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The European Commission announces the ”European Green Deal”

Brussels, 11 December 2019 – Times are changing, but transport still accounts for a quarter of EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. That’s not all: transport emissions are even growing. Becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 represents the greatest challenge and opportunity, so today the European Commission presented the European Green Deal, the ”most ambitious package of measures that should enable European citizens and businesses to benefit from sustainable green transition” – the European Commission says.

We are talking about an initial roadmap of key policies that will be set into legislation and presented within the next three months under a proposal for a ‘European Climate Law’: among the key policies, the European Commission explicitly mentions the commitment to accelerate the shift to Sustainable and Smart Mobility. The European Commission will focus on boosting multimodal and connected mobility by supporting – via EU funding instruments – projects and services that can reduce congestion and pollution in urban areas. It will also propose more stringent air pollutant emissions standards for combustion-engine vehicles.

”The European Green Deal is an important initiative to protect our planet and contribute to a sustainable future:  the question is how to practically make it successful’’ – CONEBI’s GM Manuel Marsilio states. ‘’Bicycles and E-Bikes should be placed at the core of that success and supported by EU and national policies that can foster sales. For example, we call on the European Institutions to adopt a good proposal on VAT rates so that EU governments can eventually make a more targeted use of VAT rates, like VAT reduction on the purchase of bicycles, e-bikes and accessories.’’



CONEBI General Assembly announces renewal Board of Directors and sets priorities for the next EU legislative term

Brussels, 6 November 2019 – The CONEBI General Assembly was attended by all CONEBI members representing more than 500 Bicycle, Pedal Assist E-Bike, Parts and Accessories companies across Europe took place in Brussels on October 29th.

During the General Assembly, the Board of Directors was renewed for an additional term of two years and Mr. Ton Anbeek, CEO of Accell Group, joined CONEBI as Vice-President. The Board of Directors now consists of:

Mr. Erhard Büchel (CEO of Büchel GmbH & Co. KG) as President, Mr. Ton Anbeek (CEO of the Accell Group) as Vice-President, Mr. Paulo Fernando Monteiro Rodrigues (CEO of Mind over Body) as Vice-President, Mr. Massimo Panzeri (CEO of Atala) as Vice-President and Ms. Sacha Boedijn (Manager of the Bicycle division within RAI Vereniging) as Treasurer.

During the General Assembly a wide variety of topics was discussed, including the update on the revision of the Motor Insurance Directive (which is in its final phase in the Council of the European Union), the current work in Brussels on the EN standard for PLEVs (Personal Light Electric Vehicles) and the announcement of the first contribution by CONEBI (via and together with the World Bicycle Industry Association) to a United Nations policy document on Mobility as a Service.

In addition, the CONEBI General Assembly strongly welcomed CONEBI’s appointment by the European Commission to the European Commission Single Platform on Cooperative, Connected and Autonomous Mobility (CCAM). Road safety and traffic management systems, in the context of multimodal smart mobility, the role of in-vehicle data, digital and road infrastructure are all pivotal topics in the overall growth of bicycles and e-bike sales in the future cycling landscape, with a specific attention to urban mobility.

The next CONEBI General Assembly will take place in May 2020.


CONEBI participates in Public Consultations on Sustainability Requirements for Batteries and the Revision of the Machinery Directive

Brussels, 23 September 2019 – In August, the European Commission requested stakeholders’ input on two topics that are of great importance to the European Bicycle Industry, the development of sustainability requirements for batteries as well as the revision of the machinery directive. CONEBI, together with its technical experts participated in both of these consultations in order to make the voice of the industry heard and ensure that the European Bicycle, Pedal Assist E-Bike, Parts & Accessories Industry continues to develop in a sustainable as well as safe manner.

The European Commission is planning to draw up sustainability requirements for batteries as it aims to foster battery production in Europe. The main objective of this initiative is to foster the production and placing on the EU market of high performing, safe, sustainable and durable (i.e. long-lasting) battery cells and battery packs/modules, produced with the lowest environmental footprint possible in a way that is cost-effective. At the same time, this initiative aims at helping create a level playing field for economic operators and takes into consideration the full lifecycle of a battery. The requirements will most likely be in the form of an Ecodesign and/or Energy Labelling Regulation.

This consultation is of importance to CONEBI as battery technologies play a key role in low emission mobility and new sustainability criteria will have an impact on the supply chain of battery procurements as well as how batteries should be treated at the end of their life cycle. The consultation directly addressed industry representatives of battery manufacturers as well as representatives from manufacturers of electric vehicles.

The Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) is relevant for non-type approved e-bikes and makes an official reference to the European EPAC standard EN15194:2017 thereby harmonizing this standard under the Machinery Directive. In general, the directive aims to promote the free movement of machinery within the single market and guarantees a high level of safety and protection for machinery users and other exposed persons, goals that CONEBI can very much agree with.

The European Commission has decided to launch this public consultation where stakeholders from business and industry associations, manufacturers and importers of machinery and/or parts are asked to voice their opinion to confirm the issues identified by an evaluation of the directive as well as to improve and simplify the directive.


CONEBI appointed expert member of the European Commission’s platform on Cooperative, Connected and Autonomous Mobility

Brussels, 26 June 2019 – In May 2018 the European Commission announced its intention to establish a single EU-wide platform grouping all relevant public and private stakeholders to coordinate open road testing of Connected and Automated Mobility and make the link with pre-deployment activities.

That is why the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) – together with the Directorate-General for Communication Networks and Technology (DG CNECT), Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG Grow) and Directorate-General for Research & Innovation (DG RTD) – has set up a group of experts to provide advice and support to the European Commission in the above mentioned field of Connected, Cooperative and Autonomous Mobility (CCAM).

‘’Having regard to the relevance of the organisation, the demonstrated level of expertise and taking into account the specific tasks of the expert group, we are pleased to inform CONEBI that it has been selected as a member of the CCAM expert platform’’ said the European Commission. CONEBI’s President stated in this regard: ‘’we thank the European Commission for allowing the Bicycle Industry to bring forward its ideas, knowledge and positions in the field of CCAM. It is a great opportunity for the Industry, which confirms the very good work done so far by CONEBI in Brussels and Geneva’’.
Among the associations that have been appointed as expert members, there are:

  • ACEA (European Automobile Manufactures’ Association),
  • CLEPA (European Association of Automotive Suppliers),
  • 5GAA (5G Automotive Association),
  • ERTICO (EU Public-Private partnership on Intelligent Transport Systems),
  • ERTRAC (The European Road Transport Research Advisory Council)
  • ETSC (European Transport Safety Council)
  • POLIS (the network of European cities and regions cooperating for innovative transport solutions)

In practical terms, the work of the expert group will focus on developing an EU agenda for testing and will take into consideration areas like road safety, the future physical and digital road infrastructure, the connectivity technology as well as the access to and exchange of data.
The group’s responsibility is to develop recommendations related to standards and technical specifications, a common safety assessment methodology, traffic rules and vehicle legislation. In the future, the digitisation of infrastructure will require in depth collaboration between public and private sector, such as between road authorities, operators and vehicle supplier while, for the live data, the communication infrastructure will support high-definition maps: CONEBI will participate in these discussions and secure the Bicycle Industry position within the Intelligent Transport Systems’ ecosystem.


2019 Ride Asia and close cooperation CONEBI – AICMA

New Delhi, June 2019 – CONEBI and All India Cycle Manufacturers Association (AICMA) keep on strengthening their cooperation under the umbrella of the World Bicycle Industry Association WBIA. CONEBI and WBIA President Erhard Büchel has represented the two associations at the 2019 Ride Asia in New Delhi, as a follow-up to the Memorandum of Understanding between CONEBI and AICMA signed some months ago with regard to joint actions in the Industry representation before the United Nations and international trade fairs.

With over 50,000 visitors and 400 exhibitors, the 2019 edition of Ride Asia addressed dealers, distributors, importers and entrepreneurs who are looking for new business opportunities in E–Vehicles, E–Bikes, Bicycles and the Fitness industry. “Alongside with Mr. Ongkar Singh Pahwa, Chairman of Avon Bike, I had the honour to open the fair and to give a speech at the opening ceremony” Mr. Büchel said after his visit. He believes that India is an emerging market for the bicycle business, not only from an export point of view but also domestic. “Now it’s time to not only believe in quantity – but in quality”, Mr. Büchel stated. German accredited testing institute Velotech is considering the possibility to open a subsidiary in Ludhiana: their main field of activity is the safety testing of micro mobility vehicles.


