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Electric Delivery Bikes: The Future of Logistics?

Delivery bikes have become a common feature of our city streets. Ideally suited to densely populated urban areas, bikers deliver everything from takeaways to medical supplies. The addition of an electric motor only serves to increase their functionality, and the likelihood of them being an integral part of tomorrow’s logistics system. In this post, we will outline the role of eBikes in modern urban areas, and the advantages they hold over current methods of transport. 

 

The problem with vans 

In spite of a decline in private car ownership, urban congestion has increased over the last decade.

David Brown, CEO of Go-Ahead London (one of the companies that manage the capital’s buses), stated that traffic has increased by 14% across UK cities. This is likely a result of the rise of the ‘light commercial vehicle’; according to The Guardian, van journeys have increased by 25% in the past decade, due in part to a boom in online shopping. 

 

And they’re not just clogging up our roads, but also our lungs. Statistics from the Department of Business, Transport, and Industrial Strategy show that in 2018, the average emissions for vans were 262gCO2/km compared to 140gCO2/km for a diesel car, and 154CO2/km for a petrol car (ref. 1)  

 

Greener, free-flowing roads 

 

It’s clear, then, that vans are bad news. eBikes, on the other, could be the solution. Not only do they take up less space on our roads, but they also don’t emit greenhouse gases.

 

They’re also more than capable of dealing with the delivery capacity of vans. The Bicycle Association reports that as much as 30% of van deliveries could be shifted to eBikes right away, and this is only going to increase with changes in how cities are designed and how delivery companies operate. Rather than having large, out-of-town distribution centres, many online retailers will have smaller warehouses that are closer to densely-populated areas (Amazon already does this). The future of inner-city logistics is therefore likely to be built on a ‘micro’ network, with orders being fulfilled and delivered at a short distance from where they’re actually placed – ideal for electric delivery bikes. 

 

Saved costs 

 

Those opting to use electric bikes for their deliveries will also save money. Aside from not having to pay certain costs (including petrol, insurance, and license fees, to name just a few), eBike riders don’t have to stump up the ‘congestion charges’ that are imposed in various cities around Europe. It’s also worth noting that eBikes can be significantly cheaper to buy than vans and other modes of delivery transport, and are often quicker to repair. 

 

Flexibility 

 

Electric bikes can be used for delivery across numerous sectors. A study by The University of Antwerp has highlighted all of the possible market segments of e-cargo bikes for more sustainable distribution in the future: 

  • The gig economy – To deliver app-based services such as those provided by Deliveroo, JustEat, and UberEATS. 
  • Courier services – To deliver individual packages from A to B, for a single client. 
  • UCC partner – As mentioned, to deliver packages from urban consolidation centres (UCCs) to nearby consumers. 
  • Postal – To fulfil postal deliveries, working as subcontractors or integrators of services. 
  • Service vehicles – To act as the principal means of transport for small-scale service providers, such as plumbers, electricians, or bike repair technicians. 
  • Delivery services – To deliver the products of SMEs, such as flower shops, bakeries, and grocery stores.

 

Electric bikes have multiple uses. Alongside helping to improve our commutes and keep us fit, they can actually be used to deliver items to our homes and workplaces. As a cheaper, greener alternative to vans and cars, and more in-line with the way cities are developing, electric delivery bikes are only going to become more popular in urban areas. 

 

If you’re looking for the next generation of electric delivery bikes, then consider FuroSystems. Inspired by the precision engineering of aeronautical design, our ebikes offer unrivalled performance and riding experience – whether they’re being used for work or play. The Furo Sierra can take on mountain paths as well as city streets, whilst the Furo X is one of the lightest folding eBikes on the market. 

 

References

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/726911/2018_methodology_paper_FINAL_v01-00.pdf (pages 38 and 54) 

 

Urban air quality after the lockdown: How eBikes can help

Over the past few weeks, the world has been on lockdown. Travel has been restricted, restaurants, cafes, and other public places are closed, and the streets are virtually empty. It’s a strange and stressful time for most of us, but there is one silver lining of being forced to stay at home. Less activity means less pollution, and the air quality of major cities has been drastically improved. Not only does this give the Earth a welcome respite, but it could also lead to a drastic change in attitudes towards emissions and our common modes of transport. 

