Article and Photo courtesy of Bike Europe
(AND, Belgium) – As e-Bike sales march on many new models targeted to specific consumer groups will hit the market. Examples: the race e-Bike, the mountain e-Bike; fully enclosed transport e-Bikes. This raises questions on the legal framework for these vehicles.
As the European Commission is reviewing the type-approval procedure for mopeds and motorcycles it offers the electric bike industry the opportunity to start discussions with European institutions on the legal framework, which the industry believes to be the most appropriate for their vehicles.
Today, it is the European type-approval legislation for mopeds and motorcycles that determines whether an electric bicycle is a bicycle that is excluded from the type-approval procedure or whether it is a moped that needs to comply with the type-approval procedure.
The European institutions have promulgated the type-approval law in 2002, without however properly consulting the electric bike industry on the most appropriate legal framework for their vehicles.
Since then, the majority of the products put on the market have a motor output of no more than 250W and their motor is cut off at 25 km/h. These vehicles are excluded from the type-approval procedure and are classified as bicycles.
Nevertheless, the electric bike offer is becoming much more diverse and a growing number of vehicles have a motor output above 250W and/or a motor that assists beyond 25 km/h.
This development raises two questions:
Are the 250 W and 25 km/h limitations the most appropriate specifications for excluding vehicles from the type-approval, thus classifying them as bicycles?
Is the type-approval procedure for mopeds and motorcycles the most appropriate homologation procedure for electric bikes not excluded from type-approval?
With the review of the type-approval procedure for mopeds and motorcycles currently taking place it is imperative that the electric bike industry starts a discussion on the legal framework which it believes to be the most appropriate for their vehicles.
The European Two-wheel Retailers' Association (ETRA) is prepared to defend and further the interests of the electric bike industry. For that purpose however, ETRA requires the support of the industry and a consensus on how the type-approval should be reviewed for electric bicycles. The matter is urgent since the European Commission intends to produce a first draft in November this year.
That is why, in cooperation with the Light Electric Vehicle Associaton (LEVA), ETRA intends to organize a meeting for the electric bike industry in the framework of Eurobike in Friedrichshafen. The meeting is aimed at discussing the two above-mentioned questions and at deciding whether and how to lobby the European Commission.
The meeting is currently planned for Saturday 5 September 2009 at Eurobike in Friedrichshafen from 9 am till no later than 12 o’clock. However, should the majority of the participants prefer another date and/or time, then ETRA will reschedule accordingly.
30 August, 2009 Labels: e-bike sales, ebike, ebikes, electric bike, mountain e-bike, mountain ebike, new ebike Posted by Dale 7:00 AM