EPAC – Built for the Bike Lane
Electric Pedal Assist Cycle (EPAC) is the legal term for an electric bicycle in the European Union. It is quickly becoming the preferred jargon used to describe a class of vehicle that includes formats beyond just the obvious electric bike. An EPAC is a “pedelec” – from pedal electric cycle – and refers to an eBike, eTrike or similar where the pedal-assist electric drive system is limited to a decent but not excessive top speed, and where its motor is relatively low-powered. EPACs are legally classed as “bicycles” rather than low-powered motorcycles or mopeds and fit the definition for use in the bike lane.
EPACs like electric bicycles and tricycles continue to be the highest selling electric vehicle on the planet, with nearly 35 million unit sales in 2016. Improvements in lithium ion (Li-ion) battery technology is resulting in EPACs that are lighter, lower in cost, and remarkably less bulky then eBikes of yesteryear. Additionally, increasing urbanization rates and consumer trends towards moving away from cars for motorized local transportation are opening up more opportunities for alternative mobility devices. EPACs are uniquely positioned to be a primary benefactor of this trend since they are low in cost relative to cars, do not require licensing, and can take advantage of existing bicycling infrastructure.
LEV – Built for the roadway
Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) are one of the largest and fastest growing electric vehicle markets today. An LEV is a land vehicle propelled by an electric motor that uses an energy storage device such as a battery or fuel cell, has two or three wheels, motor power of around 4000 watts, an automatic gear box, and typically weighs less than 100kg. Consumers use LEVs in street traffic, next to cars and trucks.
LEVs lead the world in electric vehicle unit sales. Navigant Research’s projects that global plug-in EV sales will total about 1.1 million vehicles in 2017. In comparison, over 6 million LEVs are expected to be sold globally in the same year. Various LEV technologies are emerging to alleviate congestion, poor air quality, and lack of mobility options negatively affecting transportation markets around the world — attributes desired by government authorities and citizens alike. In contrast to private cars, LEVs occupy much less physical space, contributing less to traffic congestion and are more flexible with where they can travel and be parked. Additionally, these vehicles are more affordable than full-sized vehicles.
Market Size, 2014 – 2025
According to Navagant Research the combined European Union and North American markets for all LEVs, including eBikes, eMopeds, eMotorcycles and electric three-wheelers, is expected to grow from USD 20 billion in 2016 to over USD 50 billion in 2026
Key MARKET Drivers
- High urbanization rates
- Aggressive city energy policy
- Proliferation of bicycling infrastructure
- Consumer desire to move away from cars for motorized local transportation
- Improving battery technology enabling lighter e.bikes & e.trikes that are lower cost
- Increased production capacity
- Innovative & high-quality OEM components
- Consumers shifting away from low-quality & low-price
- Consumers favoring higher-quality, higher-priced & higher-performing EPACs & LEVs
- Consumers looking for alternative environmentally friendly modes of transportation
Deeper Market COntext
A NEW TRANSPORTATION
Society is at a Tipping Point – As 90% of all daily trips drop below 20 miles, urban congestion and gridlock hinders economic activity and blocks growth. With populations swelling, and 40% of those trips coming in at only 2 miles or less, building roads, subways and busses, while taking taxis, TNCs* and cars are slow, expensive, and politically charged answers to challenges of efficient & empowered local transportation. Interlinked with overcrowding and designed to limit the hard-hitting effects of climate change, cities are working to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency.
Emerging Solutions – Reallocating street space to bike lanes quickens movement, creating hyper-efficient networks based in personal freedom. These new thoroughfares allow three to six times more people to pass through city streets then cars and busses alone. Yet, 73% of city cyclists are dissatisfied with products that do not meet their everyday basic needs. Most bikes, e-bikes and mopeds force people to limit and adapt their behavior around stubborn, outdated and poorly engineered equipment that leaves the practical needs of local transportation riders largely unaddressed.
*transportation network companies like Juno, Lyft, Uber, & Gett
The Problem with
Pedelec e-bikes & e-mopeds are inclusive Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) technologies that extend the effective range and practical usefulness of a bike by greatly reducing rider effort. Yet, 73% of urban cyclists are dissatisfied with products that fail to meet their everyday needs. Manufacturers in this space universally copycat each other’s products. They offer derivative innovations that are essentially adaptations of pre-existing formats like analog road & mountain bikes or Vespa-like knockoffs. Real innovation is relegated to the component level, leaving the practical needs of consumers largely unaddressed. Products universally lack the cargo carrying, storage, safety, security features and aesthetic styling city dwellers deem necessary for viable daily use. Shopping, commuting, transporting kids, cargo or a second passenger on these inadequate e-bikes becomes cumbersome, limiting and unsafe.
A Generic Brand
As manufacturers and marketers straddle and copy each other’s brand images and product offering, they are forced to compete on price alone. As with the "normal" bike market, the e-bike and mopeds landscape is dominated by manufacturers building products that serve traditional categories like mountain, road or cargo bikes with products that look and function nearly identical. Lacking strong differentiation programs, unique product functionality or formats, these companies are forced into a low cost leadership strategy. Without the numerous logos and graphics blasting brand and product names, consumers are unable to distinguish one brand, product or price category from another.
