I got to try out Honda’s new folding scooter, the Motocompacto, and despite feeling incredibly self-conscious riding it, it was a goofy thrill ride. I’ll have more impressions to share later, but one thing I was left wondering was how absolutely scuffed this thing is going to get after a few days in the city.
Taiwan’s oft-imitated battery-swapping scooter company never quite took the world by storm but continues to impress with urban e-transport options like this new CrossOver. It’s a swankier take on the Cake Ösa I reviewed last year, with its high ground clearance and oodles of cargo lashing points that help make city escapes that much easier.
Ever since declaring bankruptcy in the Netherlands, trustees have been trying to find a buyer to restart the e-bike industry darling that raised over €200 million in capital and ended up with total debts of €144 million on sales of over 200,000 electric bikes.
“We are now talking exclusively to one party,” says co-founder Taco Carlier in a leaked email sent to former staff, “We expect to announce a new owner and explain their plans for VanMoof within a few days.”
micromobility.com (formerly Helbiz) won’t be acquiring the bankrupt Dutch e-bike company, after the trustees in charge of VanMoof’s future turned down the company’s bid, according to a tweet from CEO Salvatore Palella. (He also suggested VanMoof’s founders may be trying to purchase the company through a shell company.) And Taiwanese bike manufacturer Giant also said it wasn’t in the running.
The trustees say there will be more news later this week. Previously, they said they’d select a single company and hammer out the final terms before announcing anything.
In my e-bike conversion feature, I talked about why I don’t trust the battery that came with the motor I put on my cargo bike. The wording from the warning section on a battery very similar to mine really drives home why:
ONLY CHARGE THIS BATTERY IN A PLACE WHERE YOU WOULDN’T MIND STARTING A FIRE. NEVER LEAVE A CHARGING BATTERY HOME ALONE. Some people put their battery and charger in a BBQ grill with the lid on so that if anything bad happens it would be contained. There are also ammo-boxes and safe, metal boxes for charging battery packs
It’s not that it’s bad advice (well, apart from not mentioning the importance of proper battery venting) — but it definitely underscores why you should buy from a reliable source with proper certificaton.
The conversion is tedious but not difficult if you have the right tools. Just expect the unexpected.
Micah Toll at Electrek, who knows more than anyone about e-bikes and the challenges US bicyclists face, had the same reaction I did to a pair of weekend NYT articles that mistakenly blame e-bikes for a rise in injuries and deaths among cyclists. Sure, some e-bikes go too fast, and young riders often lack experience with road rules, but make no mistake, the culprit is cars, and urban planners that design communities around them, not people.
Here, let Not Just Bikes explain:
After launching cheaper chain-driven configurations, Cowboy CEO Adrien Roose explains why his e-bike company won’t meet the same fate, despite all the similarities.
Electric bike maker Cowboy is in an intellectual property dispute over the new AdaptivePower feature it released in March via a free software update. Seems the company was originally developing the tech to automatically overcome resistance like wind and hills through a partnership with eBikeLabs before terminating the contract sometime last year. Unsurprisingly, eBikeLabs feels cheated. Coincidence? Decide for yourself after reading TechCrunch’s excellent explainer.
Can somebody teach me how to do this without real-life Ultrahand?
The full-size S4 and smaller X4 (pictured) cost $2,498 / £2,198 / €2,198 and start shipping in August. They arrive after the company said they’d skip the 4-series of e-bikes because the 5-series was such a major advancement.
$4,000 and a long list of features, but how many do you really need?