e-bike - Google News

Thursday, October 8, 2009

eBikes off, but keep pedal bikes on sidewalks: TCU's Bambrick

The Toronto Cyclists Union spokesperson Yvonne Bambrick has told the Toronto Sun that she believes eBikes styled as scooters should not be allowed to park or remain stationary on the sidewalk, but the TCU remains mum over whether it should be okay to continue allowing pedal bicycles to ride on sidewalks in Toronto.

According to sources at the Toronto Sun, Bambrick resumed her rants against these modern vehicles by stating "These things are so heavy that you couldn't pedal them for any distance at all, they're primarily made to be powered by the electric motor."  The relevance of that statement, especially when the discussion was about parked bikes, was not explained.

The Sun also interviewed Toronto Police Traffic Services Sergeant Tim Burrows, who seems to know a lot about the issues. He is quoted in the newspaper stating that eBikes on the sidewalk are "absolutely" dangerous because of their extra weight and speed. Again, the relevance of this about something that's parked was not clear.

There was no Burrows comment on the fact that in 2009, Toronto's sidewalk accidents that caused hospitalization or fatalities have involved pedestrians and conventional pedal bicycles, not eScooters.

Old bylaws, old thinking, over-thinking

Toronto city council's public works and infrastructure committee is going to seriously weigh these educated opinions as it considers modernizing the city's decades old bylaw that allows bikes with tires of specific diameters to ride on sidewalks.

Due to that bizarre city bylaw – the only one of its kind in Canada and possibly the world – eScooter riders have been able legally to ride on Toronto's sidewalks. "The intent of this bylaw," says the city, "is to allow young children to cycle on the sidewalk while they learn to ride. The bylaw is based on wheel size because it is difficult for Police to enforce age-based bylaws, as most children do not carry identification," the city says.

Although simple shopkeepers routinely ask for proof of age of people who "appear" to be under the legal age to buy tobacco or alcohol,  the city seems to have forgotten that officers can – and frequently do –use personal discretion in the enforcement of laws and, if properly trained to identify the difference between an adult and a "young child" could ask adults and teen pedalists to get off the sidewalk.

The city could have worded the law to match the storekeepers' signage, which declares that they will not sell to people "who appear" to be underage, but didn't. As a result, eScooter tires fit into the ridiculous description of what's legal to ride on the sidewalk.

The Toronto Cyclists Union document reportedly excluded any move to ban its members from riding conventional bicycles on the sidewalk if they conform to the tire size rule.


Bambrick gets press

Bambrick has repeatedly railed against safety issues such as madatory helmets, rider licensing or increased enforcement of bicycle laws, yet she and her group remain credible with the mainstream media because she's so easy to get ahold of for a quote and looks quaintly photogenic on her bicycle featuring plastic flowers on its carrier basket. (Note lack of helmet.)

The TCU and Bambrick continue to campaign against the use of eBikes in Toronto despite the Union's own online survey that showed the vast majority of respondents clearly stating in their written submissions that eBikes belong on the road.

The city also has a Bicycle Parking Plan, outlining principles and practises for parking two-wheelers, which states as its guiding theme: "Secure and convenient bicycle parking must be available at all cycling destinations."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ontario gives green light to eBikes


The Ontario government has clarified the regulations surrounding eBikes on the province's roads, ending a three-year pilot project studying the effectiveness and viability of eBikes and eScooters as legitimate vehicles on Ontario roadways.

(Here's the province's Press Release)

The new regulations state:
Effective October 3, 2009, conventional style and scooter-style e-bikes that meet the definition of a power-assisted bicycle...are permitted on roads and highways where conventional bicycles are currently allowed. They must follow the same rules of the road as set out in the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) that currently apply to cyclists [with some exceptions
Although the new Highway Traffic Act was passed in the late spring of 2009, the province waited until October to announce and implement regulations specific to eBikes.

"Despite the differences in appearance," the regulations state, "both scooter-style e-bikes and conventional-style e-bikes that meet the federal definition of a power-assisted bicycle are available in the market."


In addition to the federal definition of eBikes, Ontario's regulations also require that and eBike or eScooter:

  • Has a maximum weight of 120 kg (includes the weight of bike and battery);
  • Has wheels with a diameter of at least 350 mm and width of at least 35 mm; and
  • Meets the federal definition of a power-assisted bicycle


More stringent safety regulations

The new regulations beef up the safety regulations around eBikes and eScooters.

Among the new requirements, eBikes cannot have a motor larger than 500 watts, weigh more than 120 kg with the battery installed, have specific wheel and tire sizes, and must conform to modern braking standards of stopping within nine metres when traveling 30 km/h.  (Read the safety regulations).

In addition, it becomes illegal to modify an eBike to make it go faster than 32 km/h (the federally-defined speed limit).  The regulations suggest that electric bikes which break these regulations might be considered Low Speed Motorcyles (LSMs) and require licensing, insurance and registration.

Helmets must be worn by "operators/riders/passengers", and the minimum age for operation of an eBike is 16.

As for passengers, the regulations state "Under the Highway Traffic Act, section 178(2), passengers are not allowed on a bicycle designed for one person."


Where you can ride?

The regulations, in effect Oct. 3, 2009, declare:
E-bikes are allowed to travel anywhere bicycles are permitted to travel.  Any municipal by-law prohibiting bicycles from highways under their jurisdiction also apply to e-bikes. Municipalities may also pass by-laws specific to e-bikes that prohibit them from municipal roads, sidewalks, bike paths, bike trails, and bike lanes under their jurisdiction.


E-bikes, like bicycles, are not allowed on controlled-access highways such as 400 series highways, the Queen Elizabeth Way, the Queensway in Ottawa or the Kitchener-Waterloo Expressway, or on municipal roads, including sidewalks where bicycles are banned under municipal by-laws.


However, the province's rules clearly indicate that local communities can pass local bylaws restricting the use of eBikes on certain types of roadways under municipal jurisdiction.


Confusion: eScooters and 'vespas'



The new regulations address concerns that some observers can't tell the difference between a Low Speed Motorcycle and an eScooter.

The easiest way, suggests the regulations, is to look for the mandatory eBike label. (see left).

Another difference, the regulations mention, is that 'vespa' style gas scooters will not have pedals.

