The Bicycle Association has called on those in the UK cycling industry to make contact within the next week with feedback to a DfT consultation that could have substantial impact on the future of the electric bike market.
Relating to the “Vnuk ruling“, there is a very real possibility that UK electric bike owners and buyers could in the future require compulsory third party insurance for both on and off-road use. At the present time, those electric bikes falling within current legal limits are essentially classed no differently than bicycles.
The DfT consultation on the issue, which runs until March 31st, is to be replied to on behalf of the industry by the BA.
The BA will argue in its response that electric bikes should be nowhere near this legislation, a view shared by other EU countries. Should e-bikes end up affected by the judgement, there is a possibility for exemption that can be argued.
As a last resort, should the DfT proceed in bundling electric bikes in with the motor-targeted legislation, the BA plans to argue against a cost-heavy and likely market-impacting DVLA-style register. Such a register would very likely raise the possibility of annual costs for users, number plate registration, as well as paperwork relating to on or off the road status of bikes.
The BA has initially called on its members to share their views on an internally circulated draft ahead of a revision to go live for wider consultation ahead of further communication between the industry and Government.
Should you have an position within the bicycle business and an interest in the future of the electric market, Peter Eland at the BA asks that you share any data, calculations or opinions of your own on how such a ruling could affect the future of your trade. You can contact Eland here.