 

Changes in air quality

 

In London, Birmingham and other large urban areas in the UK, nitrous oxide (NO2) and tiny particle pollution have dropped by approximately 33%, with some areas seeing drops of up to 50%. London’s air quality in particular is now at the lowest level since the year 2000 when the population was 2 million less than it is today! Nitrous oxide and tiny particle pollution are “the two air pollutants that have the biggest health impacts on people”, according to the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. Poor air quality is estimated to cause 110 premature deaths every single day, and that’s just in the UK. 

 

It’s not just the UK that has seen improvements, the air quality in major cities around the world is strikingly better. Cities like Milan, New Delhi, and Jakarta are enjoying noticeably better air and clearer skies, which can be seen in these side-by-side images. Perhaps the most striking outcome is that the Himalayas are now visible from 125 miles away in parts of India for the first time in 30 years! 

 

Change in attitudes

 

These improvements in air quality show three things. Firstly, it very clearly shows just how polluting our current methods of transport are. Secondly, it shows that our cities (and the wider planet) can recover very quickly if we stop adding pollutants to the air. And thirdly, it shows that we need to seek alternative methods of personal transport for the masses because our current methods (specifically cars) aren’t sustainable in their current form. Something needs to change, for the sake of our lungs and our planet. It’s a sentiment that’s shared by Dr Benjamin Barratt of King’s College London

 

Electric bikes could be the solution we’re all looking for, and we aren’t just saying that because we make them! 

 

Electric bikes are an emission-free mode of transport, and they’re more accessible than regular bikes thanks to the motor’s assistance. Those who may not feel fit enough to complete their entire commute by bike, or those who may have felt vulnerable while cycling on roads, can now enjoy the pleasure of riding a bike without having to solely rely on their own power. 

 

Ebikes are still an excellent form of exercise, with studies showing that an ebike has a comparable effect on the rider’s heart rate and calories burned as a regular bike. With more people riding eBikes, there’ll also be less congestion in cities during rush hour (since a bike takes up far less space than a car). Not to mention how much cleaner the air can be, especially in major cities like London. You can read more about the benefits of electric bikes here

 

We hope that the recent improvement in air quality leads to a change in attitudes toward electric bikes. We hope that more people see the benefits of these brilliant machines, and what they can do for our cities and our health. 

 

If you want to be a part of the future of transport today, then check out our range of electric bikes. They’re all emission-free and road legal in the UK, making them the perfect way to get around the city. Our Furo X is one of the most powerful folding eBikes you can buy, making it fun, fast, and practical. Perfect for commutes, leisurely weekend bike rides, and everything in between. 

 

Electric mountain bikes vs Mountain bikes

 

 

The advent of electric mountain bikes has been a bone of contention within the mountain bike (MTB) community. Some people see using an electrically-assisted mountain bike as cheating, whereas others think they’re a great evolution in biking and that there’s room for both eMTB riders and MTB riders. Here we discuss some key differences between electric mountain bikes and traditional mountain bikes to help you decide whether you should buy one.

 

Target audience

Mountain bikes are aimed at a very particular niche. People who love cycling off-road, and those who are fit enough and experienced enough to ride over such dangerous terrain safely. It takes a lot of practice to get good, and it’s an exciting but also very gruelling activity. Electric mountain bikes aim to open up the activity to more people.

 

They’re aimed at those who are less experienced at cycling off-road, or perhaps older people who wouldn’t feel comfortable going off-road without some electrical assistance. Even experienced mountain bikers who are recovering from an injury can enjoy the benefits of an electric motor. It also opens up the activity for your friends and loved ones, who want to join you on your mountain bike adventures but aren’t able to keep up. E-mountain bikes lower the barriers to entry for mountain-biking so more people can enjoy it.