Finally, road speed is clearly different. "The maximum speed of a limited-speed motorcycle (LSM)," say the regulations, "is 70 km/h and for a moped is 50 km/h compared to an e-bike, which can reach a maximum speed of only 32 km/h."


Read the complete regulations: Frequently Asked Questions at the Ontario Ministry of transportation.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Toronto fatal incident sparks discussion

The recent incident in Toronto that claimed the life of a cyclist has sparked more discussion in the media about bikes and cars sharing the same streets.


A cyclist was killed after an altercation with a driver. The cyclist died after the driver apparently drove away with the cyclist holding on to the car's front mirror and door.

The Toronto Star published a helpful Q&A about bikes and street rights and responsibilities.

Earlier in the summer, the local newspaper also published an interactive map based on police reports of where there had been bicycle collisions in the city.

Drinking and cycling

The Toronto Sun asked city police why it isn't a crime to get rip-roaring drunk and then climb onto a bicycle.

It's a question better posed to the Ontario government, who seem too preoccupied with misguided dithering over the minutae of eBikes than to be interested in drunks and road safety.

Onteba reminds all eBikers that people whose licenses have been suspended for criminal offences including drunk driving (over .08 alcohol) are also prohibited from using eBikes.


EUROBIKE REPORT: Industry and gov't. start down road of standards and regulation

Ebike manufacturers and officials from the European Union attending Eurobike 2009 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, have agreed to meet further in order to discuss bringing reason and rationality to ebike standards and policies.

The industry wants Europe to re-examine the slow European speed limit of 25 km/h. Both sides want to look deeper into eScooters and the growing market of three-wheeled light electric vehicles.


eBike sales

In 2008, eBikes and eScooters in Europe sold over 100,000 units, powering up a stalled bicycle industry.


Photos

Selection of eBike and Pedelec photos from Eurobike, including some 'concept models'

Friday, July 24, 2009

Parking police get eScooters in Edinburgh, Scotland


The parking enforcement officers in Scotland's capital have gone green, replacing bicycles and cars with eScooters.

A spokesman for the company that polices the parking in Edinburgh, Tim Cowen, "told the Evening News the scooters were among the most environmentally friendly forms of motor transport in the UK."

"We also hope to demonstrate to the general public and everyday commuters that there is a viable alternative to the combustion engine to get around town, while contributing positively to the environment," he said.

The parking police are known locally as the "Greenie Meanies" due to their zero-tolerance enforcement and their green outfits, and were formerly known as the "Blue Meanies" until they changed uniforms.

The eScooters purchased are supplied locally in Scotland and are part of the Scottish government's plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 80 percent by the year 2050.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hundreds of unsafe bicycles ticketed in Toronto blitz

Over seven hundred cyclists were ticketed by police for unsafe equipment offences in Toronto's one-week safety campaign the last week of June, 2009.

Just over a third of the tickets issued by Toronto police to cyclists in the blitz (747 of 2,204) were for "vehicle equipment offences," the vast majority because the bikes were missing important safety devices such as head and tail lights and warning horns or bells.

Those safety features are already factory-installed on new e-Bikes.

1,373 tickets for 'moving violations' were issued to cyclists, for offences such as disobeying traffic signals and failing to yield to pedestrians. (See also the 2006 B.C. report that ranked disobeying traffic signals as the #5 cause of bicycle-at-fault traffic collisions).

Over 3,500 tickets were issued to car drivers for endangering Toronto cyclists, for offences such as failing to yield the right-of-way (the #4 cause of all bike-car collisions mentioned in the British Columbia report) and improperly opening parked vehicle doors.

198 parking tickets were issued to vehicles for blocking bicycle lanes.

Is ignorance bliss?

According to the Toronto Cyclists Union, many bicyclists on Toronto streets are oblivious to the regulations that make the roadways safer.

"Many cyclists don't yet know that bells & lights are in fact mandatory," says the TCU, and these riders should be excused from their tickets because "forcing a cyclist to pay a ticket is likely going to tie up money that could otherwise have been used for the purchase of lights and/or a bell."

Bicycle lights are sold at Canadian Tire for about $7, and bells cost $2.50 at Mountain Equipment Co-op.

The TCU dismisses many of the 2,204 tickets given to bicyclists as "bogus tickets issued by some undertrained officers..."

84 minors under age 18 were ticketed for not wearing bicycle helmets, which are mandatory in Ontario for underage bicyclists. The fine and fees for this offence total $75.

Totals down

Police did not write tickets in every case: they issued 852 cautions to drivers and cyclists for "a variety of offences," according to the Toronto Police Services news release.

It may be that education campaigns and heightened safety equipment awareness due to the conspicuous mandatory lights, horns and helmets on e-Bikes has helped contribute to a decline in the number of tickets issued in the annual one-week blitz.

In total the Toronto police wrote out 5,907 tickets, down from 6,671 in 2008, according to the Toronto Star.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

MTO presentation uses erroneous eBike information

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE AND THE ISSUES IT TALKS ABOUT HAVE BEEN SUPERCEDED BY NEW PROVINCIAL REGULATIONS.




Ontario's Ministry of Transportation recently held a consultation meeting (June 16) at which it presented a slide show to invited participants, outlining what it perceives as discussion points and safety concerns about eBikes.

The slide show clearly put the onus on the eBike community to demonstrate to Queen's Park bureaucrats why this widely-accepted and adopted modern technology should be on Ontario's streets.

MTO's presentation puts forward for analysis, discussion and debate several statements ("concerns") about eBikes, many of which are not supported by any evidence, and some of which are contradicted by the very documents MTO is using to support the concerns.

For example, the MTO slide show includes a table comparing eBike regulations across the country. However, the table contains errors -- some obvious and some subtle -- about eBike rules in other places. (View larger image.)
  • The table shows British Columbia as strictly allowing only Pedal-Assist bicycles (P), but in fact B.C. allows both Pedal Assist and Throttle styles (B)... which they call MACs. B.C. is one of the most successful examples of how to integrate eBikes into the community.
  • The table shows Alberta as having a weight restriction on eBikes. Technically true on June 16th, this restriction is being removed July 1, 2009.
  • The table shows that the 2002 CCMTA report (Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators) which is widely cited by the MTO presentation, recommends "Pedal-assist only" but that is untrue. CCMTA's "Best Practices" report would allow Both (B) Pedal-assist and Throttle-only eBikes.
  • The slide show states that eScooter-style bikes would "likely ONLY be" permitted under Ontario status quo regulations; however the CCMTA report clearly states "Jurisdictional regulations should be consistent with federal statutes concerning power assisted bicycles." eScooters sold in Canada comply fully with federal PAB regulations, and therefore eScooters would also be allowed under the CCMTA best practices.

