecotech and Pedegeo. In 2013, Currie Tech took majority market share sales in the US, Prodecotech opened a 60,000 sq ft factory in Florida where they operate a full electric bike assembly line and Pedego has had great success by developing strong dealer networks with Pedego-specific retail shops. Overall, there are about 134 brands of electric bikes offered by 94 companies in the USA who sell through Amazon, mass merchants, and 900+ specialty retail stores.

Other markets in the electric bike industry seem to be steadily growing. We speculate that India exceeds over 500,000 unit sales. Sales in Japan seem to be holding steady, as they have for some years, nearing 400,000 unit sales. As for the rest of the world, electric bikes sales are picking up in nearly every market.

Technology and Product Trends in 2013:

All-in-one wheel products launched by Superpedestrian and FlyKly received a lot of press and consumer attention at the end of 2013 and offer a very simple DIY conversion kit to electrify bikes. Other interesting DIY developments come from Electric Vehicle OutfittersBike+ and the Electron Wheel.

Italian company eSocialbike created an app and electric bike management system that connects electric bike users, retailers and manufacturers. It gives manufacturers the ability to collect useful data about users and is also used as a social and diagnostic app. 

The motor industry has matured beyond the quest for the cheapest possible motor. A number of high-tech, performance motors are now offered by makers from around the world. One company with a long history in our industry is Heinzmann, they have introduced a new motor of great promise. Shimano also developed a new drive system called STEPS and ASI (Accelerated Systems Inc.) has become a leading advanced controller developer. 

Lithium batteries from China are getting more popular. Lishen Battery Company is a world-class supplier to most of the major smart phone makers, is the fourth largest battery maker in the world, a supplier of most lithium metallurgies in most form factors and they are now expanding into LEV applications. Other great Chinese lithium battery suppliers are Grepow and Greenway Battery.

Since being acquired by the Hero Group of India, A2B has become the first electric bike brand to offer models and product for South Asia, Europe, the USA and other markets.

Gates Belt Drives are appearing on more and more electric bikes.

Looking at The 2014 Electric Bike Industry:

  • More than 100 nations will become consumers of electric bikes (in serious quantities) over the next few years.
  • The 2014 Electric Bikes World Wide Report (EBWR) will be published by Dr. Jamerson. This report is published every 2 years and documents over 20 years of the global electric bike industry.
  • We (eCycleElectric) will be offering a monthly insider news on the electric bike industry. See below for more details.
  • LEVA will be launching more electric bike technician training classes. 
  • The China market will grow, but we can expect it to be less than 5%.
  • The European market will grow by close to 500,000 more units compared to 2013 and more electric bike will sold in southern EU countries.
  • The USA market unit sales will double, again.
  • Bosch drive systems will enter the North American market in the first quarter of 2014 on BH, Felt, Haibike and Kreidler electric bikes.
  • Popular media in the USA will increasingly embrace electric bikes.
  • The number of brands in the USA and EU will diminish, as non-performing players will drop out or be acquired. 
  • We will see how Bill Moore of EV World’s business model performs.

To stay up to date on the latest market trends, news and product developments subscribe to eCycleElectric’s Monthly Insider News Membership or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn! Comments are welcome below. 

Posted on January 6, 2014 .

Why People Use Electric Bikes In the United States - A Survey By ORTREC at Portland State University

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Electric bikes or e-bikes vary widely in their technology and style. This study focuses on e-bikes that are essentially standard pedal bicycles that have a battery and small motor to assist the rider with propulsion. Electric scooters with pedals are not considered e-bikes for the purposes of this project.

The objective of this survey is to increase understanding of the factors influencing the purchase and use of e-bikes. 

OTREC surveyed 446 e-bike owners, using an instrument adapted from Monash University. The survey was administered online on March 7, 2013 and continues to be open at this time. Data for this poster shows results from 446 respondents through May 24, 2013. The survey was distributed through e-bike blogs, forums, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, e-mails to manufacturers and retailers, and via postcards to retailers in the Portland region. 