 

Do more with an electric mountain bike

Following on from the previous point, as well as allowing more people to take part in mountain biking, e-mountain bikes allow even experienced riders to do more than they otherwise could. With assistance from the electric, you can ride faster, travel further, and conquer tougher terrain. Peaks that were previously out of reach can now be reached, and steeper inclines are easier to ascend now you don’t have to rely solely on your own power.

 

Electric mountain bikes allow many people to do more within the sport of mountain biking than they otherwise could. Purists may see it as cheating, we see it as technology helping us to achieve more than we previously thought possible. Is sending an email “cheating” when compared with writing a letter by hand? Of course not!

 

As a form of exercise

A criticism that mountain bike enthusiasts may have regarding electric mountain bikes is that they’re a less effective form of exercise. The claim is that the electric motor takes much of the strain away from the rider, thus making the activity less of a workout. The logic makes sense, but is this actually the case? A good way to test this is to compare the average heart rates of a person riding a mountain bike vs an e-mountain bike. One experiment did just that, and found that the heart rates are almost identical, suggesting that both vehicles are an excellent form of exercise. Riders shouldn’t be worried about skimping on exercise if they choose an electric mountain bike over a traditional mountain bike.

 

Weight difference

The battery and motor of electric mountain bikes add considerable weight, so much so that they can be twice as heavy as traditional mountain bikes. You’ll certainly notice this when you have to carry or push the bike over rocks, a stream, or even up some stairs. That being said, when you’re actually riding the bike, you’ll hardly notice the added weight thanks to the motor. The assistance provided will carry the lion share of the extra weight, so it’s effectively cancelled out. Also, the added weight may actually give you more stability and control when riding downhill.

 

Battery vs no battery

A natural concern that many may have in with regards to the battery life. With a traditional mountain bike, you only need to worry about your legs running out of juice. An electric mountain bike brings with it some more potential worries. What if you forget to charge it fully before setting off for a day on the hills? And what if the battery runs out while you’re miles from anywhere?

 

The truth is, ebike batteries are excellent nowadays, and they’re likely to last longer than you can! It may take some extra organisation to ensure your bike is fully charging before you embark on your journey, but it’s unlikely to run out of battery before you call it a day. Plus, if the worst should happen and your battery does die before you’re finished, it’s still a fully-functioning bike – you can just ride it home! You won’t have any assistance, of course, but you won’t need to push it by hand.

 

At their core, both mountain bikes and their electric cousins are very similar in how they’re used. While electric mountain bikes cater for a wider audience, there’s no need to see them as a “challenger” to traditional mountain bikes. There’s space for both in the world, and electric mountain bikes may act as a gateway to mountain bikes for some people. If you’re interested in buying an electric mountain bike, check out our very own Sierra. An extremely powerful, rugged yet comfortable e-mountain bike.

How old do you need to be to ride an electric bike?

For many people, riding a bike as a child is one of their fondest memories. The freedom, the speed, the excitement! The only thing that could possibly be better than riding a bike is riding a bike with an electric motor. Nowadays, it’s not just a childhood fantasy – electric bikes are real and becoming more and more accessible. However, before you go rushing to buy an electric bike for your child, it’s important to consider the legality of riding an electric bike at certain ages. Here we discuss how old a person must be to ride an electric bike.

 

Electric bikes are classed as Electronically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) by authorities. The current UK law surrounding EAPCs states that riders must be at least 14 years of age when using them on the roads. Therefore, it’s illegal in the UK for children under 14 to ride electric bikes.

 

People have considered ways to get around this law, such as by riding the ebike with the battery switched off. This, however, is illegal. Once a battery has been fitted to a bike, there’s the potential for it to be turned on and used, so children under 14 years of age still aren’t allowed to ride.

 

What about riding off-road, such as on bridle paths in the countryside? There’s currently no law regarding the use of electric bikes on bridle paths, but the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRE) states that there’s a tacit implication that people should comply with the road laws whilst on bridle paths.

 

Children under 14 are, however, allowed to ride electric bikes on privately-owned land, at the owner’s discretion. Private land isn’t subject to the Road Traffic Act, so this is one way to allow children to enjoy ebikes. We would recommend, however, that you use good judgement to determine whether it’s actually a good idea to allow your child to ride a power-assisted bike. Regardless of the law itself, there is a safety concern for young riders – ensure they’re skilled and responsible enough to ride, even if you do have permission to use private land.