World Bicycle Industry Association at the United Nations

Geneva, 18-22 February 2019 – After a very positive and important year at the United Nations, the World Bicycle Industry Association (WBIA) was invited last week to attend the 2019 session of the United Nations’ Inland Transport Committee (ITC).
The ITC is the highest policy-making body of the United Nations in the field of transport. In the course of the last 72 years, together with its subsidiary bodies, the ITC has provided an intergovernmental forum, where United Nations Member States come together to forge tools for economic cooperation and negotiate and adopt international legal instruments on Transport.
The 2019 edition was expected to mark a milestone in its history: the Committee decided on the adoption of its strategy until 2030. The main topics included in such a strategy were Road Safety governance and dynamics in the era of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, automation, Intelligent Transport Systems and digitalization.
A WBIA delegation of representatives from the Industry associations of Japan, US and Europe was present and had very fruitful talks with the Transport experts of the United Nations: as a world-wide Industry representation, WBIA is committed to work closely with the United Nations’ policy makers to strengthen the development of the Bicycle, Pedal-Assist E-Bike and Parts & Accessories Industries at global level.


Industry4Europe Plenary Session

Brussels, February 18th, 2019 – Industry4Europe held some days ago its first plenary session of 2019 at the Brussels office of Hauts-de-France Region. CONEBI was there – as always – supporting the activities of the coalition. The plenary was a good opportunity for Industry4Europe to discuss the strategy regarding the next activities.
Industry4Europe is an industry coalition of organizations advocating for an ambitious EU industry strategy: it has 138 member organizations from across the EU, and CONEBI is proud to be one of the founding members.
The coalition has published several Joint Papers and Declarations about what kind of requests the EU Industry has in the future EU Industrial Strategy’s development. The impact of such an important advocacy work is already evident in the policy papers of several European Parliament’s political parties. Furthermore, the Council of the EU – which groups all EU Governments – has also adopted several arguments from Industry4Europe to discuss the content of the future EU strategy. Representing the European Commission, DG GROW, gave a presentation on the Commission’s Industrial Policy, highlighting that industrial policy should go hand by hand with innovation, decarbonization, investment, access to international markets, digitization and the development of the single market.
Moreover, the coalition presented to the European Commission its 3 sub-groups: the first is responsible for drafting the New Joint Call for the Heads of State and Government, the second one for monitoring the 2019 European Parliament Elections, and the third sub-group is going to cover EU-related Communication and Social Media.


The European Parliament confirms exclusion of e-bikes from mandatory insurance

Strasbourg, 13th February 2019 – It is official: the European Parliament in its plenary session in Strasbourg voted in favour of the exclusion of e-bikes from the scope of a mandatory motor-vehicle insurance. A decision that confirms the one taken some weeks ago by the Consumer Affairs’ Committee. The last step in this process is to have the Council to support the European Parliament’s position. CONEBI and its advocacy partners will reach out to it and continue the work that has been done since the European Commission’s proposal.


Update from the EU Industry Days: February 7th, 2019

Brussels, 7 February 2019 – CONEBI was present at the high-level Industry Days organized by the European Commission.

Important EU officials like Jean-Claude Juncker and Jyrki Katainen, respectively President and Vice President of the European Commission, but also stakeholders like Siemens, Airbus, Google and many representatives of European associations attended the EU Industry Days.

Below you can find a very brief update on some of the most interesting panel discussions.

The Impact of Globalization and Digitization in the Future of Industry
During the first day of the EU Industry Days, the European Commission organized a panel moderated by Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Commission.
The discussion was focused on the role of globalization in the future industrial scenario and what Europe can do to remain competitive at a global level. As globalization is becoming a disrupting force, if Europe wants to keep on being competitive it needs to invest more in Research & Innovation and to develop a more industry-centered policy. Furthermore, as digitalization is minimizing the significance of distance (borders, transaction costs etc.) there is an urgent need to provide support to SMEs for internationalization purposes in order to become more competitive.
If European SMEs become more competitive at a global level, this will bring growth, better wages and better working conditions. Moreover, within the new digitalized eco-system, economies of scale become hyper-economies of scale by establishing concrete globalized platforms: in Europe we are lagging behind in this matter and this is why developing a common industrial policy within the EU should be at the top of the agenda of the next EU Commission.

