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Report on LEV Conference 2010

The LEV Conference 2010 started two days ahead of the Intermot in Cologne and turned out to be a very cosmopolitan and important event. On both days of the conference the topics, ranging from marketing to regulations and technical solutions, engendered lively debate. 

The annual LEV Conference has been hosted by since 1995 with the aim of strengthening the light electric vehicle (LEV) industry by connecting professionals of all branches, i.e. battery and component manufacturers, players in the bicycle industry, developers, engineers and sector organizations.

International attendance
This year's meeting in Cologne was attended by 74 guests and 18 speakers with 25 presentations. The attendance has been slightly higher in past years, but the 2010 event was the most international to date. Attendees came from Taiwan, the Netherlands, China, Japan, Australia, US and Germany to share their views on the latest developments.

The feedback of the attendees, most of them in leading roles in their respective companies, was very positive and many said they planned to be back next year. An impressive 88% rated the quality of the presentations as very good and helpful. 

Day 1 - Marketing and sales
The first day was devoted to sales and marketing. Speakers of organizations like ExtraEnergy and the Taiwanese ITRI laid down the theoretical foundation, describing the various kinds of vehicles and challenges and best-practices of infrastructural projects. 

Other lecturers introduced different business models, reaching from integrated mobility solutions like the „city car“ (Innovative Mobility Automobile) to leasing concepts (Leaserad) and pure sales (El Moto).

Day 2 - Technology
On the second day the plenum delved deeper into technical topics such as battery and sensor technology, as well as standardization. Battery experts like Dr. Mo-Hua Yang of HiTech Energy and Dr. Wieland of Enymotion called for batteries to be carefully selected depending on the way they will be used. Not only size, but chemistry matters, where supply can be an issue. 

Christian Eckart introduced the EnergyBus Standard for LEVs as the key of sustainable market growth. The standard consists of a connector family and a communication protocol. Rosenberger developed the connector family, which allows to plug-and-play. Eckart emphasized the joint patent ownership held by the members of EnergyBus and the specific communication protocol, based on CAN open. 

He paved the way for Mr. Dorndörfer of Electragil who introduced the Impuls Pedelec - the first vehicle to rely solely on EnergyBus connectors and the protocol. The Impuls pedelec employs the new standard, compatible with all future applications, and featuring a super-sensitive torque sensor.

Sensors were also the next speaker's field of specialization: Mr. Roovers of ID Bikes called the sensor the "most important part of a pedelec - decisive for the riding experience".

Finding the right bike for every customer with his subjective preferences, was the topic of a joint-presentation by LEVA and ExtraEnergy. The US-based LEV Association gave the test criteria and product groups identified by ExtraEnergy international acceptance by using them as the basis of its own work. Mr. Neupert of ExtraEnergy then explained the method and theory behind the ExtraEnergy test and introduced a few partner laboratories, namely ID Bike and Wolfsburg University. He concluded that test benches are ideal for testing of single components, but only riding tests can prove the „true“ value of a bike as a system.

Wim Jonker of EBSC embroidered on that point, by introducing the ION technology as an "intelligent e-bike system“. With "intelligent", or "smart technology“ he had in mind safe and integrated technology. For instance, ION's battery management system prevents overcharging and facilitates charging. ION's integrated solution includes live, online service for dealers and industry customers, he said. 

A highlight, in the true meaning of the word, was the closing presentation by Philips of its LED lamps especially made for pedelecs and e-bikes.

LEV Conference follow-up

The Conference Reader can be ordered on the LEV Conference website, where you will also find the presentations as downloads in the near future. 
The next LEV Conference will take place on 14 and 15 March 2011 at Great Roots Resort, Taiwan just before the Taipei Cycle Show. Registration for the event will open in November 2010.
Copy: Nora Manthey
Photo: Michael Burger
14 October 2010



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