 

Reason for the law

You may be surprised by this ruling, given that EAPCs are treated the same as regular, non-powered bikes in the eyes of the law. Children under 14 are allowed to ride bikes, so why not electric bikes? According to the Department for Transport, it’s all down to safety.

 

There’s a level of skill and responsibility required when riding a power-assisted vehicle, and the more powerful the vehicle, the more skill and responsibility required. The minimum age at which people can ride a moped is 16. “This was reduced to 14 years old for EAPCs” due to their lower power and less risk involved compared with mopeds (and other powered vehicles). Additionally, the youngest riders of powered vehicles are statistically the most at-risk of injury, so these laws are in place to protect young riders.

 

What is the punishment for riding an electric bike while underage?

Being caught riding an electric bike whilst under the age of 14 carries a fine under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a relatively minor offence, but the fine is enough to make parents and guardians abide by the law.

 

Electric bike age limits in Europe

How does the UK’s approach compare with the rest of Europe? Interestingly, there are no age restrictions on the use of ebikes in the EU. However, this doesn’t mean we recommend you take your child abroad to ride to their heart’s content. Exercise good judgement and ensure anyone under 14 years of age (or any age for that matter) is proficient and comfortable enough on a traditional, non-power-assisted bike before they upgrade to an ebike. Safety first!

 

The UK’s law against minors riding ebikes exists for a reason – safety. Electric bikes are tremendous fun and one of the best ways to get from A to B. They’re fast, emission-free, and a great form of exercise. Check out our very own Furo X, one of the most powerful ebikes on the market – you won’t find a better way to get around town.

The do’s and don’ts of eBike modifications

Once you’ve got your hands on a brand new electric bike, you’ll want to explore everything it can do. Whilst it’s already amazing straight out of the box, you might start tinkering around with it to get the ride you’re looking for. In this post, we tell you what to think about when modifying your electric bike. 

 

eTuning 

The lithium batteries used for electric bikes pack a serious punch. Whilst they’re intended to only provide assistance as you’re pedalling, they’re capable of much more – but this doesn’t come without significant risk.

 

Manufacturers of eBikes limit the output of batteries to 250 Watts and place an automatic cutout on the motor assistance as soon as the speed of the bike surpasses 25 km/h (15.5 mph). 

 

Certain devices, however, are able to bypass these restrictions in order to reach higher speeds. One such device is attached between the wheel magnet sensor and the bike’s computer unit, and it essentially manipulates the speed at which the bike believes it’s travelling. This prevents it from cutting out at the legal limit of 25 km/h, and allows the motor to push the bike to much faster speeds. 

 

As fun as this might sound, there are a number of problems with this particular eMod. The first is that it’s illegal; electric bikes are currently classed as Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) in the eyes of the law, and the speed limit of 25 km/h is a strict condition for this classification. Anything faster, and the bike would be classed as a scooter for legal purposes, with everything that entails – licences, insurance, safety etc. 

 

Tampering with the battery’s limits may also invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty. If anything else on your bike goes faulty and you’ve tried to tamper with the motor’s limits, then you won’t be covered. 

 

Our advice is – if it’s speed you’re looking for, pedal harder or have a go at an e-bike mountain trail. You don’t want to ruin your electric bike (or your criminal record!) by messing with the motor. 

 

Fat Tyres  

A much more doable modification is to add fat tyres to your eBike. If you’re a regular biker, you may have noticed these whilst out and about on mountain tracks. They’re thick, almost-comically large tyres intended to help the grip of the bike and make the ride feel more ‘floaty’. Although they were originally designed to help bikes ride over snow, they’ve gained something of a cult status these days – they seem to be as popular in the city as they are up in the mountains. In any case, they can be added to your electric mountain bike to help you duck and weave your way down those highland trails, or the rush-hour traffic. 

 

Gears 

Another aspect of your eBike you can customise are the gears. Whilst many out-of-the-box eBikes are perfectly fine to ride with the gear setups already installed (Furo’s Sierra has an impressive 9 speeds), there’s always the possibility to change it to suit your own riding preferences without comprising the assistance given by the electric motor. 

