A model of this newsletter ran within the December factor of Bicycle Store & Trade Information.

By means of Paul Tolme

The Client Product Protection Fee will have to take a extra lively stance in regulating electrical motorcycle batteries and electronics to cut back hearth possibility and fortify protection, in keeping with the top of Bosch eBike Programs in North The united states.

Talking on the Austin Electrify Expo ultimate month, Claudia Wasko steered federal regulators to mandate trying out and compliance requirements for all the e-bike electronics method — no longer simply the batteries.

In a follow-up interview with BRAIN, Wasko mentioned Bosch would “respect the CPSC changing into extra concerned within the subject of protection requirements’’ for e-bikes, simply as they did for hoverboards in 2018. 

Federal laws had been a few of the subjects Wasko mentioned in a Q&A that integrated variations within the Eu as opposed to the American e-bike market, shopper traits right here and within the EU, and the {industry}’s function in local weather motion. BRAIN edited Wasko’s responses for conciseness.

BRAIN: What are the highest e-bike traits in Europe from a gross sales and shopper point of view as opposed to in North The united states?

Wasko: The e-Town class is dominating the Eu marketplace in keeping with the popularity that they’re crucial approach of transportation. eTrekking and eMTB additionally account for main marketplace stocks. 

In america, the marketplace is extra fragmented. Right here we see many e-bikes aimed at recreational, however e-bikes for town and transportation use are rising all of a sudden, as is the eMTB marketplace.

Throttle e-bikes don’t play any function in Europe as a result of they fall outdoor the definition of EPACs (electrically energy assisted cycles), while they’re vital within the U.S. marketplace. 

Within the U.S., Elegance 3 e-bikes have a marketplace percentage of 10 to fifteen%. In Europe, they’re underrepresented and handled as a motorized car requiring further licensing and approval. 

Mid-drive motor supplied e-bikes dominate the Eu marketplace, and they’re seen as crucial mode of transportation. Eu customers are keen to pay extra, and gross sales costs are upper. The typical gross sales worth in Europe’s core markets (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) is $2,700 in comparison to $1,800 in america.

The EU additionally has a extra uniform regulatory construction in terms of e-bikes. 

BRAIN: What norms and requirements from the EU do you want to look followed right here?

Wasko: There are a variety of related norms and requirements in Europe associated with e-bikes, most significantly EN 15194 and ISO 4210.

EN 15194 covers not unusual hazards and unsafe occasions associated with e-bikes. It’s the first complete certification for e-bikes and their built-in electronics. It covers mechanical protection, electromagnetic compatibility, and electric protection.

Within the U.S., the CPSC simplest recommends voluntary requirements from organizations together with ASTM, ANSI, and UL, however no longer EN requirements. The CPSC is acutely aware of EN 15194 and ISO 4210, however their engagement is restricted to UL requirements. Their team of workers actively participated within the building of UL 2849, the voluntary usual for electric methods for e-bikes. 

With e-bikes changing into extra essential within the U.S., Bosch would respect the CPSC changing into extra concerned within the subject of e-bike protection requirements. 

In 2018, the company issued a letter that “steered” producers and vendors of self-balancing scooters (hoverboards) to promote simplest merchandise that agree to voluntary protection requirements like UL 2272, which is an ordinary for electric methods for private e-mobility gadgets. Bosch would respect a an identical means for e-bikes.

BRAIN: Why does Bosch really feel it can be crucial that protection requirements mirror all the e-bike method somewhat than simply the battery? 

Wasko: To acquire third-party NRTL (Nationally Known Trying out Laboratories) certification and compliance with quite a lot of voluntary UL requirements, corporations will have to undergo rigorous analysis and trying out. Being compliant with UL 2849 approach assembly constructional and take a look at necessities for combating electric, hearth, and surprise hazards. There also are quarterly unannounced inspections at production places through a third-party certification group.

UL 2849 has powerful purposeful protection necessities for battery packs and battery control methods, and it additionally addresses dangers related to the opposite elements of an e-bike method. Certification features a detailed analysis and trying out of the force unit, show unit, interconnecting cables and connectors, electric equipment, battery method and charger method mixtures.

Requirements comparable to UL 2849 are very important to make sure protection throughout the hundreds of cycles of fees and discharges. Trying out and validating the protection of battery packs and battery control methods is had to decrease the chance of fireside and electrical surprise.

Getting qualified to the program usual calls for an funding of each money and time. As a result, just a restricted selection of providers has taken those efforts. 

BRAIN: Why do you consider there will have to be larger federal regulatory oversight of e-bike batteries and e-bike methods in North The united states?

