Electric vehicles have almost been around as long as the discovery of electricity. Right away, inventive people around the world created electrically powered wagons and bicycles. The invention of the combustion engine, and the discovery of vast amounts of oil, drove down the prices of vehicles powered by fossil fuels so far that no one else dared compete. And for decades, despite many innovative projects along the way, it seemed as if the electric vehicle industry would never gain a foothold. However, after seeing the negative results of fuel dependency, many are looking for alternatives.
Since the early 90’s, there has been a steady increase of electric bicycles, scooters and motorcycles. Now we are witnessing a worldwide surge in the use of these vehicles. People in major cities around the world are saying goodbye to the gas guzzling cars of the past, and saying hello to the sleek and modern world of lightweight electric vehicles.
Leading the charge is an organization known as the Light Electric Vehicle Association. The LEVA leaders and its members are dedicated to ensuring a successful future for manufacturers, retailers and consumers involved in the electric vehicle industry.
As stated on their website, “Our over 300 members worldwide receive support and educational resources to expand their businesses while initiating efforts to influence and adopt legislation, regulation, performance standards, promotion and general best practices in the light electric vehicle industry.”
How it All Started
The LEVA began with the vision of Ed Benjamin, an industry leader with over 44 years of experience. Ed began his career with four bicycle shops in Florida before moving into the Vice President role at WaveCrest Labs, then at Tres Terra and Ultra Motor.
After spending time in these positions, he became intimately aware of the various aspects of the electric vehicle movement and knew that if the industry was going to have a bright future, there needed to be a collective group of supporters from all sectors.
In 2008, he brought Sid Kuropchak on board and together they worked hard to gain over 250 members from 29 countries around the world. Today, the team at LEVA continues to press onward, spearheading events, networking opportunities, educational programs and conventions for companies and individuals who are eager and enthusiastic in supporting the future of lightweight electronic vehicles in the marketplace.
Why it’s Important
Electric vehicles seem to be everywhere these days. Electric bikes, skateboards, scooters and even hoverboards are seen in every city from New York to Mumbai. The perception of these alternative modes of transportation varies wildly depending on where you go. In some cities, using an LEV is no longer an option. With rising populations, the streets of some urban areas are so severely congested, that the only way to get to and from work, school and the super market is with an electric bike or scooter. Yet, in other places, such as some suburban towns in America, they are still seen as a novelty.
The varying levels of opinion can be problematic. For instance, some local governments make it difficult to use electric vehicles by implementing restrictive and unnecessary bans on their use in public areas. Ordinances like these can become a large hurdle to overcome for bicycle retailers, manufacturers and for the people who desire an affordable, environmentally sustainable way to travel. The only way to overcome such regulations is through banding together to become a stronger voice.
The Light Electric Vehicle Association is exactly that, a collective group of members, working together towards one purpose. According to the LEVA mission statement; the organization “represents the strategic interests of light electric vehicle retailers, dealers, distributors, manufacturers and suppliers to promote the development, sale, and use of LEVs worldwide.”
By supporting those dedicated to the success of LEVs, educating the public and promoting legislation, the future of the electronic vehicle movement has an opportunity for continued growth.
How You Can Join
Becoming a member of the LEVA has many benefits, for both individuals and companies. When you sign up, you’ll receive:
- discounts on shipping, promotional events and training programs
- receive a listing and a link on the LEVA Member Roster
- Get Access to the LEVA newsletter
- Marketing support through social media
- In depth information on the electric bicycle, scooter and motorcycle industry
- Invitations to networking events
- And so much more
If you have decided to actively support the future of the electronic vehicle industry, you can join the LEVA and help build the future.