 

One idea is to change the gear ratio between the front and back of the bike. As a general rule, the more gears you have at the front, the harder pedalling will be but the faster you’ll be able to go. More gears on the back of the bike, on the other hand, makes riding easier in general, but harder in reaching faster speeds. Most eBikes will be able to handle either setup and the battery-powered motor will assist when needed. 

 

Alternatively, you could even transform your eBike into a fixed-gear bike. A hipster favourite around the streets of London, a ‘fixie’ relies on only one gear and has no freewheel. The result is a bike which has a minimalist look but can be more difficult to ride at times (especially uphill). With a little nudge from an electric motor, however, you can look cool and get from A to B without breaking a sweat. 

 

Once you’ve had your eBike for a little while, you might want to customise it to make it stand out on the road. If you’re looking to add a personal touch to yours, we’d recommend keeping away from the electric motor and instead focusing on other parts like the tyres and gears. 

 

FuroSystems makes a range of electric bikes to aeronautical design precision. Our eBikes offer commuters a fast, efficient, and green way to travel to-and-fro. Check out the Furo X – the first ever full-carbon folding electric bike. 

 

Electric bike terminology explained: Jargon busting

The world of electric bikes is filled with jargon and it can all be a little confusing to those who are new to it. We hope to clear up some uncertainty by explaining the keys terms you’re likely to hear when researching electric bikes.

 

Types of electric bikes:

First off, not all electric bikes are created equal. There are a few different types of electric bike, and they have certain features that set them apart from each other.

 

Pedelec (or EAPC)

A Pedelec, otherwise referred to as an electrically assisted pedal cycle (EAPC) is what many people think of when they hear the term “ebike”. It’s a bike with a motor that assists the rider’s pedalling – it does not provide assistance unless the rider is pedalling. In the UK and Europe, Pedelecs are limited to a power output of 250W (we’ll discuss this unit later) and 15.5mph (25kph), meaning the motor will switch off if the bike exceeds this speed. They’re legal to ride, treated exactly like a traditional pushbike in the eyes of the law. Our Furo X is a perfect example.

 

S-Pedelec

An S-Pedelec is much like a Pedelec, the key difference being the speed at which the electric motor switches off. S-Pedelecs assist the rider up to speeds of (45kph) and have a power output of 500W. Given this high-speed capability, they’re not legal for general use. In order to use one in Europe and the UK, riders will need to register and insure the vehicle, and possess a driving licence. And yes, the “S” stands for Speed.

 

E-mountain bikes

E-mountain bikes (E-MTBs) are simply electric mountain bikes. As a result, they’re hardier than other ebikes, with better suspension, different tires and braking systems, and additional weight-carrying capabilities. As long as they conform to the EAPC standards, they’re legal to ride in the UK and Europe. Take our very own Sierra as an example.

 

Twist & Go bikes

Twist & Go bikes are bikes that you do not need to pedal in order to make them move. Much like a motorbike or moped, you simply twist the throttle in order to go (hence the name). These aren’t road legal in the UK and are treated the same as motorbikes due to the lack of pedalling involved.

 

Motor:

The motor is a key component of an ebike. It’s the part that converts electrical energy, supplied by the battery, to mechanical energy. In other words, it uses the electricity supplied by the battery to help make the ebike move.

The following are terms that are closely associated with motors.

 

Power

Power is the rate of “doing work” or transferring energy over time. The more power a motor produces, the more energy it converts each second. To put it in context, more powerful ebikes are faster than less powerful ebikes because they produce more mechanical energy (or do “more work”) per second.

 

Watts (W)

Watts are a unit of measure used to describe the power output of a motor. The standard way of measuring power is in Watts.

 

Torque

Torque is the rotational power of the motor. The higher the torque, the more turning power the motor produces, and the better the bike is at assisting the rider. Torque is particularly important when travelling uphill.

 

Newton-metres (Nm)

Newton-metres are a unit of measure used to describe the torque output of a motor. In other words, torque is measured in Newton-metres.

