As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Hello all riders and readers! Welcome to our weekly EV news roundup, where we share everything you need to know about the world of electric bikes. The first full week of October panned out to be EV-heavy, with several exciting new releases, fresh new funding, and how the EV boom is sending battery giants scampering to fill the shortage of qualified engineer and research specialists.

Let’s do this.

More Info is Released About the $5,000 SONDORS Metacycle

The Sondors Metacycle is on track to be the first affordable mid-size eBike. The ‘statement’ void where the gas tank used to be is a clever design feature, as is the monocoque aluminum chassis. [Sondors]
While SONDORS is preparing to release its $5,000 e-Bike, the Metacycle, we’re learning more about its battery. With a promised range of 80 miles on a single charge and top speeds of 80 mph, the bike’s battery plays a critical role in its performance and acceptance by traditionalist riders. According to the company, the removable battery boasts “unparalleled innovation, spectacular design, and next-level ingenuity.” However, there are some caveats. There is concern regarding how the cables will be connected and disconnected when a rider removes the battery since they may need to be manually disengaged.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section!

Ridiculously Fast e-Scoots

The 60mph Ycom electric scooter has a carbon fiber chassis and plenty of power, proving that anything on wheels can be souped up and taken racing. Can’t wait to see these guys at Electric Revolution Live in My 2022! [YCOM/ Malcolm Griffiths]
One downside to EVs we often hear gas-loving riders voice is that electric bikes lack speed. Well, these 60 mph e-Scooters will crush those complaints! The little YCOM S1-X e-Scooter barely tips the scale at just 77 pounds and was custom built for the new eSkootr Championship series (eSC). The races are slated to start next year on 400 to 800-meter circuits, and we want to see them!  Full racing leathers and helmet required for these carbon-fiber rockets.

Fresh Funds

The bikeshare in Germany is a white-glove rental service. []
  • German EV startup Dance recently raised $19 million in just a few short weeks after rolling out its e-Bike subscription service in Berlin. The monthly subscription will run you about $90 for the white-gloved rental experience.
Indian startup kWh bikes has secured major investment to start production of their technologies. [kWh bikes]
  • kWh, a Bengaluru-based e-Scooter startup, raised $2 million from Let’s Venture. The company plans to use the funds to take its prototypes to production.  The company had developed an e-scooter with a steel tube chassis and in-wheel motor with modest performance and a very low price.  It will join the new wave of inexpensive eBikes coming from India that will soon appear around the world.
Chinese mega-company CATL currently supplies an enormous range of companies in the tech and EV space. [CATL]
  • Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), China’s largest battery manufacturer, recently acquired Vancouver-based Millennial Lithium for $297 million.  Chinese companies already dominate the global supply of lithum-based batteries, which are the gold standard for EVs, as well as for smartphones and computers.  China currently controls 80% of the world’s minerals used for the production of batteries – lithium, cobalt, graphite, etc – as part of their far-seeing strategy to secure mineral rights from countries around the planet, especially in Africa and South America.  As half of the world’s vehicles are expected to be electric by 2040, this makes China’s position on the application of energy (as opposed to its production) the strategic equivalent of the Mideast domination of petrochemical production in the 20th Century.  The United States prioritized ‘energy independence’ after the 1974 Oil Crisis, and achieved it in 2019, but no such long-term strategy for the protection of mineral rights or battery production – as important to future transport as petroleum is today – exists today, or is even being discussed.  In other words, in all important respects, China has won, as the only runner in the race to power personal tech and EVs.  The geopolitical implications are clear as the center of ‘power’ shifts further east.
Ultium is the new battery system being developed by GM as part of its future move to an all-EV lineup. [GM]
  • GM is investing a ton of money in a next-gen battery platform dubbed Ultium. The company will use a facility in Michigan called the Wallace Battery Innovation Center to drive the development and commercialization of long-range EV batteries.

South Korean Battery Giants Face Staffing Shortage

Korean battery manufacturers like LG acknowledge a huge deficit of suitably educated workers for the future of EV and tech power. [LG]
Three major players in the South Korean EV battery sector are suffering from a shortage of qualified specialists as the demand for electric vehicles continues to balloon. Samsung SDI Co Ltd, SK On, and LG Energy Solutions (LGES) can’t find enough technicians with the proper training and experience needed to keep advancing solid-state batteries. This is directly impacting production of EVs already, as supply chains slow down, and manufacturers are currently unable to meet demand, or even finish their vehicles as they wait for vital parts. This has been exacerbated by 21st Century on-demand production systems that are convenient for manufacturers (as they hold no stock of parts) but requires suppliers to be flexible, and meet demand quickly. At the moment, that system is broken, in nearly all international trade, from lumber and steel to tech and transport.  The global battery industry has doubled production over the last five years, and will only continue to expand as EVs take over the streets. South Korea estimates that it lacks almost 3,000 graduate degree-level positions in departments such as design and research to fulfill the ever-increasing demand.   More STEM education is needed there as well as in the rest of the world!



Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.
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