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Electric bike news 7th DecemberElectric bike news 7th December

E-bike safety has been an increasingly high-profile topic of late, so it’s great to see an increasing number of companies getting their e-bikes UL certified. This reassures purchasers and pushes up the general quality of e-bikes on the market, as well as meaning there should be less faults – dangerous or otherwise – with e-bikes. The counter argument is that it will push up the costs of e-bikes. Whilst that may be true to some degree, the more companies that adopt the standards it would be hoped that the costs of attaining them should eventually fall, especially if more certification providers spring up to meet increased demand. In which case both manufacturers and consumers will benefit.

In this week’s e-bike news:

  • All of QuietKat’s 2024 range to be UL certified
  • The new Stromer ST5 – sound effects and Pinion gearing
  • Pelican Train – is this the most innovative e-cargo bike yet?
  • Mondraker’s new kid’s e-mtbs
  • E-bikes vs autonomous cars in San Francisco

Quietkat’s 2024 Range to be UL Certified

Quietkat’s 2024 Range to be UL CertifiedQuietkat’s 2024 Range to be UL Certified

QuietKat have just announced that their 2024 product lines have met the respected safety standards of UL 2849 and UL 2271 certifications. The 2023 models, Lynx and Apex Pro, had already met these rigorous standards

E-bike safety standards (particularly those relating to batteries) have been much in the news of late, especially as from September 16 all battery-powered mobility devices – which includes e-bikes and e-scooters – sold, leased, or rented in New York have been required to be certified by an accredited testing laboratory in compliance with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards.

Handily, QuietKat have outlined the benefits of these two UL standards:

UL 2849: Exclusively for eBikes and eScooters, this certification encompasses comprehensive safety evaluations. QuietKat eBikes have undergone electrical and mechanical testing, temperature analysis and drop and impact assessments.

UL 2271: Tailored for light electric vehicle batteries, this certification underscores the safety, reliability, and performance of QuietKat’s eBike batteries and includes overcharge protection, short circuit response, temperature performance and drop resilience.

EBR has already looked at the arguments for and against UL certification of batteries.

New Stromer ST5 – Now with Pinion Gears & ‘Acoustic Feedback’

New Stromer ST5New Stromer ST5

Stromer are a high-end Swiss-based manufacturer specialising in 28mph capable speed-pedelecs and have announced the arrival of the latest incarnation of their ST5 model that features enclosed Pinion gearing and what they call Stromer Sound that provides ‘unique acoustic feedback’ – though it’s unclear exactly what this amounts to.

Pinion gearing is already a firm favourite on other Stromer models but this is the first time the ST5 gets the rock solid enclosed gear system along with a belt drive.

To date we only have Euro prices – if you know the premium nature of Stromer speed pedelecs the 10,990 euro price tag may not be entirely unexpected. The new ST5 with Pinion gearing will be available as a production model from March 2024 whilst the ‘Launch Edition’ is scheduled for release in December 2023. Stromer do sell into the US so we’ll keep you posted on US availability and prices.

Is it a Bird? No it’s a Pelican E-cargobike

Pelican Train couriersPelican Train couriers

The newly-released Pelican Train electric load hauler has been featured in several internet reports of late. The French-based company have taken a fairly conventional longtail e-cargobike and given it the ability to attach up to two sizeable trailers.

Not only that, there are various options for the design of bike and trailer which can be specced for tasks including courier work, building, refrigerated food delivery and street cleaning. With two trailers attached the Pelican boasts an impressive 500kg payload rating.

This isn’t just an e-bike plus trailers setup though as there is some impressive tech going on here; attached trailers also have electric motors that, according to this Insideevs article“work together in a synchronised manner to ensure smooth and efficient operation. They all produce power at the same time and apply the brakes together when necessary.”

The entire setup provides 111Nm of torque and, according to the firm itself, complies with the EU’s e-bike performance regulations of 250W of nominal output. There are short term, long term and purchase options

New Lines of Kid’s E-bikes from Mondraker

Mondraker F PlayMondraker F Play

Spanish e-mtb specialist Mondraker just launched two new lines of kid’s e-mtbs to add to their existing Grommy balance e-bike line.

The Play and F-Play (the latter being the full-sus version) lines are aimed at older kids – 6- to 14-year-olds say Mondraker. Both lines are equipped with the Mahle Ebikemotion X35 rear-wheel drive with 250Wh battery and, unusually for a European e-bike maker, are specced with twist and go throttles, though the legal e-bike speed of 15.5mph is retained. 26-inch wheeled models offer additional space for an optional 210Wh range extender.

The models are already on sale in the UK with prices ranging from around £1921 to £230

E-bikes the Solution, Not Self-Driving Cars

Cruise car stuckCruise car stuck

It’s nice once in a while to step outside the narrower confines of the e-bike world and see how they are faring in the wider world. This interesting Fast Company article does just that, comparing their progress in San Francisco in 2023 to that of autonomous cars.

It notes ‘The self-driving car companies that once seemed ready to conquer San Francisco—followed by the rest of urban America—now face headwinds from impatient investors, skeptical residents, and wary regulators who have suspended Cruise’s driverless permit in California after a horrific crash (and an alleged coverup).

Compared to self-driving cars, and just about any other mobility mode, e-bikes have flourished in 2023, posting strong sales despite a slowdown in the overall bike industry.’

The battle is ongoing though; Waymo and Cruise ultimately persuaded California regulators to allow the companies to deploy unlimited robotaxis throughout San Francisco. That doesn’t mean they will necessarily arrive any time soon though – as the article points out:

‘ if self-driving cars are able to scale, they will induce more car use and exacerbate traffic congestion and pollution. It remains unclear that a city full of autonomous vehicles would be better, not worse, for its inhabitants.

E-bikes raise no such existential concerns. On the contrary, all signs indicate that a city full of e-bikes would be safer, healthier, cleaner, and less congested than one dominated by cars—no matter how they are driven.’

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