 

Battery:

The battery is the other key component of an ebike. It’s the part that supplies electrical energy to the motor. The following terms are closely associated with batteries.

 

Lithium-ion batteries

While there are many types of batteries, most ebikes use lithium-ion batteries (including our ebikes). They’re a type of rechargeable battery that’s very lightweight for the energy it provides. Lithium-ion batteries can be found in a range of electrical devices, including smartphones and laptops.

 

Range

The range is simply the distance an ebike can travel one a single charge. The range of an ebike will be affected by the size of the battery, how efficiently it uses power, its weight, the terrain on which you’re riding, the incline, and even the direction and strength of the wind.

 

Volts (V)

A volt is the standard unit of measure to describe electrical potential between two points. In other words, voltage is the energy per unit of charge. It’s the “push” that moves electrical charges from one point to another (giving us a current).

 

Watt-hours (Wh)

Watt-hours are the unit of measurement used to describe a battery’s capacity. The higher the Watt-hours, the higher the capacity of the battery, and therefore the greater the range of the ebike (as a general rule).

 

Amps (A)

Amps are the standard unit of measurement for current, which is the rate of flow of electrical charge. The higher the amps, the faster the flow of electrical charge.

 

Ampere-hours (Ah)

Ampere-hours are a unit of measure that describes the rate of the flow of current over time. It can be thought of as the amount of energy that passes a particular point in an hour, and is often used to describe a battery’s capacity.

 

Other features:

As well as the technical, scientific terms, there are a number of features that are common to most ebikes. It’s helpful to be aware of them when you’re researching which ebike you should buy.

 

Walk assist

Walk assist is a useful feature that helps riders to move their ebike around when they’re unable to ride, or help them to start riding. The motor accelerates the ebike to a speed of approximately 6kph, making it easier when walking with the bike or when you’re just starting to pedal. It’s especially useful when you’re setting off on an incline.

 

Regenerative braking

Regenerative braking is another innovative feature that improves the energy efficiency of an ebike. When braking, kinetic energy is lost as you slow down. With regenerative braking, the ebike will store this energy instead of allowing it to be lost. In essence, it charges the battery a little each time you use the brake.

 

We hope this guide is useful and helps you to make a more informed choice of electric bike. Start by checking out our very own Furo X, one of the most powerful folding ebikes you can buy!

Coronavirus Chaos: How to move around London without risk

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the world into disarray. In the UK, as elsewhere, the government has placed severe restrictions on movement. Restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, and just about any other location where gatherings could potentially take place have been closed down, whilst home working has been recommended for all but a handful of ‘key workers’.  

 

The message from Prime Minister Boris Johnson is loud and clear –’Stay at home’. If you happen to be one of these key workers, however, you may be left wondering how you can get to work without the risk of picking up or spreading coronavirus. 

 

The latest reports from London show that tubes and trains are still packed during rush hour – perfect conditions for this disease to pass from person to person. As fewer services are running and stations closed, those who do have to travel around the capital (and many that don’t) are cramming into carriages. 

 

In order to prevent the spread of this disease and the NHS from being overwhelmed, two things need to happen: firstly, we repeat, stay at home; secondly, seek other ways of moving around the capital that are less risky. 

 

As it happens, we might just know the ideal alternative to the tube during this troubled time. 

 

Pedalling against the pandemic 

If you’re a key worker, one of the most secure ways to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19 on your commute is by getting on a bike. Now, you could use a standard old-fashioned bike, but this pandemic has caught you unaware and you might not be in the best shape to pedal across the capital. An eBike is the answer, and here’s why. 

 

  • Motor-assistance – Electric bikes are fitted with lithium-battery-powered motors that assist you up to a maximum speed of 15.5 mph. This means you can get to your workplace without breaking a sweat, and probably faster than you would with the tube anyway. 
  • Sustainability – Electric bikes are an environmentally-friendly way of getting around. Whilst pollution has plummeted in London since the beginning of the outbreak, riding an eBike certainly won’t dirty the capital’s air. 
  • Reliable – TfL has closed more than 40 stations around London, and reduced most services to a weekend rota. Although it’s committed to ensuring key workers are able to reach their destinations, travel is likely to be disrupted. With an electric bike, however, commuters can take control and be where they need to without delays. 