Click here to view the results from the survey. 

Interbike 411

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The eCE team will be at Interbike in Las Vegas, Nevada this week and we created a post with helpful suggestions on what to see and do if you are in the electric bicycle industry. Take a look at our helpful list of suggestions. 

1. Download the Interbike 2013 App

The Interbike team made a very useful app to make your life easier – download it, it’s free!  To find all the electric bike companies that are exhibiting, go to the exhibitors tab on the homepage and search under the product category “Bicycles – Electric/ Power Assist”. Great features include the ability to favorite and keep track of all the exhibitors that you have seen and take meeting notes. You can also find a list of events, seminars, map of each floor, show dailies and shuttle bus info. Before getting to the show, make sure to download and browse through the app.

2. Attend LEVA Events and Pass by the LEVA Booth

For some odd reason, many of the LEVA events are not listed on the Interbike site… but do not worry, we will help you find them. If you are not familiar with LEVA, click here  to visit their website. Majority of the events will be held at the Mandalay Bay Meeting Room CORAL C and the LEVA booth is located at the Interbike E-Bike Lounge in Hall D of the trade show. Events will be held throughout the day from Wednesday to Friday and include a variety of helpful seminars and panel discussions focused on the electric bike industry. 

3. Talk to Dealers

Dozens of electric bike dealers will be at Interbike so seize the opportunity to get valuable feedback from them. They are at the forefront of each sale and are the key to understanding the electric bike consumer in the United States. Most of them will be attending LEVA events, more specifically the Networking Breakfast which is on Friday, September 20th at 7:30-9:00am in the Mandalay Bay Meeting Room Mariners A. Dealers get in for free and the cost for LEVA members is $35 and non-members are $45. If you feel that you have not spoken to enough dealers, you will most likely find many of them around the electric bike test track.

4. Test Ride Electric Bikes!

Test riding is the best way to judge the quality and system components of an electric bike. Get somebody in your company to visit the electric bike test track and have them ride at least 3-5 electric bikes by the end of each day. This is a great opportunity for your company to sample different systems and components if you are looking for new suppliers and want to see what your competitors have to offer. This year the electric bike test track is located in the corner of Hall D. 

5. Connect With Your Contacts on LinkedIn

After the show is over, connect with your contacts on LinkedIn. Business cards can often get lost in a pile of brochures after the show and sometimes you may not need to immediately follow-up with a new contact. Adding new contacts on LinkedIn is one of the best ways to keep in touch and stay up to date with the new people you have met. A great and easy way to do so is to use CardMunch, a free iPhone app that lets you take a photo of a business card, then automatically enters and saves their contact info for you. The best part is that it allows you to connect you with your new contacts on LinkedIn without having to search for their name.

To get real- time updates on what's happening at Interbike, follow us on Facebook  and Twitter! If you are not able to attend the show and have questions, post us a question on our Facebook wall or send us a tweet @eCeCycle.

Have a great show!  

Posted on September 18, 2013 .

eBikes Take Center Stage at Eurobike 2013

Source: SAMSUNG SDI Li-ion Battery Booth at 2013 Eurobike

Source: SAMSUNG SDI Li-ion Battery Booth at 2013 Eurobike

Electric bikes take the spotlight at Eurobike - the largest and one of the most important bicycle trade shows in the world.

This year's show took place in Friedrichshafen, Germany and featured 1,280 exhibiting companies that represented over 54 different nations around the world. Roughly 2,000 journalists covered this 5 day trade show which included one demo day to kick off week's events, 3 days dedicated to industry participants and a closing day which was open to the public.

Of all the companies exhibiting at Eurobike, around 165 of them were electric bike brands, OEMs, systems or component suppliers – which estimates to about 20 more exhibiting brands from 2012. In addition to taking the center stage at almost every booth, electric bikes also received a large amount of press coverage compared to other products and traditional bikes.

