Skip to main content
Tag

PAris

Paris e-scooters under pressure to prove green credentials

By General Posts

Hadjali and Gompo are part of the “urban patrols” carried out by the US start-up Lime, which says the recovered units are recycled as much as possible — though the lithium-ion batteries are usually shot.

Paris – Pulling on makeshift roped hooks along a sun-drenched bank of the Seine River in Paris, Youva Hadjali and Edison Gompo fish out two electric scooters — not the most ecological fate for devices billed as a carbon-free fix for strained urban transport systems.

As city officials vow to rein in the use of wildly popular e-scooters, their short lifespans, along with the energy consumed to build and service them, have many wondering if they are as good for the environment as operators say.

Hadjali and Gompo are part of the “urban patrols” carried out by the US start-up Lime, which says the recovered units are recycled as much as possible — though the lithium-ion batteries are usually shot.

“Overall in Paris, Lime scooters have saved the equivalent of two days without any cars at all” since they arrived 16 months ago, Arthur-Louis Jacquier, head of French operations, told AFP.

Critics say such claims fail to take into account the carbon emitted in constructing the scooters and the daily collections for recharging the so-called “dockless” vehicles.

Those emissions are compounded by lifespans of barely a year, due to wear and tear but also vandalism.

They were a specific target of activists at the Extinction Rebellion protest in Paris last month, who gathered up a huge pile of the devices to denounce what they labelled “pointless pollution.”

“Scooters don’t replace cars, they motorise walking trips,” one sign said.

Studies indeed show that most scooter trips are replacing walking or biking, with just a third displacing car use, said Jeremiah Johnson of North Carolina State University.

He and his colleagues analysed use in North Carolina’s capital, Raleigh, and found the electricity for charging was actually a pretty small contributor to scooters’ environmental impact.

But in terms of pollution, scooters most often end up causing a net increase in terms of global warming impacts.

“Forty percent of the CO2 emissions are from driving around to pick these things up (for charging), and about half of the CO2 emissions are from the materials and the manufacturing of the scooter,” Johnson told AFP.

– ‘Mass transport’ – In the coming weeks, Paris will pick just three operators allowed to keep their scooters on the streets, down from around a dozen which began flooding the city last year.

Lime, which says its charging depots run on so-called clean electricity and plans to use only electric vans for pick-ups, hopes to be one of them.

It also vows to get over some embarrassing growing pains: A few months ago videos emerged showing “juicers,” as Lime calls the freelance workers who gather scooters for charging the batteries, using gas-powered electric generators.

“In just a year and a half, we went from being a firm with innovative ideas to a mass transport company,” Jacquier said of the early decision to outsource charging, something it has since ruled out.

Even so, operators must also meet the challenge of keeping scooters rolling longer.

“If you are able to achieve a two-year lifetime, which would be a really rugged scooter and with really good anti-vandalism policies… that makes a big difference,” Johnson said.

But since September, when Lime launched its Seine searches, some 200 scooters have been pulled out, said Sonthay Detsaboun, who manages the urban patrols.

It’s a similar story in Lyon, where in September an environment group pulled out 109 scooters on just one 800-metre (half a mile) stretch along the Rhone, one of two rivers that weave through the city.

– Building a better machine – At Lime’s depot at Arcueil, just south of Paris, the din of clanking metal and power tools suggests vandalism will remain a challenge to profitability — just as it has been for the city’s pioneering Velib bike-sharing system.

Some 200 mechanics keep the place running around the clock, seven days a week, so the fleet can keep rolling.

Every day 1,000 to 1,500 scooters are put back in working order — common problems include snipped brake cables or spray-painted QR codes, meaning they can’t be unlocked.

Lime is upgrading its fleet to put bigger batteries under the floorboard, hopefully extending the life of the most costly — and environmentally damaging — component.

Those scooters can go 50 kilometres (30 miles) on a single charge, and have an improved lifespan of 16 to 18 months, Jacquier said.

“We’re aiming for a net environmental impact of zero, and therefore 100 percent positive for the planet,” he said.

Paris Harley-Davidson, Adam Sandoval set new world record

By General Posts

by Macon Atkinson from http://theparisnews.com

Paris Harley-Davidson and philanthropist Adam Sandoval have set a new Guinness World Record for continuous Harley-Davidson motorcycles on parade.

In an event dubbed Bring it Home 2019, 3,497 motorcyclists from across the country rode their Harley Davidson bikes through Paris on a 3.5 mile ride, the Guinness official announced. The record has been taken from Hellas Motorcycle Club of Patras, Greece, which previously held the record set May 22, 2010, with 2,404 Harley-Davidsons making a 2.8-mile trip.

Paris’s parade raised money for Motorcycle Missions, a nonprofit that helps first responders with PTSD. The $15 per bike registration fee was donated entirely to the nonprofit, with over 3,400 pre-registrations, said event organizer Molly Beaudin, who is also a dealer development manager for Paris Harley-Davidson.

“I don’t even know what to say. Let’s hear it for America. We officially brought it home,” Sandoval said.

See Sunday’s edition of The Paris News for more coverage of the parade.

Berlin to tighten rules for electric scooter users

By General Posts

City transport officials said after a meeting with scooter providers that they’ll designate special on-street parking zones for the battery-powered vehicles

BERLIN: Berlin plans to stop electric scooters from being left haphazardly on sidewalks and other anti-social behavior that’s drawn the ire of residents in the German capital since the vehicles were made legal two months ago.

