Electric bike insurance obligations now unlikely, says EU Parliament

European electric bike owners can rest easy following a provisional agreement that their vehicles will not be subject to mandatory insurance. This follows a decision in the European Parliament that is designed to better protect the victims of road accidents.

Described as possible “overregulation”, the decision excludes garden tractors, mobility scooters and electric bicycles from insurance obligations. Vehicles intended exclusively for motorsports are also excluded. The foundation of the agreement tallies with Transport Research Laboratory recommendations to legislate separately for electric bike insurances, among other rules. TRL undertook research on behalf of the European Commission, concluding their work in March.

Rapporteur Dita Charanzová (Renew, CZ) said: “It was high time to clarify motor insurance rules, so that Europeans are better protected and treated equally in the EU when accidents occur and when insuring their vehicles. We have made sure that people are compensated also for road accidents where the insurance company goes bankrupt, and created new tools for all citizens to be able to compare prices, tariffs and coverage from insurance providers. With this political agreement we have additionally managed to curb absurd overregulation of motorsports, e-bikes and given member states the tools to exclude mobility scooters, kids’ toys or lawnmowers.”

The clarification to the directive will seek to better protect victims of accidents caused by EU member state drivers, even if the driver is from another territory. The amendment also hopes to tackle uninsured driving by allowing cross-border checks.

Formal approval of the deal between the European Parliament and Council will follow. Thereafter the directive will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal. The new rules will start to apply 24 months after the entry into force.

Speed pedelecs, which deliver a high speed in their assist, will remain required to carry a licence plate and insurance. That may not sustain in the current form, however, with the European Commission stating that it is aware regulations here may need to be more bespoke to unlock the potential of the vehicle type.