|| Original Article from Bike Europe...
By Edward Benjamin, Managing Director of eCycleElectric Consultants
SHANGHAI, China - The dramatic rise of costs for rare earth materials, specifically Neodymium (Nd, 60), has caught many e-bike motor makers and buyers by surprise, and is such a large increase that it affects the future of electric bikes, and other light electric vehicles.
Nd metal is about 35% of the content of a NdFeB magnet. These are very powerful permanent magnets and are one of the reasons that modern electric motors can have such high torque and efficiency. Today, a ton of Nd sells for more than $102,500 USD inside China, and can sell for more than twice that outside China, due to supply limitations. And those supply limitations have important implications for the world electric bicycle industry.
One of the issues affecting the bike industry is that a lot of magnets are used, but electric bikes and e-scooters are not the highest value products that uses such magnets. Nd magnetic materials are important to the electronics industry, and such a small percentage of their costs, that they can afford to pay a much higher price for Nd. This effectively runs up the price on Nd exported from China – a miserable situation for motor makers in Canada, USA, Germany, Holland, UK, Taiwan, Japan, and elsewhere.
But there is an interesting opportunity offered by the Chinese government. If a motor is made in China and exported as a motor – there is no export limit or quota. So many western motor makers have or are building plants and JVs in China to build their motors there. Since these are technological products, this involves a technology transfer to China that some companies resist, and others regard as unimportant – depending on their technology.
What are the effects for the world e-bike and e-scooter industry?
Electric vehicles will be the most visible place for Nd price increases to reach the public. But the high value and benefits of electric bicycles far exceeds the costs.
A comprehensive article (from Edward Benjamin, MD of eCycleElectric Consultants) on the rising costs for Nd metal, NdFeB magnets and the results of the export restrictions applied to Nd material and magnets by the Chinese central government, is in Bike Europe’s December edition.
|| Original Article from Vancouver 24 Hours...
By STEPHANIE IP, 24 HOURS
City hall is pushing its two-wheel agenda further by implementing discounted and free parking for scooters and motorcycles.
In converting unused street space into metered parking, the triangle-shaped spaces are now designated for two-wheeled vehicles. They are free for electric scooters and half-price for motorbikes. New signage and paint will identify the spaces, along with newly-installed meters.
More than 150 spaces have been installed with another 50 planned.
“There are spaces all over the city like this where you can’t put a car,” said Carli Edwards, the city’s transport and parking manager, Thursday. She added the designated spaces would free up full-size car spaces from being occupied by smaller vehicles.
“We’re hoping that by making these spaces free for electric scooters, it will further Vancouver’s goal to be the greenest city.”
Electric scooters, however, can still park in a regular space with a 75 per cent discount using the pay-by-phone option. Motorcycles still pay full price for a regular spot.
Mopeds are allowed to park free at bicycle racks.
But not everyone was happy about how the project’s been handled.
Ian Tootill, who pitched the proposal to council, believes the city has put its green objectives at the forefront of the project instead of focusing more on accessible and safe parking.
“I think that the city is going to find this, economically, is not working for them and they’ll have to adjust their pricing,” he said, claiming Vancouver has spent more than necessary catering to vehicles that are viable for less than five months a year.
He wants the city to scrap charging altogether and offer free parking to scooters everywhere.
Prior to the designated parking, scooters and motorcycles parked free in the same spaces. Others, such as Tootill, parked their scooters in between cars that have paid for meters.
A Colliers report released earlier this year showed Vancouver had Canada’s fourth highest parking rates. The country’s median hourly rate is $4, while Vancouver’s median rate is $7, with a high of $9 and a low of $2.50.
Calgary, Toronto and Montreal ranked first, second and third respectively.
| Original Article from motorcycles.com...
German automaker Volkswagen unveiled an electric scooter concept at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show. Designed for the Chinese market, the Volkswagen E-Scooter was unveiled alongside the new 2012 Beetle. The E-Scooter follows the trend of Volkswagen’s German rivals BMW and Mercedes who also recently unveiled electric scooter prototypes under their respective Mini and Smart brands. The Volkswagen E-Scooter is powered by a 350-watt motor powered by a lithium ion battery.
|The E-Scooter claims a range of 25 miles and a top speed of about 30 mph.
According to Volkswagen, the E-Scooter weighs about 44 pounds without the battery.
Though Volkswagen hasn’t ruled out commercial sales of the E-Scooter, the company is exploring alternative business models. One idea includes a scooter rental system where riders can rent E-Scooters from solar powered charging hubs at key locations such as train stations, shopping malls and business parks.
| Original Press Release from Pike Research...