Documents contradict
'concerns'

There are other inconsistencies in the MTO presentation.

For example, the Ministry lists "absence of standards/requirements for e-bike electrical components" as one of its concerns about eBikes.

However, on slide 8 of the MTO presentation, the government agency asserts that the national advisory body (CCMTA) had already established "Electrical Wiring Reqt's" in its 2002 recommendations. Three pages later on slide 11, the MTO contradicts itself by claiming that the CCMTA has no such standards.


Accentuate the negative?

The presentation also cites selected excerpts from the 2000 CEVEQ study that the federal government used in creating its Power Assisted Bicycle regulations. The CEVEQ study, which road-tested eBikes for 25,205 km, closely subdivided eBikes into two categories:

  • EABs, which we now call pedalec or bicycles that have an accessory motor to assist a pedalist
  • EPBs, which require no pedaling and now includes eScooters.
The MTO presentation focused on excerpts that suggest that EPBs (eScooters) are somehow less safe than other eBikes. Findings from the CEVEQ study that support eBike use or address the concerns raised by MTO were not included in the list of selected excerpts, especially the summary that states:


"The findings demonstrated that the two e-bike systems – electrically propelled and electrically assisted – were equally safe."


These [positive] selected excerpts were omitted by MTO:
  • 97 per cent of the Ontario testers thought EPBs and EABs were as safe or safer than conventional bicycles. In CEVEQ's words: Most of the cyclists felt that e-bikes, whether assisted or self-propelled, were as safe and sometimes even safer than conventional bicycles.
  • In addition, users also noted that e-bikes encourage users to obey the Highway Safety Code more strictly (for example, they are more likely to stop at mandatory stops)
  • In general, respondents were highly satisfied with the user-friendliness, braking and reliability of the e-bikes, whether they were EPBs or EABs.
  • Sixty-four percent of all participants said they would use an e-bike to travel to work; 65 percent of those who usually travel to work by car said they would opt for the e-bike; and 71 percent of conventional bicycle enthusiasts expressed interest in using e-bikes to get to work.
  • E-bikes can reduce pollution and congestion in urban centres
  • E-bikes make it easier to stop and start frequently in city traffic
  • Greater provision should be made for e-bikes in city traffic (lack of bicycle paths, pavement in poor repair and lack of services).

Selected selected excerpts

The Ministry's list of selected excerpts from the 2000 study used by the federal government to draft the Power Assisted Bicycle regulations includes:

(a) "The cyclists considered brake reliability and performance to be the most important safety components on both electric bicycles and conventional bicycles, although they wanted to see some improvement in these areas." What the MTO doesn't mention is that 85 per cent of the testers had no safety concerns about brakes, and that brake concerns -- actually ranked third on the list of concerns -- were mentioned far more frequently by conventional cyclists than by eBike riders. Statistically, fewer than ten of the 369 testers made this observation.

Also, the 2002 CCMTA report favoured by MTO clearly defines a braking standard for eBikes and eScooters: "A motor assisted cycle must be equipped with brakes on all wheels or axles. The braking system must be capable of bringing the motor assisted cycle, loaded to its total capacity and traveling at a speed of 30 km/hr., to a total standstill within 9 m from the point at which the brakes were applied."

(b) "An e-bike weighs between 27 and 35 kg, which makes it difficult to carry or set in motion from a stationary position." In fact, what the riders were concerned about was: "It is difficult to lift the bike onto the sidewalk, place it on the roof of a car or position it on a bike rack." How difficult it is to carry or put on the car roof is irrelevant to an eBike's usefulness as roadworthy commuter transportation. Clearly if this is a serious issue, Ontario should ban bicycles built for two, recumbents and horses.

(c) "There is too much weight in relation to its maximum speed; The weight noticeably increases acceleration when you go down hills." These are, in fact, two separate statements in the CEVEQ study and MTO has put them together as if they were connected.
  1. The "maximum speed" in question was the then-legal limit of 24 km/h used in the eBike road test. All the users said that if the allowable speed were increase to approx 30 km/h, weight would not be a complaint. eBikes are now allowed to go 32 km/h.
  2. The weight and modern motor restriction of 32 km/h will now actually prevent eScooters from the dangerous speeds reached by pedal bicycles traveling down a steep hill.
  3. The EU set a new eBike weight restriction of 40kg in April 2009, about two months before the MTO presentation. It will apply to new bikes sold, which means new models coming onto the world market will be lighter.
(d) "Weight, not the motor’s maximum power assist speed, was the characteristic cited most often as a reason for feeling insecure." Also in the CEVEQ report: "The study showed that cyclists did not view the e-bikes as a safety risk. Cyclists in both cases, therefore, felt they had firm control of their bicycles and did not feel any particular concern for their safety." Overall, weight was a concern of 26 people in the eBike test. An equal proportion of conventional cyclists in the test were concerned about the weight of their conventional bicycle. Also, (see above) the EU now has a weight restriction that manufacturers will have to meet, meaning new PABs coming onto the world market will be lighter.


Limited options

In its call for public comment, MTO has suggested it will adopt one of three possible strategies: regulations suggested by the CCMTA, keep Ontario's status quo, or adopt European Union policies.

All other Canadian provinces with established regulations governing eBikes and eScooters have followed the CCMTA "best practises" document's chief recommendation: "Jurisdictional regulations should be consistent with federal statutes concerning power assisted bicycles."

And the CEVEQ study quoted so often by MTO clearly recommends:

"E-bikes admittedly have little appeal for competitive cyclists or mountain bike enthusiasts. However, they are a feasible mode of transportation for commuting to work or travelling short distances. As with conventional bicycles, the more varied the choice of e-bikes, the greater the number of consumers who will find a product that meets their needs.
"

Criminal license suspension? No eBike for you

It's fairly simple. People whose driver's license has been revoked under the federal Criminal Code are not permitted to operate eBikes.

If your license has been revoked as a penalty after conviction under the Canadian Criminal Code (for impaired driving, manslaughter, or other criminal offence) you may not legally operate any means of transportation that is not "muscular powered."

