The Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI) and the urban mobility SOLUTIONS network are calling for cities from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America to become involved as leading city, take-up city or training participants

The SOLUTIONS network and the UEMI are looking for take-up cities to work together on the implementation of sustainable urban mobility measures. This is part of a new partnership with the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) and the European Green Vehicles Initiative (EGVI) as part of the EU-funded project FUTURE-RADAR.

As part of an effort to deliver on the New Urban Agenda the team invites cities to help assessing the opportunities for sustainable mobility concepts in their wider context of sustainable urban development. The mission of the SOLUTIONS and UEMI partnerships is to support the take-up of sustainable urban mobility solutions in cities across the world and foster the integration of urban electric mobility solutions into sustainable transport strategies.
Join the global effort !

A wide range of cities will be involved throughout the different project phases. The focus will predominantly be on ‘second-tier’ cities, rather than mega-cities. The regions targeted represent different levels of maturity in terms of experience with sustainable urban mobility related actions. This will be addressed by adopting different approaches for these regions. Cities, as well as local and national officials can now apply to become involved in the UEMI and the SOLUTIONS network for one of the different city categories.

Further details are here: http://www.uemi.net/call-for-change-maker.html

 

 

United States Trade Representative considering additional custom duties on European exports of motorcycles

The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) is deeply concerned about the current decision of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to consider imposing additional customs duties of up to 100% on European motorcycle exports between 51cc and 500cc as of March 2017. This potential measure follows a formal petition to the USTR from the American beef industry, which has requested the opening of a Section 301 proceeding under the 1974 US Trade Act. This seeks to impose additional duties on EU exports to the US as a retaliatory measure against EU restrictions on American beef imports.

The new motorcycle tariff currently under consideration could not only inflict considerable damage to European companies that manufacture goods used by American citizens for both leisure and mobility. It would also negatively affect US small- and medium- enterprises that provide distribution, dealership and repair services, and could potentially lead to the destruction of thousands of jobs in the US.

ACEM, in line with the motorcycle sector at large in Europe and in the United States, calls on the USTR to properly assess this potential measure and to avoid creating an artificial and counterproductive trade barrier that will certainly not encourage a favourable resolution of the beef dispute and that will be damaging for both the EU and the US economies.

ACEM Secretary General Antonio Perlot said: “There is no justification for this measure, and the motorcycle sector should not be dragged into trade disputes over food products. ACEM, as the representative of motorcycle manufacturers in Europe, is following this issue closely and presented its observations before the USTR to obtain an immediate exclusion of European motorcycles from the list of products subject to increased duties”.

“We should be looking for new opportunities to promote transatlantic commerce and increase prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic, instead of creating new artificial barriers that hurt European companies, reduce American consumers’ choice and harm jobs in the US”.

“Unilateral measures such as this one will not encourage a favourable resolution of the beef dispute. ACEM calls on the USTR to properly assess the potential measure and counts on the support of the European Commission to ensure that European companies can compete in the US market on fair terms and are not hindered by artificial and counterproductive trade barriers”.

TRB-Meeting on Emerging Vehicles for Low Speed Transportation

The American Transportation Research Board (TRB) is holding its Annual Meeting in Washington DC. This is the largest meeting of transportation professionals and researchers, with more than 11,000 attendees. In this framework, there will be a meeting of the Subcommittee on Emerging Vehicles for Low Speed Transportation (e.g., e-bikes).

Importantly, if you are interested but unable to attend in person, you can tune into live Youtube stream (which will also be archived): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hidhqS9j68Q

The meeting takes place on Tuesday 10 January from 3:45-5:30 PM (EST). Chris Cherry and Geoff Rose will co-chair the meeting.

For more details, contact Chris Cherry, cherry@utk.edu

Electric scooters blazing a trail for Taiwan’s economic future- Nikkei Asian Review

TAIPEI — The drone of scooter engines reaches near-deafening levels on the streets of the Taiwanese capital during the morning rush hour. The island’s roughly 23 million people own some 13.6 million scooters, the highest number per person in the world.

In a city infamous for its gridlock, scooters are an indispensable means of transportation for Taiwanese of all ages, from busy working mothers to pensioners. “It’s very convenient and, more than anything, you don’t get stuck in traffic jams,” said Helen-Cheng, a 28-year-old woman who commutes by scooter.

Thanks to a simple way of solving a technological challenge, electric models are increasingly becoming the two-wheeler of choice for many Taiwanese, and their success offers hope for President Tsai Ing-wen’s plans to diversify industry away from its traditional strength in the information technology sector.

