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LEV World Cup Contested for First Time

At the international 2-wheeler show Intermot in Cologne, the first ever LEV World Cup took place on 10 October 2010. Eight participants in four categories of light electric vehicles (LEVs) battled on the racing track - at very different speeds.

One hour under the Cologne autumn sun put riders, their bikes and batteries to the test on the Intermot racing track. In previous years scooters and motorbikes noisely completed their rounds on the curvy track, leaving the air loaded with lead. This time around it was different: on this Sunday, the track was almost soundless. 

The rules
The participants of the first LEV World Cup stepped onto the track nervously, not knowing what to expect. For all of them it was their first LEV race ever. Many of them even had not competed in a bike race until then. 

A short introduction and the support of the experienced pit-babes left them reassured that they simply had to complete as many laps as possible in the 1-hour race.

The categories included speed pedelecs (up to 45km/h), regular pedelecs (up to 25 km/h), prototypes and e-bikes or scooters up to 20km/h.

Winner of hearts
The story of the last- and penultimate contestants is easily told: these contestants were fighting against time and themselves and no-one else. Martin Grein was the only starter in the prototype class and drove 30 rounds on his Wheeler pedelec, which left him in second-last position overall.  

Behind him Felix Abel finished 14 rounds (12.88 km) in 36 minutes on his MARS scooter. At a top speed of 20 km/h the challenge of keeping up a smile while sneaking past the smirking audience was beautifully mastered by Abel.

LEV World champions
The first LEV World Champion (winner in the class of 45km/h supported bikes) was Sascha Reckert on an eSpire by the Third Element company. His e-bike managed 41 rounds at an average speed of 36.8 km/h on a very curvy track.

This left the audience wondering whether the e-bike was actually limited to 45km/h motor support. However, the audience loved the fast bike, which hinted that there might, in fact, be a future for LEV races. Tuned machines are something very common to motor sport, whereas with electric bikes the competition could be between the riders and the mechanics behind them.

Dietrich Lohmeyer was crowned Vice-world Champion with a true racing machine - a fairing 3-wheeler which completed 35 rounds in the hour. 

Third place went to Jürgen Plakity, with 32 rounds for EnergyBus on the Impuls pedelec, the last ones without any motor support. The prototype Acron engine developed by Electragil supported the rider up to an average speed of 40 km/h. 

The Impuls pedelec came with a cause - it was the first product fully equipped with the EnergyBus Standard (EBS) for LEVs, which will increase compatibilty and safety in the industry in future. 

The regular pedelec category boasted the most participants (4 in total) and included the only woman on the track. All pedelecs came from Wheeler powered by BionX. Even though all bikes were the same, the drivers' strength and abilities made a difference.

John Riedemann completed 34 rounds, followed by Hubertus Junker (34) and Dennis Paus with 33 rounds. Alexandra Werner finished with 30 rounds. All drivers managed an average speed over 25km/h, namely almost 27 km/h - proof that pedaling remains decisive, while engine support is important when accelerating after coming out of the curves. 

The organizers
The LEV World Cup was organized bei Harz-Ring, who were also responsible for the other races with petrol powered bikes on the track, together with Koelnmesse, supported by LEVA and ExtraEnergy. By hosting the LEV World Cup, Intermot proved once again its ability to build bridges between e-mobility and "classic" biking.

Hannes Neupert of ExtraEnergy took pleasure in informing the audience during the race about the vehicles' technical development. Informative chatting was definitely called for, because the silence of the race was slightly irritating to an audience used to equating the sound level with the power level.

Photos of the race

Copy: Nora Manthey
Photos: Susanne Brüsch, Nora Manthey, Michael Burger

13 October 2010 



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