Legally, you do not need a driver's license to operate an eBike in Ontario. Also, if your license has been suspended or revoked under the provincial Highway Traffic Act or by the Ministry of Transportation (for not paying parking tickets, etc.), you may still legally operate an eBike or bicycle.

This newspaper story should help explain.

Don't forget, you can still be charged with impaired driving if you operate a bicycle or eBike 'under the influence.'

Prohibited individuals a 'concern'

One of the "safety concerns" stated by the MTO in their recent call for public comments on eBikes mentions the possibility that someone prohibited from driving a car might illegally ride an eBike. That is true.

Does anyone remember the bank robbers who used bicycles as a getaway vehicle? No one (no one intelligent, anyway) has ever suggested banning bicycles because thieves might use them, despite their being a lot of evidence that bank robbers in Canada and the U.S. use bicycles. There is not much evidence of a bank robber ever using a eBike, outside Asia.

Preventing people from the use of modern urban conveniences is hardly an appropriate response to fears that a few prohibited individuals might use them illegally.

Punish the offenders properly and effectively, and apply a deterrent directly to the individual, not to the rest of society.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Alberta to classify eBikes and eScooters as "bicycles"

On July 1, new regulations go into effect in Alberta, classifying eBikes in the same category as bicycles.

They will be called "power-bicycles" and classified under the same laws as bicycles. Putting them in the same category doesn't make them the same thing, it defines them as two distinct vehicles that need to share equal legal status, said a government official.

"Harmonizing the federal and provincial definitions for these vehicles will eliminate uncertainty in consumer transactions and add clarity to enforcement," the new Alberta regulations state.

Effective July 1, 2009 in Alberta, "a power-bicycle will have a top speed of 32 km/h, an electric motor with a maximum power of 500 watts and no weight restriction," the regulation states.

The new regulations admit that the government needed to modernize its thinking and adapt the old rules to accommodate new technologies and consumer tastes. "Alberta's [old] definitions are too restrictive and don't allow for the types of vehicles that are being sold," the new regulation says. As a result of the old regulations, Albertans were buying federally approved Power Assisted Bicycles and "inappropriately licensing and operating them as mopeds."

The federal regulations explicitly state that Power Assisted Bicycles should be treated as bicycles and not as limited speed motorcycles.

Inattention is top cause of bike collisions: report

The Insurance Bureau of British Columbia, the province's car insurer, says almost half of bicycle collisions are caused because either the car driver or the bike rider was not paying attention.

The second-most common cause is cyclists driving on the wrong side/wrong way on the road, followed by "driver error/confusion" by the rider or vehicle driver.

The ICBC report catalogs the reported collisions resulting in injury or death. The 2006 data, the most recent available, shows a 3 per cent drop in collisions after a steady rise since 2002.

In 2005, B.C. dropped the sales tax on its mandatory bicycle helmets. In Ontario, helmets are mandatory only for children and eBike riders.

Follow the numbers

The top five reasons bicyclists cause collisions that result in injury or death.
  1. Inattentive bicycle rider.
  2. Biking on wrong side of the road.
  3. Rider confusion/error.
  4. Failure of bicycle to yield right of way.
  5. Bicycle ignoring traffic control device.
Alcohol involving the bicycle rider was also identified a significant factor, but alcohol use by car drivers was a much smaller factor in car-bike collisions.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Police version of eBike ready to hit the streets

The men and women in blue may soon be joining the eBike world.

There's now an eBike on the market to help street cops get where they're going faster and save their leg energy for foot-chases.

It's called the E+Tactical police bike from Electric Motion Systems. According to the company, the main selling points of the police eBike are:
  • Improves Officer Response Time and Readiness.
  • Reduces Officer Fatigue.
  • Increases Terrain Navigation. (i.e. up hills)
  • Extends Patrol Coverage Area.
  • Designed for Constant Duty.
  • Reduces Fleet Costs.
The E+ features a 1000-watt 36V motor and can go about 80 km on a charge. The wide tires are a smaller diameter, helping give the bike a lower centre of gravity and more stability (like all eBikes) than a conventional bicycle.

MTO seeks input, help to debunk myths with facts

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE AND THE ISSUES IT TALKS ABOUT HAVE BEEN SUPERCEDED BY NEW PROVINCIAL REGULATIONS.




Ontario's ministry of transportation is seeking input about where, what and how to regulate eBikes.

And the deadline to respond is July 9, 2009.

Before the 2006-2009 pilot test of eBikes on Ontario roads expires on October 3, 2009, "the ministry is proposing a regulation that would further define operating and equipment requirements to address safety concerns associated with e-bikes," says the MTO's web page titled "The Future of Electric Bicycles ('e-bikes') in Ontario."

The public's comments, says the site, "will be taken into consideration, only with stakeholder comments received at a recent consultation session, in formulating the regulation."

The Ministry offers an information document (MS-Word format) for you to read and respond to by July 9, 2009. The document presents a table of factors, comparing Ontario's legislative status quo with that of a Canadian advisory group and policies of the European Union.

Here's a suggested letter you can send.

Oddly, it doesn't mention that, in every European Union country except Ireland and Sweden, eBikes are classified as "bicycles." They are also already classified as "bicycles" in Canada from Quebec to B.C., with some provinces having mandatory age and helmet restrictions.

The document includes a short list of "Safety Concerns" about eBikes, some of which are valid and some of which are myths easily debunked by looking at the facts. How myths ended up on a government list of concerns is, itself, concerning.