Booming Battery Industry and Europe
This panel focused on the growing opportunities but also challenges of the battery market. The battery market is expected to grow tenfold within the next couple of years argued Perti Peltonen, the Under-Secretary of State of Finland. Also, Northvolt estimates that the market will be worth up to 250 billion euros a year by 2025. Furthermore, the Chief Executive Officer of EIT KIC InnoEnergy highlighted that there is a lot of market potential for the battery industry, as the demand is there and is booming.
Paolo Cerruti, the Co-founder and COO of Northvolt called for more European presence and responsible investment in Africa, especially in view of the Chinese control of almost 50% of mineral resources in the continent. Following an article of Reuters dated June 2018, Cerruti stated that there are ways to increase equipment productivity and lower raw material costs as well as the amount of energy needed to produce each gigawatt of battery power. Northvolt plans to build a factory in Sweden to produce 32 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery capacity a year by 2023. It is preparing to raise 1.2-1.5 billion euros in debt and equity to help build an initial 8 GWh of capacity, and expects the European Investment Bank – an existing backer – to provide a chunk of the debt.

Manufacturing and 4.0 Skills
During the second day of the Industry Days 2019 CECIMO (European Association of the Machine Tool Industries and related Manufacturing Technologies) organized an interesting panel session on “Manufacturing and 4.0 Skills”. The session highlighted how the employment skills in the manufacturing industries are changing due to Industry 4.0 – which refers to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and processes.
15% of the EU labor force is employed in manufacturing industries and many indirect jobs are linked to it. One of the biggest threats with increasing digitalization is that talent shortages and skills-mismatches can occur as many industries are going through changes: to better anticipate which skills will be required in the future, the European Commission has launched multiple projects to explore which ones are in growing demand at EU level by collecting cross-industry data.
First results show that technical competences in the fields of Digital, Big Data and Circular Economy are the ones strongly emerging in the new landscape. Partnerships between businesses and education centers are going to be a crucial reference point for the long-term development of the manufacturing industries in Europe.


The Consumer Affairs Committee of the European Parliament votes in favour of excluding e-bikes from the scope of the new Motor Insurance Directive

Brussels, 23rd January 2019 – Yesterday the Consumer Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (IMCO Committee) voted in favour of the exclusion of e-bikes (up to 25km/h assistance and 250W) from the scope of the new Motor Insurance Directive: a great result, which comes after several intense months of advocacy between ECF, CIE and CONEBI with the members of IMCO Committee.

The vote in the IMCO Committee is the response to the European Commission’s proposal of 2018 to impose a mandatory motor vehicle insurance to all e-bike riders: a detrimental proposal that would put at risk the uptake of the European e-bike market. Under the EU Commission’s proposed directive national governments could have exempted certain vehicles from the Directive, but we argued that this would create a patchwork of legislation across the EU, would complicate EU and national policy making with future reference to the legislation, or even begin the process of including pedelecs into wider vehicle regulations, all damaging to a vehicle that is essentially a bicycle.

We therefore supported the parliamentary lead on the subject (MEP Charanzová) to reverse this, for the EU to define clearly the scope by including only type approved vehicles and allow Member States to apply a mandatory transport/liability insurance at the national level if so desired.

While it is not the final decision of the full Parliament it is extremely unlikely that there will be any changes in the full vote because all the major political blocs supported a compromise in the committee which meets our needs.

Now that the IMCO Committee has recognized and supported our position, the final stage of the EU process will be the national governments (The EU Council). Our networks will be reaching out to them to highlight the benefits of the IMCO Committee’s proposal to exclude e-bikes from a motor vehicle insurance. At this stage we will certainly come back to all our networks to ask you for one last push to explain the importance of this change at national level. E-bikes are a business, environmental and social success story of the EU, we lead the world in this sector and we want the national governments to see this.

ECF Advocacy Director Adam Bodor said in a press release “this is a sensible decision by the European Parliament IMCO committee. We are happy that they agreed with the cycling community that there is no need to define pedelecs as motor vehicle and require compulsory third party liability insurance. We ask Member States to follow the lead of the Rapporteur Charanzová and the parliament to exclude pedelecs from this Directive.”

CONEBI General Manager Manuel Marsilio stated ‘’I would like to thank the members of the IMCO Committee that supported our position: we will now start the discussion with Member States to secure that the new Motor Insurance Directive will not include pedelecs in its scope. This is a crucial moment in the advocacy process.’’

Today we are one step forward – a very good one – in this difficult process, and we would like to thank every national association and company that has contributed to this first important result by sending letters to the members of the IMCO Committee!

Work is not over, so we will keep you posted.

CONEBI – Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry, ECF – European Cyclists Federation, CIE – Cycling Industry Club.