Wasko: Making an allowance for the evolving personality of e-bikes within the U.S., the bicycle {industry} must get engaged each on the native stage, comparable to with the New York Town Council, and on the federal stage with the CPSC, to create a baseline for requirements. CPSC will have to factor a security usual advice for e-bikes. The query is the scope of the usual. Will or not it’s restricted to batteries and chargers simplest or duvet all the method?

A method certification may just lower sourcing choices for bicycle producers preferring to buy e-bike elements one after the other. However manufacturers may just adopt the efforts to agree to UL 2849. From the Bosch point of view, simplest complete-system requirements can make sure that the best stage of protection. 

BRAIN: What are essentially the most vital regulatory, technological, and shopper desire variations within the EU market?

Wasko: The EU defines e-bikes as pedal cycles with help as much as 25 kph and a motor with a most steady rated energy of 250W. Cars with the next assisted velocity or throttle aren’t regarded as e-bikes.

Within the U.S., CPSC laws outline e-bikes as cars with operable pedals and an electrical motor of not up to 750W which supplies reinforce as much as 20 mph. Elegance 1 e-bikes are similar to “Powered Cycles” in Europe. Elegance 2 and Elegance 3 e-bikes fall outdoor the EU definition of an e-bike.

Mid-drive motors dominate the Eu marketplace. Customers are keen to pay extra, and customers be expecting extra with regards to potency, efficiency, and product existence. Within the U.S., on-line e-bike gross sales accounts for roughly 50% of the marketplace, while in Europe the majority of gross sales undergo bodily motorcycle retail outlets. 

For lots of causes together with their belief, e-bikes within the U.S. have no longer reached the adulthood stage of the Eu marketplace. The electrification price within the U.S. is round 8%, in comparison to a median of 23% in Europe, with established international locations achieving even 40-50%.

Fiscal regulation in Europe additionally supplies extra favorable e-bike tax advantages. In Germany staff can get corporate bicycles freed from source of revenue tax. The employer rentals the motorcycle, and the tax benefits can save the worker as much as 40%. There are nearly 300 tax-incentive and purchase-premium systems for biking throughout Europe. 

Whilst there are e-bike incentive systems at the state and town stage right here, as an example in Colorado and Vermont, and in Denver, there is not any federal tax credit score or rebate program. 

BRAIN: What issues do you notice with the three-class method?

Wasko: The type regulation which defines the 3 e-bike categories used to be created in 2014. States come to a decision which forms of motorcycle infrastructure each and every category can use. It additionally calls for that each one e-bike producers observe a category label with wattage to each and every e-bike to lend a hand regulation enforcement.

Effectively enforcing the category method calls for motion in 3 spaces, all of that have deficiencies: instructing customers, making sure that bicycle producers keep inside the energy and most velocity specs and observe the right kind label, and passion from regulation enforcement. 

Applied sciences have developed since 2014 and there are merchandise which now not fall into any category, comparable to e-bikes with throttles that offer energy as much as 20mph (Elegance 2) plus pedal-assist as much as 28mph (Elegance 3). How will have to such an e-bike be categorized?

BRAIN: BRAIN lately wrote in regards to the traits in hub drives as opposed to mid-drives, which concluded that hub motors have stoked shopper call for for e-bikes. Do you notice a time when Bosch will introduce a hub motor? 

Wasko: At Bosch, we’re incessantly gazing the marketplace and evolving applied sciences and traits. We’re acutely aware of the sturdy enlargement in Elegance 2 merchandise, particularly under $2,000. We see alternatives for Bosch in many alternative classes however can not remark additional.

BRAIN: BRAIN lately printed a tale about POW Motorbike and efforts to get manufacturers, outlets, and those who trip motorcycles engaged in pushing for local weather motion. What function will have to the {industry} play in lobbying governments for local weather motion?

Wasko: Whilst banding in combination as out of doors and biking industries to take on local weather alternate is a smart thought, it’s essential to first glance inward to our trade practices and provide chains. 

Decreasing our international footprint throughout all divisions is a significant initiative for Bosch. We’ve been carbon impartial since 2020. That mentioned, we have now a lot more formidable targets. If all of us make those efforts personally, and paintings in combination towards a extra sustainable long term, what a formidable message that may be to our governments. 

Editor’s be aware: Bosch’s declare of carbon neutrality is in keeping with its buy of “carbon offsets.” Critics say offsets aren’t legitimate greenhouse gasoline discounts.

Supply By means of https://www.bicycleretailer.com/industry-news/2022/12/13/bosch-calls-greater-federal-oversight-e-bike-electronics-and-batteries