 

Cycling tips during coronavirus 

Cyclists must adhere to the normal rules regarding the coronavirus outbreak. This includes regularly washing hands, not touching your face, and severely limiting social contact. A specific consideration for cyclists is to be wary of touching handlebars, helmets, and any other equipment. Preliminary research has shown that the virus can live on surfaces from anywhere between a few hours to days, so it’s highly advisable to wash your hands as soon as you’ve finished your ride to your workplace or home. 

 

Everyone must do what they can to stop the spread of coronavirus. For most, this means staying inside and avoiding all but the most essential contact with people from other households. For others, especially those deemed as ‘key workers’, this means reducing the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Alongside thorough hygiene practices, choosing alternative modes of travel like an electric bike will help to stop the spread of this disease. 

 

FuroSystems make a range of electric bikes to aeronautical design precision. Our eBikes offer commuters a fast, efficient, and green way to travel to-and-fro. Check out the Furo X – the first ever full-carbon folding electric bike. 

Our service and commitment towards the COVID-19 outbreak

During these times of uncertainty and as the world enforces the necessary actions to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak from spreading catastrophically, with the ultimate goal of saving lives, we have also taken action to help towards this global effort.

Where possible or necessary, our staff is currently working from home. As a digital brand, this is very easy for us to implement while maintaining our outstanding level of support and customer service. The safety of our team and customers being our top priority, we currently do not offer trials on any of our products. This is constantly being reviewed. Our workshops are still manned with the minimum amount of staff possible in order to guarantee no internal social interactions but still deliver our customer support, spare parts and repairs.

In addition, thanks to the actions taken by UPS towards embracing global COVID-19 health and safety regulations while still maintaining an effective network around Europe, we are currently able to ship and dispatch any order as per usual.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call or message us, we are here to help!

Electric scooters to take to UK roads legally for the first time

Back in January, the Government announced that it would discuss the legality of electric scooters on public roads. Since then, progress has been made with the Department of Transport unveiling plans for a trial period.

 

Starting in the next few months, four areas will be treated as test grounds before new regulations are rolled out to the rest of the country. 

 

The four areas chosen are all designated ‘Future Mobility Zones’, where new and innovative solutions to the UK’s transport problems are trialled. These include: Portsmouth and Southampton; the West of England Combined Authority (WECA); Derby and Nottingham; and the West Midlands.

 

Various rules and restrictions will be assessed during the test period. Amongst them, the programme will consider the minimum age of riders, speed limits, rules for helmet wearing, and requirements for insurance and licensing. 

 

It’ll also look at minimum design standards for electric scooters, and assess the safest places for riders on the road (i.e bike lanes). 

 

Whilst all aspects of riding electric scooters on the road will be under consideration, it’s likely that the eventual rules will be similar to those currently in force for electric bikes. This includes a minimum age of 14 for riders and speed caps of 15.5 mph (25 kph). 

 

The programme will also benefit from insights gained from other EU countries that have already legalised electric scooters for use on public roads. Issues such as inner city speed limits and where to park dockless electric scooters in public spaces will be informed from the experience of European cities like Paris, and will ultimately help to refine the UK’s approach to legislation. 

 

The exploration into more agile, electric vehicles by the UK government represents a commitment to more environmentally-friendly ways of travel – especially in urban environments. 

 

Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, stated: 

“Decarbonising transport is key to ending our contribution to climate change. This review could drive down transport emissions by making greener ways to travel available to more people. Future Transport Zones will also help to spur low carbon innovation by providing our best and brightest researchers with testing facilities for the clean transport technologies of the future.”

 

Alongside the trialling of electric scooters on public roads, other technology-led transport solutions will be tested out. This includes the transportation of medical supplies via drone to the Isle of Wight and an app-based booking system for public transport. 