OLD SCHOOL TRICYCLES
Tricycles are often associated with the small three-wheeled vehicles of our youth, yet adults also use them for a variety of purposes. In the US and Canada, tricycles are primarily used by older consumers for shopping and exercise. Trikes are defined by a clumsy utilitarian design and a wide wheelbase with a fixed axel format. In Europe, the market is vibrant and well developed. Consumers living in Amsterdam and Copenhagen use tricycles as family vehicles and cargo transporters. The format is widely accepted into the mainstream and generally feature a ‘wheelbarrow like’ aesthetic. In Asia and Africa, tricycles are primarily used for commercial transportation, either for passengers as pedicabs, or for freight and deliveries. As with all tricycles, these vehicles look utilitarian and no-frills.
Further defining this space, manufacturers and marketers spend excessive time, energy and dollars targeting the sporty, speed & tech-spec obsessed masculine consumer. So much so that 74% of women feel misunderstood by these marketers with 91% saying that advertisers don’t understand them at all.* Beyond the obvious inequities lies a critical error. Women account for 85% of all consumer purchase decisions and about 70% of car, scooter and LEV buying choices.* Responding to this, LOVARO is uniquely positioned with brand values, product design & consumer messaging that meet both the practical & emotional needs of these mainstream and plentiful consumers. Leading this market is LOVARO's unique opportunity.
Building new roads
The top 25 most populous cities account for more than half the world's wealth. To sustain this economic vitality and remain competitive, political leaders are implementing plans that enable unconstrained movement of both goods and people through their urban centers. Reallocating street space to bike lanes and cycling infrastructure quickens movement, creating hyper-efficient transit networks based in personal freedom. This initiative lets three to six times more people move through city streets then by car or bus alone.
Currently, two major global projects are focused on affecting the urban infrastructure change that LOVARO will safely ride on. President Clinton's Climate Initiative (CCI) and Michael Bloomberg’s Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) both mandate ‘Cycle Infrastructure Building’ as a primary action mayors and city leaders can immediately implement to produce climate change results. This policy is now being realized in 59 of the world’s biggest cities, literally paving the way for the LOVARO e-MotorTrike.
a new context for living
Placemaking the defined community – Increasingly, people are demanding pedestrian access to shopping, retail, entertainment and cultural districts. Certain axioms naturally guide how we feel about and value the places we live. Basic must-haves include a local community, heritage conservation, infrastructure efficiency, social access, regional integration, and a sense of human scale. When choosing cities to work in or communities to call home, people prefer defined communities that possess these qualities. Building these values into new or existing communities is called Placemaking, and is at the top of any developers list to remain competitive. These are LOVARO's frontline communities where our stop-and-go lifestyle of everyday commuting, shopping, shuttling kids and socialization will be quickly adopted.
Millennial Salvation – Further influencing change in the built environment, Millennials value places that promote health, happiness, connection with friends and a natural sense of well-being. Social live/work urban geographies are gaining ground over traditional suburban and exurban contexts they regard as isolating. The Millennial generation is naturally attracted to large urban centers like New York, London, Paris, and Amsterdam. They value living “in the thick of it all,” sacrificing space for more vibrant communities.
As this generation matures, small to midsized cities will become vital alternatives as many Millennials are priced out of first, second and third tier cities. Unconsciously, these settlers will bring the Placemaking values they prefer with them, setting the stage for the coming wave of Main Street revivals. As regional cities develop, they will increasingly offer the social, economic and lifestyle advantages of the urban core, but with the scale and freedom of a lower population pressure. Here, in places like Charlotte, San Antonio, Madison and Memphis people feel more in control of the community’s destiny, and thus have stronger ties to it. As people become ever more sophisticated and demanding of the places they live, LOVARO is betting that smaller but urbanized environments will become lucrative markets for the e-MotorTrike and the lifestyle of elegant mobility.
GEORGE STREET case study
The Australian province of New South Wales has begun work on a $2.1 billion Placemaking project that will bring light rail, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure to the heart of Sydney. The city is working closely with the NSW Government to create inviting public spaces where people want to live, shop, visit and do business. George Street, linking Randwick and Circular Quay, will undergo one of the biggest transformations ever seen in the city, with over $220 million already committed to Placemaking elements within the project.
The main George Street strip will be pedestrianized between Hunter and Bathurst streets where blended footpath/cycle tracts will be widened and defined by landscaping, seating areas and paving stones. Existing driveway access for buildings will be maintained while roads travelling east and west will remain open to vehicles. Delivery vehicles and taxis servicing the Hilton will travel along George Street as normal. Greater space for pedestrians and cyclists along the street will mean cafés and restaurants can introduce outdoor dining areas and retail pop-up shops. The revamped George Street will become an easy way to travel between key attractions from The Rocks and Circular Quay to the city center's retail heart and down to Chinatown. Light rail and cycle lanes will link hotels to the renewed Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre when it's completed.
This is a prime example of Placemaking in action, and is an emerging urban development trend being seen around the world. This is the domain of the e-MotorTrike and the heart of LOVARO's target market.