Consistent Trends at The Show

  1. The electric bike market is expanding from its traditional market of older riders and younger cyclists are increasingly using battery-powered bikes for every day transportation.
  2. As more and more consumers are seeing and buying electric bikes as an efficient and cost effective transportation solution, car and car-related companies are paying close attention to these trends and are making noticeable investments into this industry with their own line of electric bikes. Most renowned car companies such as Daimler, BMW, Smart and Peugot have created unique electric bike models but have struggled with high sales numbers. Although not as recognized to consumers, car parts manufacturers such as Mando, Kymco and EH Line are also stepping into the field with impressive electric bikes - some with unique and custom drive systems and others with traditional Bosch and Panasonic fits. Although too early to say if these companies will disrupt the electric bike industry, their background experience in automotive manufacturing gives them strong credibility. 
  3. One in five electric bike companies who exhibited at Eurobike are using Bosch as one of their drive system suppliers. Majority of European brands are focusing their designs and drive systems to cater to the ever growing German electric bike market – and almost all of them seem to be pro-Bosch. If they aren’t using Bosch they prefer entire drive system suppliers such as TransX, Panasonic and Neo Drives.
  4. The mid-drive motor is still king in the European market. 
  5. Southern European countries such as Czech Republic, France, Greece and Italy are growing markets.

What’s Next in the eBike World

Eurobike is the show that sets the standard for the electric bike industry. But there is another show coming up... Interbike,  the North American bicycle trade show. There will be about 53 electric bike-related companies exhibiting at Interbike, which is one-third of Eurobike’s total. Although the presence of electric bikes is much smaller, the North American electric bike scene is very unique and diverse.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates from eCE about Interbike. 

Posted on September 18, 2013 and filed under Eurobike.

Sid Kuropchak, Operations Manager of eCE & President of LEVA Succumbs to Cancer

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Our friend and colleague, Sidney Kuropchak, 61, Operations Manager of eCE and President and Co-founder of the Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA) passed away on Aug. 23, 2013, after nearly a year long battle with cancer. She was the light and life of our company and will always be in our hearts and minds. With a constant smile on her face, Sid built eCE and LEVA with intelligence, determination and genuine kindness. Everyone who knew her shares our regards for her. 

Official Obituary

Sid is survived by spouse John Kuropchak and other family members. Professionally, Sid was a co-founder of LEVA and had served as executive director, board member and president. Her leadership and pleasant management style was responsible for the rapid growth and extensive membership of the LEVA. LEVA promotes and supports the industry of electric powered two wheelers such as electric bicycles, electric motor scooters, etc. Today LEVA has more than 250 members in 29 countries. 

Sid also acted as the Operations Manager for eCycleElectric Consulting, a working relationship that lasted more than 15 years. During this time she held key posts at WaveCrest Labs, Ultra Motor USA and Stone Industrial. Prior to that she was the president of Lauren Manufacturing. 

Those who know and worked with Sid held her in high regard. "I depended on Sid to be the wise voice of reason and to remember everything that needed to be done — while charming everyone she came in contact with, for half of my professional life," said Edward Benjamin, chairman of LEVA. "To say she is missed terribly by her friends and co-workers is an understatement. And I know her family must be devastated." 

Sid held a MA in Sociology from Kent State. She was married to John Kuropchak for 37 years. 

Posted on September 16, 2013 .

LEVA & ETRA Networking Dinner at Eurobike

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The Light Electric Vehicle Association continues its series of networking events with a joint LEVA/ETRA member and prospective member networking dinner Thursday, August 29, 2013 during the Eurobike Show. 

This networking dinner is always heavily attended by some of the most well-known and respected leaders of our industry. Last year there were over 100 attendees representing over 75 battery, motor, controller, testing, and light electric vehicle companies. 

Dinner and refreshments will be served followed by a short presentation by LEVA and ETRA. Meet and greet key influencers in the LEV industry. Don't miss out on this important event! 