Addressing some of these "concerns:"

  • MYTH: Maneuverability and stability compromised due to small tires. FACT: eBikes and eScooters are actually safer because of their smaller wheels, as outlined in this research paper. No one has presented any evidence otherwise. Smaller tires, for example, make 21st century bicycles safer than their 18th century ancestors. It's simple physics. Also, the wider eScooter tires are much safer riding near Toronto streetcar tracks.
  • MYTH: Ease with which maximum motor speed can be increased through modifications. FACT: The motor maximum speed is very difficult to increase. What can be increased, but only by someone with quite high electronics and soldering skills, is the torque; i.e. the ability to start faster when moving from a dead stop. EBikes are very slow when starting out from a stop sign or red light. This "torque mod" that's reported all over the internet is not so easy, but makes an eBike capable of starting out at a red light on an equal footing with a pedal bicycle which, because of its gears, can generate a lot more torque when starting from zero.
  • MYTH: E-bikes resembling scooters cause confusion as to where they fit within the regulatory scheme on the part of law enforcement, municipalities and the general public. FACT: The status quo laws are clear and well publicized on the internet; whose fault is it if the police don't read Ontario's Highway Traffic Act and regulations? Clear legislation ends confusion.
  • MYTH: Inadequate braking systems, particularly those found on the larger/heavier e-bikes. FACT: Canada's Motor Vehicle Safety Act and an American/China study both found the drum brakes on eBikes to be better than the pad brakes on conventional bicycles. No one has presented any evidence otherwise.
  • MYTH: E-bikes can be operated by those with suspended licences to circumvent impaired driving penalties. FACT: So can a bicycle or automobile. We don't ban cars or bicycles because a prohibited person might drive one.
  • MYTH: E-bikes are silent (conventional bicycles generate noise from pedalling and chains). FACT: A conventional bicycle, according to the European Cyclists Federation, also is "silent." It is worth noting that the surface area making contact with the ground of an eBike's larger tires is greater than that of a typical bicycle, and it makes more tire noise than a bicycle. It is legitimate for a cyclist to believe that an eBike is quieter than a car.
  • MYTH: Sharing roads and bicycle paths with pedestrians and cyclists, given that some e-bikes are wider, longer and heavier than regular bicycles. FACT: EScooters are no wider than a fat person on a conventional bicycle, and narrower than those 'kiddie trailers' often pulled by bikes. And all eBikes are shorter than almost every bicycle manufactured, in order to meet international standards. Should extraordinary-length recumbent bicycles be banned from bike lanes? OntEBA believes that speed enforcement on parkland bicycle paths is required. This purports to be a safety issue; however the Vancouver Police Department and the Insurance Bureau of British Columbia report that eBikes are not a statistically significant danger to bicylists; in fact, ICBC thinks it's the other way around.

Top causes of automobile/bicycle accidents

Because eBikes are fundamentally bicycles, they face many of the same dangers on the roadway as conventional cyclists.

Although a federal study pointed out that eBike riders are more likely to obey stop signs than pedal cyclists, there are still many other dangers lurking ahead on the roadway.

Here are the top causes of bicycle/car accidents in the U.S. in a 2006 report that looked at 3000 crashes.

Cities should embrace eBikes, says academic study

American and Chinese research into the issues around integrating eBikes into urban communities has come to the conclusion that, all things considered, eBikes are good for cities.

"Cities should embrace electric bikes," concludes Christopher Cherry of the University of California Berkeley Center for Future Transport. The report says that, overall, both 'bicycle-style' and 'scooter-style' eBikes are good for cities, good for users, far safer and less polluting than cars and buses.

The study was made on behalf of two city governments in China that were leaning towards banning the eBikes from bike lanes... as it turned out because they didn't have all the facts and were reacting to anecdotal complaints from conventional bicyclists.

The main findings of the report, by relevant content area:

Safety

The study asserts that forcing eBikes to operate in motor vehicle lanes would be deliberately legislating people into physical danger. By compiling statistical data about bicycle and eBike accidents, the study found that a collison between ebike and motor vehicle "will almost certainly result in injury or death" of the electrc bicycle rider.

The report says that, because bicycles so vastly out number eBikes, about 3.5 times as many conventional bicycle riders were injured and 7 times more cyclists were killed than eBike riders in accidents. The overall fatality rates and injury rates are "very comparable," taking into account that there are far more bicycles on the road than eBikes. In almost all the accidents, cars were the cause. EBikes were not reported to be the cause of any of the road accidents.

Manouverability

A common criticism about eBikes is that, because of their smaller tires, they are less agile and therefore unsafe.

The report proves the exact opposite: "Electric bikes are easier than bicycles to control and maneuver in heavy traffic because of their low center of gravity, acceleration characteristics, and superior braking systems" the report found. Large (24-inch) bicycle tires raise the rider high off the ground, raising the centre of gravity and making them less stable and harder to control. Also, the wider eScooter tires are far less likely to become entangled in street railway (streetcar) tracks, making the eScooter safer on streets with inlaid tracks.

In a similar principle, that's why wheelchairs have the large wheels in the back and the small wheels in the front (unlike their 19th-century counterparts)... it is easier for the rider to control smaller wheels and steer better.

Speed

EBikes were shown to have a slightly higher average speed than bicycles in city traffic driving conditions: Bicycles clocked in at an average 11 km/h in city traffic (factoring in red lights, etc.) and eBikes at 14.5 km/h. The difference in speed between them is about the same difference as a pedestrian strolling versus walking fast.


Pollution

Sealed Lead Acid batteries (SLA) used by cheaper eBikes, even at 100 per cent recycling, are a cause of some lead pollution.

However, this is already being vastly reduced by the advent into the marketplace of better alternatives such as LiFePo4 (Lithium-ion-Iron-Phosphorous) batteries, the price of which has fallen sharply in the past two years and will continue to do so as more manufacturers of these lighter and more efficient batteries come into production. (In Jan. 2007 a 48V-Li battery pack was $1000, in 2009 it is $680).

Lithium batteries have negligible pollution effects compared with lead acid.

The coal-fired generating plants required to provide electricity to recharge eBikes were also mentioned; the environmental effect is negligible in that the typical recharge in Ontario requires $0.07 cents worth of electricity (under $30 per year). This is less air pollution than what's produced by a couple of diesel trucks sent to refill a neighbourhood gas station.

Over the life cycle of a conventional bicycle, the pollution involved in its manufacture and retail distribution is virtually identical to the Nitrous Oxide and Sulfur pollution of a bus over its life cycle.

Pollution effects, the report concludes, are far outweighed by the positive impact eBikes have on cities.

Productivity

An odd finding of the report is that eBikes may contribute to better productivity and have positive commercial effects, in that people using them can do errands and shop more efficiently.

"70% of all trips made by bicycle and electric bicycle" are of about 20 minutes duration, according to the report. The study showed that "e-bikes are 58% more efficient than bicycles" in performing tasks like running errands, commuting to jobs, etc. in rides of that duration.

In other words, eBike riders contribute to increased productivity by getting to work quicker, spend less time on the road and are in -- and contributing to -- traffic for less time than bicycles.

