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High profile and very well-established US brand Trek made something of a stir this week with the announcement of a moped-style e-bike. OK it was via its leisure and lifestyle arm Electra, but this is still a company that has always been very much attached to ‘bike-like’ bikes and e-bikes in more classic and established styles. That’s why it’s perhaps a little surprising to see it launch a model clearly following the trail blazed by the likes of Super 73 and their moped-style e-bikes.
We’ve already done a full review on another major US brand associated with the sportier end of the e-bike spectrum shifting focus in a similar way, in the form of Specialized’s Globe Haul ST and were impressed with the high quality twist that they put on their first ‘utility’ e-bike. It makes you wonder if more utility models are to come from Specialized and Trek / Electra and how they will bring their formidable R&D resources to bear on what is a relatively new area for both of them
Electra Ponto Go! – a moped style e-bike with throttle-control
Addmotor’s new e-trike
Mihogo Mini – a tiny e-bike that looks to do a whole lot
Are mandated battery standards on the way?
Yet more on the Van Moof bankruptcy saga
Riese and Muller’s innovative new e-bike boxes
Trek Launches the Electra Ponto Go! – A Moped-style E-bike with Throttle
Electra is the brand name for Trek’s bike and e-bike ‘lifestyle and recreation’ spin off and they have just launched their first throttle controlled, moped-style e-bike, the Ponto Go! that shows just how popular this style of machine is becoming, especially amongst the young. It has a bench seat and footpegs and a 350lb carrying capacity.
It looks a comfortable way of getting about too, for both riders and passengers with its 4” fat tyres and front suspension. Recommended height range is 4’10” to 6’2″ and it’s a Class 3 e-bike capable of 20 mph on throttle-only and 26 mph in pedal assist. It packs a 750W rear hub motor and a 650Wh lockable / removable battery. There’s a nod to full-on mopeds too with rear turn indicators and brake light.
It retails at $2699 and is available now.
Addmotor Launch Budget E-trike
Electric trikes are clearly a coming trend; with Lectric and Rad Power both launching good value models in the not too distant past. Now comes Addmotor’s CityTri E-310 trike – the company have many e-trikes in their range already but this is their lowest priced yet – it will be available to buy next month for $1999.
What’s more it’s a folding model with a 20mph top speed, a rear axle drive motor and a 960Wh battery. Whilst it’s pricier than some of the competition its higher speed and smaller wheels should make for a sportier ride – but beware of tipping!
Mihogo Mini Crowdfunds
The Mihogo Mini is a small bike that looks to do as much as it is possible to do for a small e-bike. The designers have crammed in the ability to fix a bag and basket to the front, a seat on the mainframe and another child seat on the rear. It has fold-down handlebars too and packs a large 768Wh battery with a quoted top speed of 22mph. Claimed weight is 19kg / 42 lbs (not surprising when you learn it has what looks to be a sturdily-constructed steel frame).
Up to 50% pre-launch crowdfunding discounts are available making the bike available from US$399 with estimated shipping in October 2023 – though of course the usual buyer beware caveats apply when purchasing via a crowdfunding campaign.
Is A National Compulsory Safety Standard for Micromobility Batteries on the Horizon?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission make the regulations on what standards consumer products should be made to in order to ensure public safety and their current public hearing is looking at lithium-ion battery safety – and of course it is this battery chemistry that is used on e-bikes and e-scooters in the US and around the world.
Firstly, there was broad agreement from the experts present that, as Mike Fritz of Human Powered Solutions put it, ‘mandatory safety standards regulating the integrity of lithium-ion battery packs are needed urgently; minimally, UL 2271 needs to be mandated immediately’.
Secondly there needs to be sufficient enforcement of any forthcoming rules – whether that’s policing imports or looking into what can be done about the many potentially substandard batteries that are already out there.
Van Moof Bankruptcy – The Saga Continues
For the past few weeks we have been following the twists and turns in the wake of global urban e-bike brand Van Moof declaring bankruptcy.
‘Micromobility, the global shared micromobility operator, has dropped out of the race to restart VanMoof, following the Dutch e-bike brand’s bankruptcy last month.’
This may well not be the last time we cover this as the report adds ‘Reports online suggest that a number of other parties remain in the running to takeover VanMoof, including Trek, KKR, who recently acquired the Accell Group, and an undisclosed German company. Some believe that VanMoof’s original founders, Taco and Ties Carlier, could be planning to lead a rebirth of the brand with outside investment.’
Riese and Muller’s New Bike Boxes Can be Reused up to 30 Times
‘The BikeBox from circular logistics, which Riese & Müller helped to develop, is made entirely of polypropylene, a material that is highly durable, resilient, easy to recycle and can be reused up to 30 times. This saves around 80% of CO2 compared to conventional packaging. The reusable BikeBoxes are the same size as the cardboard boxes used now. Once the eBikes are removed, the BikeBoxes are quick and easy to fold down so that they can be sent back via the usual transport routes. This reduces the accumulating volume of waste by 95%, which equates to around 880 tonnes of cardboard per year saved.’