City transport officials said Wednesday after a meeting with scooter providers that they’ll designate special on-street parking zones for the battery-powered vehicles, which are popular among tourists and young people.

Berlin police will also step up patrols to prevent illegal behavior such as doubling.

Police say seven people have been seriously injured and 27 suffered minor injuries in scooter accidents since mid-June, saying most were due to riders behaving carelessly.

In Paris, where about 20,000 scooters roam the streets , authorities recently proposed limiting speeds to 8 kilometers per hour (5 mph) in areas with heavy foot traffic.

Paris clamps down on electric scooters as law of the jungle rules

By General Posts

More than 1,000 tickets have been issued and about 600 scooters impounded, authorities said, and a new surveillance force has been set up.

PARIS: If you’re spending time in Paris this summer and decide to check out one of the 20,000 electric scooters buzzing along its boulevards, you might want to be careful how you ride and where you end up parking.

Over the past year the city has become awash with the zippy two-wheelers, with 12 start-ups offering the chance to download an app and dash across the Seine for not much more than the cost of a metro ticket.

But the scooters’ popularity, and the relative lack of rules around their use, has prompted City Hall to impose overdue restrictions, with fines for driving them on the pavement or parking them in doorways, crosswalks and other busy places.

After two deaths and scores of injuries, residents have become increasingly vocal against the scooters, which are expected to number up to 40,000 by the end of this year.

From July 1, a spot fine of 35 euros ($40) will be levied on bad parking, while those caught on the sidewalk will be hit with a 135-euro penalty. A speed limit of 20 km/hr has been imposed across the capital.

Even before the legislation kicks in, police have been stepping up their efforts.

More than 1,000 tickets have been issued and about 600 scooters impounded, authorities said, and a new surveillance force has been set up.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has described the scooters as “anarchic”, while transport minister Elisabeth Borne told Le Parisien the city was experiencing “the law of the jungle”.

To regulate the number of scooters, City Hall has introduced a fee of 50 euros per scooter for the first 499 units, rising to 65 euros for companies operating more than 3,000. The biggest operators include Lime, Bird and Jump, operated by Uber.

Yet despite the efforts to put the squeeze on wild scooter riding, pedestrians remain sceptical.

“The fines make sense, but can we enforce them and how?,” asked Yuwei Yeh, a 47-year-old commercial retailer.

“Maybe if we use AI and cameras we can catch people, but we don’t have enough police officers and security guards to fine them, so it will only be a small portion.”

Karim Coulibaly, a 22-year-old employee with Lime said he thought the new laws would not limit the use of electric scooters, but that it was a good thing they are being moved off sidewalks and on to roads.

A representative of Bird said the company had introduced designated parking zones and had not seen a “significant” number of vehicles impounded.

Video Podcast: Life Lessons from Racing the Dakar Rally

By General Posts

TMFF Talk – Racing Dakar
55 minutes – Free to watch

Lawrence Hacking has been a motorcycle racer since 1971, he has raced the 21-day long 2001 Paris Dakar Rally and was the first ever Canadian to complete the toughest off-road race on earth. Since then, Lawrence has written a book “To Dakar and Back” and manages Overland Adventure Rally held each year in Ontario, Canada.

Christophe Barriere-Varju started racing motocross at the age of 14 and lifelong motocross racer, he has competed in the Dakar Rally 4 times, twice in Africa and twice in South America. His last Dakar Rally race has been captured in 10x Award Winning Film, Dream Racer — the timeless story true to all of us, one’s pursuit of lifelong dreams, whatever those dreams might be.

Lawrence and Christophe were interviewed by Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival Director, Caius Tenche in a fascinating 55-min video interview.

This interview is for all of you wondering what it takes, and what it feels like — to race the almighty Dakar Rally, and how this event can alter the course of one person’s life.

Sit back, and enjoy great life insights and personal stories from these two racers whose lives changed course after racing the world’s toughest motorsport race, the Dakar Rally as privateers.

An Interview with Lawrence Hacking, Dakar Rally Racer

https://news.dreamracer.tv/motorsport/dakar-rally/an-interview-with-lawrence-hacking-dakar-rally-racer/

Interview excerpt:

DR. How did it feel racing that last stage on Lac Rose and crossing the same podium as these legends?

LH. That day was a highlight of my life, it was January 21, 2001, we rode from the hotel on a liaison to the beach where the special stage started. Hubert Auriol made an emotional speech, we the riders talked while we waited. That moment was what I worked an entire year for and crossing over the podium was pure euphoria. That feeling is so addictive and so difficult to achieve that the quest to relive that feeling is life changing. You start dreaming about ways to recapture that feeling and it is nearly impossible. It is almost dangerous.

DR. Ok, time to reflect now…what would you tell or recommend to anyone wanting to race the almighty race?

Many think in their own mind they have what it takes but soon find out they don’t. It is a hard pill to swallow. In the Dakar there is no hiding in the shadows, everyone in the World is watching how you perform under the most difficult conditions, you have to be prepared to accept whatever happens. One of the most important things to remember is that it is far less difficult to live with 2 or 3 weeks of extreme hardship than a lifetime of disappointment.

Some of the most inspirational films are available on Dream Racer TV.

Our films serve a purpose that go beyond entertainment — they are truly inspirational, show ordinary people can achieve extraordinary feats – and inspire others to achieve their own dreams and life aspirations.

To watch some of these amazing films, please visit Dream Racer TV at https://ondemand.dreamracer.tv