New technology platform – bicycle industry discusses top trends and regulatory framework at ZIV Technology Conference

Berlin, 22 November 2023. With the success of bicycles and e-bikes, new technological developments and innovative products, the bicycle industry has impressively demonstrated its ability to innovate in recent years. On 21 November 2023, the industry association hosted the first ZIV Technology Conference to discuss the latest trends and developments. More than 100 participants from the fields of technology, product development and sustainability came to Berlin for the inaugural event. The participants agreed that the «technical triad of standardisation, regulation and research» determines the framework for development.

«The tremendous popularity of the first ZIV Technology Conference shows the bicycle industry’s innovative power and awareness of the need for solutions,» summarised ZIV board member and Busch & Müller managing director Guido Müller. «The ZIV and its predecessor associations have been the first port of call for our members in all technical matters for 135 years now. With this new conference format, we are now helping to further the dialogue on technology in our industry – and closing a gap.»

The European bicycle and e-bike market is one of the most important in the world. EU countries and particularly Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland have seen an immense pace of innovation combined with high levels of investment in research and development and key issues for the future such as sustainability and recycling at the latest since the start of the e-bike revolution. It was against this backdrop that the industry association resolved to initiate the ZIV Technology Conference. Only ZIV members were invited to the premiere; they do represent a large proportion of the market, after all: 90% of the bicycles and e-bikes produced in Germany in 2022 came from ZIV member companies.

«The new technical possibilities for bicycles and e-bikes and the broad diversification of products, including innovative cargo bikes for private and commercial use, offer many new opportunities for the entire bicycle ecosystem,» emphasises ZIV’s Head of Technology & Standardisation Tim Salatzki. «At the same time, the legal regulations and requirements, which are above all developing rapidly in the EU but also internationally, are proving hugely challenging for our industry.»

Questions such as «How is the European and national legislation on e-bikes developing?», «Are standardisation and regulation overburdening the industry?» and «How can tuning be detected, prevented and handled?», along with topics such as digital product passports were just a few of those discussed in depth. Tim Salatzki said of the event: «The individual technology topics are very diverse and can only be dealt with in the necessary depth and complexity by very few companies on their own. It is therefore important to create spaces for obtaining and exchanging information. The ZIV offers a platform and coordination here.»

Bicycle manufacturers are not only bound by the rules and standards of the European Union, but can also have a positive influence on future regulations based on safety aspects, for example – as is the case with the regulations planned for cargo bikes. «Competent expertise from the industry is very welcome here ,» says Tim Salatzki. A need for action also exists outside the core EU market: «When we look at the growing fields of machine-to-machine (M2M) and vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication, so the automated exchange of information between end devices and vehicles, we immediately see the need to develop standards that apply globally and will benefit all parties, for example in road safety.»

In addition to product safety, the issue of sustainability is also becoming increasingly important in the EU. Hence the ZIV has been campaigning intensively for the safe use of e-bike batteries as well as their return and recycling since the start of the e-bike success story, for example. It already established a system for the return and recycling of e-bike batteries back in 2010 together with GRS and bicycle manufacturers and retailers.
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Copyright: ZIV – German Bicycle Industry | Deckbar Photography
ZIV Technology Conference
With the ZIV Technology Conference, the ZIV is creating a central platform for information and discussion on the latest technology trends and pressing topics from the entire bicycle ecosystem for the first time. This new format premiered on 21 November 2023. The aim is to develop this unique event into a leading technology platform for the industry that will meet in Berlin every autumn. In 2023, participation was still reserved exclusively for ZIV member companies.

ZIV – German Bicycle Industry
The ZIV represents the interests of and is a strong voice for the German bicycle industry. As an industry association, it brings together and represents around 120 member companies vis-à-vis lawmakers in the EU and Germany, the German government, authorities, media, institutions and organisations. Ninety percent of the bicycles and e-bikes produced in Germany in 2022 were from ZIV member companies, which export two million units every year in addition to sales on the domestic market. The ZIV represents established companies and start-ups, manufacturers and retailers (including importers and wholesalers) as well as players from the entire bicycle ecosystem.

Press contact
Reiner Kolberg, ZIV – German Bicycle Industry, Reinhardtstraße 7, 10117 Berlin, +49 30 439 735 767,