City cracks down on bicycling lawbreakers: for 1 week

The city of Toronto says it's cracking down on cyclists who break the law... for a week during Bicycle Month.

They are specifically targeting bicyclists who do not have proper lighting, bells, reflectors etc. (all of which are mandatory and factory-installed on eScooters), riding on sidewalks and also targeting those unsafe cyclists who do not stop at Stop signs and red lights.

That latter point should be of more concern to a pedal-powered biker than eBikers, because a federal study showed that eBikers were quite a bit more likely to stop at stop signs.

OntEBA is drafting a position document asking the provincial government to make adult bicycle helmets mandatory in Ontario, as they are in British Columbia, and doubling the fines for bicycles committing dangerous offenses such as riding without helmets, riding on the sidewalk and failure to obey the long-standing traffic laws like one-way streets and stop signs.

If safety is a serious concern of the Ontario government, they'll do it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

eBikes as safe as conventional bikes but more law-abiding: federal study









The legislation that allows eBikes into the Canadian market shows that Power Assisted Bicycles and conventional bicycles are equally safe, according to 369 riders who tested them. There is no justification for statements that eBikes are "dangerous" compared with muscle-powered bikes, the report suggests.

Further, the research also found that eBike riders were more likely to obey traffic laws.

The federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act conducted research with 369 cyclists in four different cities (Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto and Saint-Jérôme). The cyclists tested eBikes over 25,205 kilometres. In Quebec, 211 of the study participants used them on their daily commutes to work.

The age of the participants ranged from 20 to 60 years, with a few over the age of 60. Nearly 25 per cent were women.

The study found that:

* 95 per cent of eBike riders felt they were in control of their eBike, while 96 per cent of conventional cyclists felt that they were in control of their conventional bicycle.
* 85 per cent of eBike riders felt they were safe, while 83 per cent of conventional cyclists felt they were safe.

What felt insecure?

It is a small percentage of riders of both types of bike who felt insecure. The 15 per cent of riders who felt insecure outlined their concerns this way:

Conventional bicycles top insecurities, stated by more than 10 per cent of respondents who felt insecure (i.e. 10 per cent of the 15 percent who felt insecure):

* Bike too heavy.
* Lack of control.
* Insufficient brakes.
* Difficult to handle in traffic.

eBike top insecurities, stated by more than 10 per cent of respondents who felt insecure (i.e. 10 per cent of the 15 percent who felt insecure):

* Bike too heavy.
* Difficult to handle in traffic.
* Lack of control.


Safety plus for eBikes:

There was one finding that the researchers had not anticipated: "Surprisingly, there was a greater sense of security with power-assisted bicycles than with conventional bicycles because participants had more power from standing starts and could react faster in traffic. In addition, participants were more likely to obey stop signs, since the electric motor made the bicycle easier to start again," the report declared.

The regulation concludes that eBikes should be integrated into the conventional bicycle world and not be considered another type of motorcycle.

"It is anticipated that the provinces and territories will add the federal definition for power-assisted bicycles to their standards governing conventional bicycles, thereby ensuring the integration of all types of bicycles and avoiding potential safety problems for cyclists and the general public," the federal legislation states.

Sample action letter to send [NEW AND REVISED]

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE AND THE ISSUES IT TALKS ABOUT WERE SUPERCEDED BY PROVINCIAL REGULATIONS OCT. 1, 2009.

SEE: http://onteba.blogspot.com/2009/10/ontario-legalizes-ebikes.html


When you respond to the MTO appeal for clear information as they formulate eBike regulations, please copy the text below and paste it here. If you'd like to ensure your municipal and provincial politicians are up to speed on issues about eBike regulation, you can also send them this letter (get their address):

[copy and paste into the MTO response form]

To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing to you today to respond to the MTO's recent request for public input about e-bikes.

You have asked for responses to specific questions, and comments about concerns that MTO recently raised in a presentation to a selected group.

The Ministry's list of selected excerpts from the 2000 study used by the federal government to draft the Power Assisted Bicycle regulations includes the following, to which I have responded:

(a) "The cyclists considered brake reliability and performance to be the most important safety components on both electric bicycles and conventional bicycles, although they wanted to see some improvement in these areas."

The CEVEQ report says 85 per cent of the testers had no safety concerns about brakes, and that brake concerns -- actually ranked third on the list of concerns -- were mentioned far more frequently by conventional cyclists than by eBike riders. Statistically, fewer than ten of the 369 testers made this observation.

Also, the more recent CCMTA report clearly defines a braking standard for eBikes and eScooters: "A motor assisted cycle must be equipped with brakes on all wheels or axles. The braking system must be capable of bringing the motor assisted cycle, loaded to its total capacity and traveling at a speed of 30 km/hr., to a total standstill within 9 m from the point at which the brakes were applied."

(b) "An e-bike weighs between 27 and 35 kg, which makes it difficult to carry or set in motion from a stationary position."

In fact, what the riders were concerned about was: "It is difficult to lift the bike onto the sidewalk, place it on the roof of a car or position it on a bike rack." Why is a bike’s ease or difficulty to carry or put on the car roof relevant to its roadworthiness?

(c) "There is too much weight in relation to its maximum speed; the weight noticeably increases acceleration when you go down hills."

This is, in fact, two separate statements in the CEVEQ study and MTO has put them together.

1. The "maximum speed" in question was the then-legal limit of 24 km/h used in the eBike road test. All the users said that if the allowable speed were increase to approx 30 km/h, weight would not be a complaint. EBikes are now allowed to go 32 km/h.
2. The weight and modern motor restriction of 32 km/h will now actually prevent eScooters from the dangerous speeds reached by pedal bicycles traveling down a steep hill.

(d) "Weight, not the motor’s maximum power assist speed, was the characteristic cited most often as a reason for feeling insecure."

The CEVEQ report states: "The study showed that cyclists did not view the e-bikes as a safety risk." Overall, bike weight was a concern of 21 people in the test. More than half of them were concerned about the weight of their conventional bicycle.


Here are some other excerpts from the CEVEC study:


- 97 per cent of the Ontario testers thought EPBs and EABs were as safe as or safer than conventional bicycles. In CEVEQ's words: Most of the cyclists felt that e-bikes, whether assisted or self-propelled, were as safe as and sometimes even safer than conventional bicycles.