As electric passenger cars become increasingly familiar to consumers around the world, electric motorcycles and scooters are also growing in popularity. E-motorcycles and e-scooters are already used in significant numbers in China and other parts of Asia Pacific, due in large part to urbanization trends, and people in many countries are accustomed to using two-wheel vehicles as a primary mode of transportation.
|In other regions, improving customer
perception, government incentives, and high petroleum fuel costs all contribute in some part
to the demand growth for electric motorcycles and scooters. According to a new report from
Pike Research, the number of e-motorcycles and e-scooters on the road will increase from 17
million in 2011 to 138 million by 2017.
“Electric motorcycles and scooters have strong appeal for many consumers,” says senior analyst Dave Hurst. “They are relatively low cost to own, do not take a lot of space, and are easy to maintain, therefore making them attractive for city dwellers. Governments also like these vehicles because they can utilize existing transportation and electricity infrastructure without the congestion problems and emissions impacts of conventional automobiles.”
Hurst adds that, fueled by those same market drivers, e-scooters will represent a much larger industry, outselling e-motorcycles by a factor of more than six to one on a global basis. However, he expects that the mix will be considerably different in certain regions, such as North America, where e-motorcycles will represent 59% of combined sales due to their higher speeds and longer range than e-scooters.
Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the growth in electric two-wheel vehicles will also have a meaningful impact on demand for batteries. The vehicles will utilize both lithium ion (Li-ion) and lead acid batteries. The firm forecasts that the market for Li-ion for e-motorcycles will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24% between 2011 and 2017, while Li-ion for the e-scooters market will increase at a CAGR of 19%. The lead acid battery market will grow, as well, particularly in emerging markets, with the e-motorcycle sector garnering a 27% CAGR and e-scooters a 29% CAGR for the same period.
Pike Research’s study, “Electric Motorcycles and Scooters”, provides a comprehensive examination of the market forces, technology issues, government incentives and regulations, and key drivers of the growth of e-motorcycles and e-scooters. The report includes e-motorcycle and e-scooter sales forecasts and battery technology forecasts through 2017, as well as profiles of key industry players. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.
| Original article from BIKE europe...
ST. TROPEZ, France – Peugeot is the first of the renowned scooter brands to launch an all-new electric scooter – the e-Vivacity. This took place with some fanfare, in fashionable St. Tropez on the Cote d’Azur in France last Thursday. But, it appeared that Peugeot has every reason to make a big fuss over its brand new e-scooter.
Fifteen years ago Peugeot was the first (and only) powered two-wheeler manufacturer with an electric scooter; Scoot’Elec was its name. But, it arrived too early. Only a few thousand were sold.
The e-Vivacity is also completely different when compared to its Scoot’Elec predecessor. The old nickel-cadmium batteries have been replaced by two modern 2 kWh lithium-ion units that jointly weigh 16 kg. The lithium-ion batteries offer the e-Vivacity a total range of 60 km at 45 km/h according to Peugeot. At the launch days in St. Tropez this claim proved to be true. One of the attending journalists rode e-Vivacity for as long as the batteries offered power and they lasted the promised 60 kilometers. Charging the two batteries with two chargers is possible in just 3 hours.
| Additional articles include:
| Vespa is said to be on track to
announce an all electric scooter in the second quarter of 2011
according to a source inside the Italian company. Vespa’s parent
company Piaggio is currently building and selling a hybrid 3-wheeled
scooter called the MP3 Hybrid which has seen limited success in
The decision by Vespa to produce an electric scooter is almost certainly a catch-up move after the announcements of both the Mini and Smart electric scooters in 2010. Vespa has reportedly been developing an electric model since late 2009 that will be based on the same platform as the LX 150 (pictured above) and will offer similar power output from a single rear hub mounted electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.
The first model will be trialled in both Europe and the USA in limited numbers before being offered for sale in late 2012.
Original article from ElectroVelocity...
If you're a fan of electric scooters and you like the look of the Mini Cooper, then you may want to check out BMW's new retro plug-in scooter. The scooter, which is called the Mini Scooter E, comes in three different versions: a two-seater, a MOD and a “purist” single seater. Although each version looks quite different, they are all powered by an electric motor and can be charged in any wall socket.
Designed by senior VP Adrian van Hooydonk, the Mini Scooter E also features:
Although these scooters remind me of something that Austin Powers would drive, I think that they are all good-looking vehicles and would be great for the environment. The scooters are estimated to cost well over $6,000.
Original article by The Green Groove on greenopolis.com