The E-bike Battle Is Now Between Bicycle And Motorcycle Companies

It seems like every month another motorcycle company jumps into a crowded field of bicycle companies offering electric-motorized bicycles. Italy’s Ducati Motorcycles, who offered a single E-bike model in 2019, expands their 2020 selection to three models including the E-Scambler (on the far right) that appears to be intended for on-road use. Ducati joins Bultaco, Yamaha, Harley-Davidson and KTM in a head-to-head assault on a market that has been serviced by E-bike-only companies (like Pedego, Sondors and Juiced) and established bicycle brands (like Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and Giant) who offer…

Why Communities Can’t Trust Micromobility Rental Businesses

Spokane’s KREM2 reports that a Lime charging facility caught fire in Spokane Valley on October 7th. The report explains that the fire’s cause was unknown, but a Spokane Valley Fire Department spokesperson believed it was likely an electrical problem. Anyone with the most basic understanding of battery charging (and the dangers associated with battery charging) would immediately pick up on two glaring red flags in the KREM2 report. First, the report says that “no one was in the warehouse at the time” of the fire. Rule one for avoiding a…

Dutch Insurers And Firefighters Worry About Increase Of E-bike Fires

The Dutch, already ranked first in the world for per-capita-bicycle ridership, have adopted electric-motorized bicycles in record numbers. It is reported that e-bike sales have already surpassed the sales of human-powered bicycles (excluding children and racing bikes) in the Netherlands. With this increase in e-bike usage comes a not-so-surprising increase in fires linked to e-bike battery charging disasters. The NL Times is reporting that Dutch fire agencies and insurers are troubled by the increase in fires caused by battery charging. The article reports that e-bike fires in 2017 surpassed fires…

Cycling Without Age Offers Safe and Sane Cycling To The Elderly

Here is the feel-good story of the month. Writer Tom Hallberg of the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports on the activity of Cycling Without Age in Jackson, Wyoming. Cycling Without Age pairs pilots (who volunteer their time and leg muscles) with older residents (sometimes shut-ins) for trishaw rides around their community. These folks may not have felt the wind rushing through their hair since, well, since they had hair. Seniors jumping back on a bike find that their balance, coordination and dexterity may no longer be up to the…

The Interior Secretary Wants To Sell More E-Bikes, But At What Cost?

The one-page document from Interior Secretary David Bernhardt (Order Number 3376) did far more than redefine non-motorized recreation. The Order revealed a seismic shift in how the Department of The Interior views its responsibility in overseeing public lands. Conservation and stewardship are replaced with a new mandate to exploit public lands to the fullest. And maybe that’s what the majority of Americans want? The Interior Secretary also showed a lack of understanding by adopting the language crafted by the e-bike industry, whose objective is to sell more e-bikes. Trying to…

Department Of The Interior Redefines Electric-Motorized Bikes As Human-Powered Bikes

The United States’ Secretary of the Interior on August 29th signed Order Number 3376 titled “Increasing Recreational Opportunities through the use of Electric Bikes,” that instructs Federal land management agencies to view electric-motorized bicycles the same as a human-powered bicycle. Dennis Byrd, Outdoor Recreational Planner-Travel and Transportation Mgt, explained to Jimmy Mac On Two Wheels that “This newly penned Secretarial Order gives new guidance on how to manage e-bikes on BLM (and other DOI agency) managed lands. E-bikes, as defined in 15 U.S.C. 2085. will be allowed where all bicycles…

Opening Trails To Class-1 E-Bikes Opens Trails To All E-Bikes

E-bike designations (Class 1, 2 and 3) were written by a trade organization to do three things: (1) open previously non-motorized trails to motorized vehicles, (2) evade enforcement, and (3) sell more e-bikes. This class definition is being adopted by state and local legislators who don’t understand that opening a non-motorized trail to any class of e-bike, virtually opens the trail to all e-bikes. Here’s why. THE CLASS DISTINCTION Class-1 and Class-2 electric bicycles have less than 750 watts and cease to provide power when the bike exceeds 20 miles…

Promising Research May Lead To Reduction Of E-Bike Fires

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering are reporting that graphene (bonded carbon atoms in a sheet form one-atom thick) may take the oxygen out of lithium battery fires. The report explains that the reasons lithium batteries catch fire include rapid cycling or charging and discharging, and high temperatures in the battery. These conditions can cause the cathode inside the battery — which in the case of most lithium batteries is a lithium-containing oxide, usually lithium cobalt oxide — to decompose and release oxygen. If the…

Lyft E-Bikes Pulled From San Francisco Bike Share Program After Two Fires

The San Francisco Examiner is reporting that Lyft has suspended its e-bike share program on the streets of San Francisco after two e-bikes caught fire in separate locations in the span of a week. Jonathan Baxter, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Fire Department, said the department classified the incident as a “battery pack issue” and a “fire from battery pack.” The fire was deemed not suspicious by the San Francisco Fire Department although a Lyft spokesperson has told media outlets that vandalism has not been ruled out (by Lyft)…

E-Bikes Prove To Be Cleaner Transportation Than Electric Scooters

Researchers at North Carolina State University were skeptical of emissions claims made by Lime and Bird about their dockless electric scooters. These claims were based on the assumption that the electric scooters’ life cycle is two years. The North Carolina State University study looked at real-world usage and found the product’s life cycle to be closer to two months than two years. That is a lot of obsolescence happening very quickly. Factoring in the emissions released from making, shipping, charging, collecting, and disposing of scooters, the report found that Lime’s…