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VanMoof is launching a 50km/h e-bike and it wants new speed limits to accommodate it

8 comments

1 month 2 weeks ago

Double the speed half the travel time ...so a 3 mile trip at 15.5 mph is what 12 mins at 30 mph its six minutes and the reality is in a city where will you be travelling at vmax for the entire journey ?
If manufacturers want to sell more, they should concenrate on , inbuilt weather protection as that is a far more desirable from a consumer perspective than having a fast bike , which is dangerous and unuseable on a bike path a large majority of the time.

 

1 month 2 weeks ago

Interesting point about 20 mph speed limits and pedelecs being limited to 16 mph. Aligning the two might avoid conflict between road users.  But faster electric assist bikes takes them away from normal unpowered cycles.

 

A 30 mph electric moped that wouldn't require a new driving licence, helmet, annual MOT and insurance. Plus could be parked anywhere (like a bicycle) would be attractive. 

1 month 2 weeks ago

Its also worth reviewing against the increasing use of 20mph urban speed limits partially due to the risk to vunerable road users.  Why on earth are they building a bike that significantly increases the chances of killing someone, but isnt big enough to include safety devices and crumple zones?

1 month 2 weeks ago

@Xernobyl 

"You can limit their speed on bike lanes, and fine them, but outside the bike lane why not?"

Because if you design something that looks like a 25kmh bike it will be used like one - which means other ebike, foot scooter and bike users are being put at risk to sell a halo project and make a bigger profit margin.

Additionally the number of journeys that need the extra speed in a BIKE are limited. A moped/scooter fufils the brief just as well and is clearly identifiable as distingishable from a bike.

Lets get the sub 3 mile journeys sorted first.

 

1 month 2 weeks ago

I don't see why bikes should be artificially capped if cars are not. You can limit their speed on bike lanes, and fine them, but outside the bike lane why not? Even if you need some kind of insurance. Most ebikes cost more than mopeds. I don't see why they need to be capped.

1 month 2 weeks ago

Actually - I think this is just a techo-toy and agree with Sriracha, it's probably primarily for the publicity. Although I've heard a couple of companies recently testing the waters along the lines of "so you say we can keep selling electric bikes - OK, how close to a car can we make them?"

We suffer from occasional scrambler bikes in Edinburgh but no doubt if people buy them in Edinburgh the biker kids will nick them and we'll simply not get the audible warning! Nothing new under the sun.

1 month 2 weeks ago

I'm torn - I'd like it to be easier for people to do "small car" commutes by bike, now.  However this seems to be an example of a large company positioning themselves to push regulations to get to their vision of the future. This is a 30mph "cycle" which for casual riders is up to 10 times your power (assuming a medium distance level output - 100W - and their 1kW motor). Compared to a standard eBike which is more like bolting on a top amateur's legs (but lighter) to your own - and above 15mph it's back to you.

From an environmental perspective, yeah, better than car and even motorbike but those quotes:

"I am getting very excited thinking about what a city could look like in the near future"

It's not his responsibility, he just wants to sell new stuff. But on our governments - if we care about limiting the radical change to our children's future and having nicer cities:

  • Still the case that the majority of trips are short distance, a few miles.
  • We simply need to travel less.

This doesn't look much like the solution to that. Doesn't help much with "health" nor "carrying loads" especially. While I'm leery about speed limits for bikes 30mph doesn't sound so good if everywhere in the city? Current evidence from delimited motor scooters in the Netherlands and other not-yet-legal bikes / scooters shows the geofencing won't last long! Single-bike crashes are also a thing (if you couldn't get above 15mph yourself before 30 will blow your socks off). Finally - if you need to crack on by yourself at that sort of speed a velomobile will do pretty well and they can even carry some luggage too.

Is our vision limited to just "reinvent the car but smaller and battery rather than petrol"? Or rather - do the powers that be have any coherent vision of the future at all?

1 month 2 weeks ago

I don't understand VanMoof's argument. What is it about the Watts being electrical rather than liquid that they believe justifies a change to the existing legislative treatment? The relevant factors are power and performance, not the power source, and this machine falls into a different category to ebikes limited to 250W and 25k/hr assistance. I think they are just trying to muddy the waters, and perhaps garner some free publicity to burnish their image.