Controversy on Type Approval Regulations for e-Bikes
BRUSSEL, Belgium - The controversy on the future regulations for electric bicycles between industry associations COLIBI/COLIPED and the one for cyclists ECF on the one hand and dealer association ETRA on the other hand is growing. It leaves the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) confused.
MEPs are being lobbied by representatives of the industry associations as well as the European Cyclist Federation (ECF) who argue that more electric bicycles and light electric vehicles on the road will endanger the safety of ‘conventional’ cyclists. They want to make sure that the market remains limited to bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and a motor output limit of 250W. Both industry organizations are in favour of maintaining the current specifications as described in the Directive 2002/24/EC.
European TwoWheeler Retailers’ Association (ETRA) is lobbying the European Parliament for 3 main issues:
- as for bicycles with a motor that assists up to 25 km/h irrespective of their motor output limit: exclusion from the type-approval for motorcycles and inclusion in the regulatory framework of Machinery Directive + EN 15194
- as for bicycles and light electric vehicles with an electric motor that can propel the vehicle itself which do not weigh more than 25 kg: exclusion from the type-approval for motorcycles and inclusion in the regulatory framework of Machinery Directive + EN 15194
- as for all other electric bicycles and light electric vehicles that will be included in the type-approval for motorcycles: requirements that are adapted and appropriate to these vehicles.
The draft report of the European Parliament on the review of the type-approval has been published on 5 May 2011. The Rapporteur, Wim van de Camp, has not yet introduced any provisions for the benefit of electric cycles and light electric vehicles because he is still considering possible safety risks resulting from changes to the legislation.
ETRA believes that its proposal will have no negative effects on road safety. The association points out in a press release: “ETRA believes that there is on the contrary a huge potential for developing the market of electric bicycles and light electric vehicles, a potential for convincing people and companies to swap from cars to electric cycles for certain trips. More electric cycles on the road will mean less cars thus improved road safety for all vulnerable road users. However, this potential cannot be unlocked if manufacturers are confronted with a regulatory framework that is not appropriate, which is the case today.”
The dealer association is now rallying support for its proposal by inviting the electric bicycle sector to sign a letter to European officials to show their support for the ETRA proposal.
Click here for further background information and the support letter...