 

FuroSystems welcomes this announcement which sees the UK move closer to legalising electric scooters for public roads up and down the country. We’re well aware of the benefits that electric scooters can bring, and we’re confident that our Fuze model is ahead of the curve both in terms of quality and sustainability. 

 

To keep up-to-date with news from the trial, and other tips on how to use and maintain your electric scooter, check our blog regularly. 

Can you take an electric bike on a plane?

Ebiking holidays are growing in popularity with many people taking to the pathways and trails of Europe for some sightseeing and adventure. If you own an electric bike, you’ve likely considered such a trip; flying to Spain or France to enjoy the wonderful cycling routes they have to offer. However, taking your electric bike on the plane with you won’t be as easy as you’d hope. Here we discuss the problems you’ll run into when trying to take an electric bike on a plane and ways to get around them. 

 

In short, the answer is no: you can’t take an electric bike on a plane. It’s all because of the battery. Any rechargeable lithium battery larger than 100Wh is prohibited from being taken onto a plane. Some airlines may allow batteries that are up to 160Wh, but you’ll need to ask for permission in advance. The reason being that lithium batteries can be a fire hazard; if their shell were to be damaged or overheat, the battery could short-circuit and cause a spark. Lithium is highly flammable, so this spark could set it on fire and could even cause a small explosion. Of course, most modern lithium-ion batteries are designed in a way so as to prevent such issues. However, aviation security cannot take any chances. 

 

A fire in the cargo hold could spread unnoticed and there’s a good chance that it will come into contact with other highly-flammable items such as aerosols and nail varnish. This is obviously a huge problem on a plane. And it happens more often than you’d imagine. In fact, between January 2006 and January 2020, there were 268 incidents involving lithium batteries on planes – that’s more than one every month! 

 

This regulation, however, allows for most personal items, such as phones, laptops, and cameras, to be taken on planes. The problem is that electric bike batteries tend to be a minimum of 300Wh – our smallest electric bike, the Etura, is 313Wh. Therefore, they’re banned from being flown on commercial planes. 

 

Alternatives to flying with an electric bike

 

Your hopes of taking your electric bike with you abroad shouldn’t be dashed just yet; there are ways of getting around the issue. 

 

Rent a battery once you arrive

 

A popular option is to remove the battery and fly with what is essentially just a normal bike. Once you’ve arrived, you can source a battery to use for the duration of your trip. There are a couple of things to consider here. Firstly, do your research before you fly and make sure you can actually find a lender. It’s not the most common of services, so be sure to check. If you’re flying to a popular cycling destination then your chances of finding a lender will be significantly higher. Secondly, you need to ensure that the battery is compatible with your particular electric bike. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as “one size fits all”, so you’ll need to do some research here too. 

 

While this may seem like a lot of effort, it’s going to be significantly cheaper than hiring an entire ebike for your trip. Biking trips can last several days, even weeks, so hiring fees for an electric bike can be pretty steep. 

 

Ship your battery separately

 

In some circumstances, it’s possible to send your bike’s battery to your destination, but it will come with a hefty fee. Certain couriers, such as FedEx and UPS, provide detailed information on how your battery must be packaged and how to go about sending it abroad. For example, it must be declared as “Dangerous Goods” and labelled as being suitable for cargo aircraft only. It must also be packaged in such a way that it is protected against short-circuiting. It can be quite a hassle, but if you’re really set on taking your own battery with you, there is a way. 

 

Use another form of transport

 

If it’s possible, the best option may be to use an alternative mode of transport. For example, there are no restrictions on taking electric bikes on ferries. You can take the ferry from the UK to mainland Europe, places like France or Belgium, and then continue the rest of your journey by car (or by ebike!). This does limit the number of destinations you can choose from, but it may save you a lot of hassle. 

 

Don’t let these regulations discourage you from the electric bike experience. We’re firm believers that parts of the world are best seen by bike, and electric bikes provide the assistance you need to conquer inclines that you otherwise might not be able to. Our Furo X is a powerful ebike, boasting a 314Wh battery, which can also be folded for easy transportation. It’s one of the most powerful folding ebikes you can buy and is perfect for any occasion. Get in touch with us if you have any ebike-related questions. 

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