When:

Thursday, August 29, 2013, from 18:30 to 21:00

Where: 

Zeppelin Hangar Restaurant (on Eurobike grounds) 
Allmannsweilerstraße 132
Friedrichshafen 88046
Germany  

 

Posted on August 20, 2013 .

USA Ebike Market Doubles to 159,000 bikes, 908 dealers, 134 brands!

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eCycleElectric International Consultants announces results of research into USA ebike market size for 2013.

During the one-year period July 2012 to July 2013, the USA Electric Bike market appears to have doubled over numbers published by Electric Bike Reports Worldwide for 2012. 

Searches of Customs and Border Protection records, phone surveys of dealers, Internet searches and interviews of distributors and dealers have revealed a doubling of USA ebike sales in the last 12 months.

908 retailers, (not including mass merchants such as Wal-Mart and Amazon) claim to be selling electric bikes.  These dealers include electric bike specialists, electric vehicle specialists, motor sports retailers, Internet retailers, independent bicycle dealers, hardware stores, car parts stores, and more. Major mass merchants such as Wal-Mart, Sears, Target, Best Buy, (and Amazon) are also participating, although not in all of their stores locations.

134 brands were identified as being offered for sale through these channels. Of those brands, at least 54 imported new product during this period.  Some brands are represented by product left over or on close out, but at least 30 brands are clearly in business, active, and thought to be growing.

While most electric bikes are imported to the USA from factories in China or Taiwan, companies such as Prodeco and Optibike assemble in the USA. Some complete bikes come rom Europe.

Almost all parts (bicycle parts, motors, batteries, controllers, etc.)  used to assemble an electric bike are imported from China or Taiwan.  Estimates of the number of bikes assembled from these parts are included in the total estimate of USA sales for the 12 months ending in July 2013 of 159,000 units. Compared to estimated 70,000 the previous year.

About eCycleElectric

eCE is an international consulting firm and trusted advisor with deep industry and functional expertise in the Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) industry. Our carefully selected team has experience covering the last 40 years of the bicycle industry and has been involved in electric bicycles and has worked with LEV companies (electric scooters, motorcycles, drive systems, batteries, motors and controllers) since 1996.

Contact:

Edward Benjamin
Senior Managing Director 
Email: ed@eCycleElectric.com  
Tel:  1-239-410-5187
Website: www.eCycleElectric.com  

 

Making a Bigger Impact on The LEV Industry

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Products don’t sell themselves and industries don’t grow overnight – sometimes it takes a lot of money to get the job done and sometimes it just takes effort.

 

Since our inception in 1996, eCE has been at the forefront of the LEV Industry. We continue to grow as a company, being recognized as the go-to strategy consultant company. We have advised some of the largest and smallest companies as well as startups to help them develop into successful businesses. Now, we are taking strides to build a stronger voice and community for the industry.

Our New Look

We changed our look and some of our strategies with the launch of a new website and social channels (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter). Our goal is to better connect and create conversations with our clients, the industry and outside audiences by providing valuable and deep insight from our expert consultants. Social media is no longer a trend or a medium just for entertainment, but a digital resource that is a creative, connecting cornerstone.

Website

  • Blog – It’s one of our most exciting additions – it’s our digital voice. Read posts about industry trends, latest technological innovations, expert opinions, and so on about LEVs. If you scroll down to the foot of each blog, you will notice the share and comment buttons – we encourage you to share posts and let us know your comments; we want to hear them.
  • Events – Our events page features dates, locations, website information and summaries of upcoming trade shows, conferences and events in the LEV industry. Do you need help at an upcoming trade show? Let us know. 
  • Reports – We are offering free and competitively priced eBooks and eReports with topics ranging from market forecasting and key competitor analysis to customer identification. If you are interested in a custom report or analysis, please contact us.

We hope you are excited about our new website and launch of social channels as much as we are. Don’t forget to check our blog and like and follow us!