- In addition, users also noted that e-bikes encourage users to obey the Highway Safety Code more strictly (for example, they are more likely to stop at mandatory stops)

- In general, respondents were highly satisfied with the user-friendliness, braking and reliability of the e-bikes, whether they were EPBs or EABs.

- Sixty-four percent of all participants said they would use an e-bike to travel to work; 65 percent of those who usually travel to work by car said they would opt for the e-bike; and 71 percent of conventional bicycle enthusiasts expressed interest in using e-bikes to get to work.

- E-bikes can reduce pollution and congestion in urban centres

- E-bikes make it easier to stop and start frequently in city traffic

- Greater provision should be made for e-bikes in city traffic (lack of bicycle paths, pavement in poor repair and lack of services).



As to the MTO specific questions,

1. I think that Ontario's status quo addresses almost all of my concerns; I would not oppose prohibiting tampering with an eBike or eScooter in order to increase its speed. That is a road safety issue and I agree with keeping roads safe. MTO seems to misunderstand that the CCMTA would somehow prohibit eScooters. This is not true. The CCMTA report (http://www.ccmta.ca/english/pdf/power_assisted_cycles.pdf) clearly states that "Jurisdictional regulations should be consistent with federal statutes concerning power assisted bicycles," and eScooters comply with federal regulations on PABs.



2. A great many of the 'scooter-type' eBikes on the road would not meet Low Speed Motorcycle standards; they have been manufactured in good faith to meet international and federal "Power Assisted Bicycle" standards, which are different. Requiring eScooters to meet LSM standards is not practical and would effectively remove them from the marketplace since Ontario would be the only place in the world with such standards and put Ontario at odds with the federal standards already adopted elsewhere in Canada. Furthermore, their "appearance" like gas scooters is only skin deep. Their lightweight outer shell does make them a stylish consumer option for eBike purchasers. It doesn't make them a motorcycle.



3. Are stakeholder concerns related to weight/size/braking of some e-bikes, particularly scooter-style ones, justified? No. The CCMTA and CEVEQ studies are easily misinterpreted about braking. Although it was a dominant theme when people talked about safety, the vast majority did not think safety was an issue at all. And the safety issues discussed were in comparison with conventional bicycles. Overall, most people thought e-bikes were safer than conventional bikes.

I would also like to point out that eScooters have wider tires that are considerably safer to use when riding near Toronto's streetcar tracks. I would estimate that hundreds of conventional cyclists have dangerous unreported accidents every year because of the streetcar tracks.

Every eScooter rider I have ever talked to feels safer on the road than they have on a bicycle because of the wider tires, lower centre of gravity, 32 km/h maximum speed, balanced and safe shopping bag stowage, and the mandatory helmet and in-built safety devices such as horn, signal and brake lights.



4. The CEVEC report clearly states that e-bikes are not for everybody, and will remain a smaller proportion of the two-wheeled market. As for the proportion of eScooters now on the road in Ontario, I would guess they are becoming the majority. They have been a popular consumer style choice. They are simply that: a style choice. They should not be banned simply because they "resemble" something else, or are considered unattractive to some people.



5. I am not an eBike retailer, but I can tell you that there was a purchase expectation that Ontario's regulation of eBikes would harmonize with all our neighbouring provinces and with federal law and recommendation.



6. There is a lot of published research about eBikes that supports not only their safety but that validates their successful integration into the cycling community.

This report: (http://www.scribd.com/doc/1960031/Electric-Bike-Use-in-China-and-Their-Impacts-on-the) is an academic paper that, after an exhaustive study of safety, pollution and conventional cycle complaints, summarizes: "Cities should embrace e-bikes." The study was commissioned by two city governments that had, based on misinformation and misunderstanding, initially planned to ban eBikes.


The original federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act that allowed eBikes on Canadian roads (http://gazette.gc.ca/archives/p2/2001/2001-04-11/html/sor-dors117-eng.html) found, among many positive benefits of eBikes, that eBike riders were more likely to obey stop signs. No subsequent research has shown anything different.


A presentation by the European Cyclists Federation refutes the Toronto Cyclists Union assertion that bicycles are noisy. "Bicycles are silent," the ECU told the EU in this presentation: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/strategies/doc/2009_future_of_transport/contributions/20090326_ecf.pdf


The Insurance Bureau of British Columbia's annual reports of bicycle collisions that result in injury or death have never indicated the design/weight/handling of eScooters or eBikes to be a safety factor. EBikes have been fully street-legal in British Columbia since 2003 under regulations almost exactly like Ontario's status quo. Here is the most recent (2006) report. http://www.icbc.com/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application%2Fpdf&blobheadername1=Content-Disposition&blobheadervalue1=filename%3D%22collisions-2006.pdf%22&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1233967816630&ssbinary=true


The CCMTA report cited by MTO is very supportive of eScooter and eBike use: http://www.ccmta.ca/english/pdf/power_assisted_cycles.pdf



7. Future design innovations you should be aware of include:


*new and affordable metal alloys and battery technologies will continue to make e-bikes lighter and more energy efficient. These changes are imminent in the marketplace;

*three-wheeled designs that allow larger storage capacity may become popular among urban people wishing to do shopping, and also with urban delivery services like pizza or flowers;

*three-wheeled designs with approved baby-seats are being tested; they are certainly more safe than those 'kiddy trailers' towed by conventional bicycles.

Thank you for reading my letter. I hope this helps you come to an informed decision that will lead to harmonizing Ontario's integration of eBikes into the mainstream bicycle community, thus matching how Power Assisted Bicycles have become part of the everyday bicycle communities in B. C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and several U.S. States.

Name
Address
email
[end copy]

Write your city or provincial official

There are some loud voices in the conventional bicycle community who have irrational fears about eBikes. Clearly they have not consulted the bicycling communities in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and many U.S. states about how succesfully eBikes have been integrated into bicycle culture in North American environments like our own.

In their fear, they are urging Ontario politicians to legislate PBAs (especially eScooters) to be equivalent to mopeds and motorcycles. This is contrary to what other Canadian regions do, and it is contrary to what the federal government envisioned when it outlined the adoption and inclusion of eBikes into Canadian life.

It's important that rational and not reactionary decisions be made by the Ontario government. You can help steer them away from the squeaky wheels that want all the political grease.