The problem with previous-generation electric scooters was the lengthy charge time, often needing to be left overnight to reach full power. This deterred many from switching over from gasoline models.

Six-second charge

That was until local venture Gogoro resolved the issue with its “six-second” charging system. Instead of drivers having to endure the seemingly eternal wait, the key lies in unmanned swap stations, where drivers can exchange low-running battery packs for a fully charged replacement.

Performance of new-generation models has also seen significant improvements. On a fully charged battery, a Gogoro scooter can travel a total of around 100km at 40kph. It can go from 0kph to 50kph in 4.2 seconds and reach speeds of up to 95kph.

There are over 220 Gogoro swap stations in the larger cities. In Taipei and New Taipei City, battery stations outnumber gas stations.

A smartphone app lets users know how much power is left and guides them to the nearest station. It also flags any problems with the vehicle using data gathered by attached sensors, and can be used to start the engine and unlock the seat compartment.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications, a mere 5,000 of the 660,000 scooters registered in 2014 were electric types. In 2015, the figure more than doubled to 11,000 thanks to Gogoro’s launch in June. This year, 9,225 units were registered in the first seven months — over 60% of them were Gogoro models — meaning a new annual record will almost certainly be hit by a sizeable margin. The rapid success has earned Gogoro the nickname “the Tesla of scooters.”

Bigger picture

Some see the company as a model case for overcoming structural problems in Taiwan’s industrial structure. Taiwan made its name as the workhorse of the global IT industry by providing manufacturing services to the world’s electronics companies. But it has seen its lead in the field gradually eaten into by a rapidly advancing China.

“Taiwan’s IT industry is facing a massive challenge,” Tsai said after taking office in May. The new leader has made no secret of the fact that reforming the industrial structure is her most pressing task. Gogoro may offer a valuable example for how to promote creativity and value added products and services.

Meanwhile for the company, hopes are high for overseas expansion. At January’s Consumer Electronics Show in the U.S., Gogoro unveiled plans to share its battery stations with rivals in a bid to promote them. Gogoro’s scooters have been chosen by Germany’s Bosch, the world’s leading auto component maker, for its electric scooter sharing project, which began in Berlin in August.

The original article is here: http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Electric-scooters-blazing-a-trail-for-Taiwan-s-economic-future?n_cid=NARAN012

The International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association appoints Stephan Schaller as new President

The International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association, IMMA, has elected yesterday Mr Stephan Schaller as its new President.  

The decision was taken by IMMA’s General Assembly, hosted by the Federation of Asian Motorcycle Industries (FAMI) and the Indonesian Motorcycle Industry Association (AISI). 

Mr Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad, who currently serves as President of the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM), will hold the IMMA Presidency for a period of two years, from May 2016 to May 2018.  

He succeeds Mr Paul Jones from the United States Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (USMMA), who secured the IMMA Presidency from May 2014 to May 2016. 

To access the press release please click here

 

Maltese Bicycling Advocacy Group wants governments New Year’s resolution on pedelecs

Local active transportation NGO the Bicycling Advocacy Group are asking the government to revise the policy on the restrictions on pedelecs such as registration and the mandatory helmets rule or else advise what action they will be taking to address the continued fall in ridership in the new year.  

The group noted that in 2014 even Italy, one of the poorest performers in pedelecs and one of the European stragglers increased sales by 3%, yet Malta registered a drop of 13% of pedelecs seen on the road in the same year, almost 85% behind the EU’ s leaders like Germany. That coincided with announcements of registration and mandatory helmets for pedelecs in Malta, something unheard of in other EU states.

That downturn hasn’t been reversed in 2015 by the current VAT measures, with pedelec utilization falling a further 0.39%, according to the group’s recent National Bicycle Count figures. That downward trend can only get worse with the introduction of easier licensing to encourage the use of low capacity motorcycles, some of which can be as cheap to buy as a pedelec.

‘We understand that it is vitally important for Malta to make 125cc motorcycles more attractive to reduce parking overload and car congestion, but in levelling the playing field, with what is essentially a bicycle in every other EU state and EU law, pedelecs are being delivered yet another body blow. Pedelec owners and businesses selling them deserve some pretty responsible answers, under the circumstances.’ The group’s PRO Jim Wightman said. The group are asking the government to make it easier to use an environmentally friendly 250 watt pedelec that keeps people healthy and active, doesn’t pollute and is as much as 43 times less powerful than the proposed 125cc scooters on offer.

Those answers need to be made before the 1st of January when the scooter law comes into being. The easiest way is to start treating them as simple bicycles.