Here's how:

Write to your city and provincial politicians. Here is how to find your elected representative's name. And here is a letter you can send, either electronically or by land post.

Interesting resources for Ontario eBikers

Gio eBike forum

This is a discussion forum for Gio eScooter owners to share ideas, comments, modifications and upgrades and new owner observations. It is run by Jim, who blogs about his switch from a gasoline truck to an eScooter in the BandMobile blog.

The Gio is the marketing name in Canada for the Luyuan PB710 bike made in China. It represents the low-end of the cost spectrum of eScooters, typically costing in the $600-$700 range. Being so inexpensive it is an excellent entry-level eBike for those just wanting to explore the concept; it is also cheap enough that folks who like to tinker can play around with its lighting and look.



Durham e-Bike Association

The DEB has both a website and a Facebook group.

This Facebook group is considered one of the best online to address eBike issues in Southern Ontario. Although its focus is the suburban Durham region north of Toronto, it has many Toronto members because its organizers have taken a leadership role in demonstrating to the provincial government that PBAs have a legitimate and important place on the road, equal to but different from bicycles. The Durham e-Bike Association president Warren Christiani has been quoted in the Toronto Sun about the benefits and realities of eBikes in modern city life.

It has an excellent page on regulations and rules and retailers in Ontario.


'Sensible' pedal bicyclist blog

The Toronto blog ibiketo.com, operated by a conventional cyclist, has been home to much discussion among eBikers and bicyclists. The thread "Electric scooter a lion in lamb's clothes", despite its inflammatory title, has actually been a responsible and intelligent discussion of roadway issues between eBikers and conventional cyclers, usually building bridges between the two groups rather than excavating ravines like the TCU has been doing.

Of course, like any blog open to public comment and contribution, there are people who write things without thinking, make claims without factual study or science to back up their statements, or without any knowledge of the subject at all.

However, the tone of the discussions generally returns to sanity, with sensible people from both communities realizing that, in fact, they are just slightly different members of the same community.

A far cry from that biking lobby group and its scientifically-unfounded and reactionary position on eBikes.


Political contact lists

Because eBikes are new, many people who don't know anything about them, fear them. It seems to be a state state of uman nature to fear what you don't know, and decry it before learning about it. This includes politicians. So it's important to send an email, make a phone call or send a letter to your local and provincial politician to let them know that eBikes are legitimate, safe, friendly and thanks to federal legislation, here to stay.

Because so much of the regulation is provincial, it's also important to contact your MPP and let the decision-makers at Queen's Park know that we stand by the federal belief that Power-Assisted Bicycles are "a new means of transportation that is attractive, safe, and environment-friendly."

  • Find your Member of the Provincial Parliament.
If you'd like to add a community to this list, please join OntEBA and comment!

Ontario government research

The provincial government has things to do, places to go and people to meet as it finalizes regulations about eBikes.

Many people have been consulted.

One of them, who met with officials face-to-face on June 16, filed this report.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome

Welcome to OntEBA, The Ontario eBike Alliance. We are a group of everyday people promoting the adoption and use of low-speed "Power-Assisted Bicycles" as defined under federal law.

In case you were wondering what a PAB is, it's a new type of transportation that takes one of the greatest inventions of the 18th century, the bicycle, and makes it modern.

At OntEBA, we use the terms "eBike" and "PABs" interchangeably. "eScooter" is a term used to described eBikes that look somewhat like a gasoline-powered scooter. The resemblance is, however, only skin deep.

A forward-thinking government (no that's not an oxymoron) described PABs as "a new means of transportation that is attractive, safe, and environment-friendly." We agree, and have even adopted those words as our motto.


What eBikes are

Some eBikes may look like gasoline-powered Low Speed Motorcycles: a.k.a Mopeds or Scooters. Others look like unpowered bicycles but have an electric motor attached to the front tire. All are strictly regulated by federal definition and provincial highways law:
  • The motors cannot propel them faster than 32 km/h, about the same speed as a fit bicyclist can muster, and slower than a speedy bicyclist. Obviously much slower than a motorcycle, scooter or automobile.
  • Riders must wear protective helmets. Bicyclists, on the other hand, are not even required to wear a hat.
  • Drivers of PABs must be at least 16 years old.
  • eBikes must be manufactured with signal lights, horns and operable pedals. Standard bicyles leave these safety features up to the rider to provide.
  • eBikes do not require a special operator's license, registration plate or vehicle insurance, just the same as bicycles.
  • PABs are required to follow the rules and laws of the road, just the same as bicycles. They are prohibited from going anywhere a bicyle cannot go, such as sidewalks.
What eBikes are not

eBikes are not toys. They are modern transportation for grown-ups, ideal for both urban and suburban living and commuting.

The federal government believes that eBikes "will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the environment and the economy," according to the federal legislation that defines them.

PABs are not motorcycles, although some of them do resemble scooters. One critic said 'if it looks like a duck, it must be a duck.' However, we respond: "Just because you put a three-piece suit on a duck doesn't make it an MPP." The speed that an eBike motor can propel the bike is required to be electronically capped at 32 km/h. Federal law states: "The power and speed limits set out here are similar to those of a bicycle and not those of a motorcycle," so the clear intent of lawmakers and people who have studied the issue is that eBikes be thought of as similar to a bicycle.

Rider safety has been taken into consideration by both the federal and provincial levels of government, which has rightly classified them as a new kind of bicycle. Although Ontario hasn't fully articulated its regulation of eBikes, the federal government has. "Continuing to subject power-assisted bicycles to the safety standards for limited-speed motorcycles would, to all intents and purposes, have prevented this type of vehicle from being marketed in Canada, which would have deprived Canadians of a safe and non-polluting alternative mode of transportation."

eBikes are not bicycles. eBikes are not motorcycles. They are what they are, as the government says: "a new means of transportation that is attractive, safe, and environment-friendly... The anticipated effects on the environment will be positive because this type of vehicle is powered by a non-polluting source of energy and its use should help to alleviate urban traffic congestion."

Debate and discussion

Others might not like it that people in the know have made studies and careful consideration about where eBikes fit into Canadian and Ontario transportation plans, and have come to educated opinions and conclusions.

But at OntEBA we're happy to get on with the 21st century and celebrate new thinking and new technologies. So let's start re-inventing the wheel!