European Commission confirms light electric vehicle legislation rethink

The European Commission has announced a review of legislation relating to various types of light electric vehicle falling within the Directive 168/2013.

For those in the electric bike and electric scooter business the review will be of particular interest as there is now scope that speed pedelecs, among other light electric vehicle types could undergo a reassessment that alters their classification and thus the rules that bind their sale. For organisations like LEVA-EU, who has campaigned for a review, the news is seen as potentially opening the door for a broader market scope for retailers and manufacturers selling across Europe.

At the present time, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory has been engaged by the European Commission to investigate which vehicles are best suited to a type approval review. All LEVs are to receive some scrutiny; electric scooters, self-balancing vehicles, electric bicycles in and outside the type approval and electric cargo bicycles.

LEVA-EU today wrote: “Speed ​​pedelecs, for example, have seen great difficulty in market development because in most cases they are categorised as classic mopeds. However, the terms of use for mopeds are unsuitable for speed pedelecs. And so, massive uptake of speed pedelecs is not forthcoming. In L1e-A, powered cycles, the situation is even worse. In this category for electric bicycles 25 km / h with more than 250W, virtually no type approvals have been carried out since 2013.”

In order to gauge industry opinion on the most appropriate rules to govern various types of light electric vehicle, TRL has published an online questionnaire, that will remain live only until the end of October. Those with a vested interest and strong understanding of the legal framework are strongly encouraged to submit their thoughts.

In order to further the knowledge of those considering participating, LEVA-EU is to host a series of hour long online seminars for each category set for review. These start on October 13th and run as follows:

– Tuesday October 13, 14:00 GMT + 2: electric bikes and speed pedelecs
– Wednesday October 14, 10.30 GMT + 2: PLeVS (e-scooters, self-balancing vehicles, …)
– Wednesday October 14, 14:00 GMT + 2: electric cargo bikes
– Thursday October 15, 10.30 GMT + 2: 3 & 4-wheel electric vehicles with pedalling function for passenger transport
– Thursday October 15, 10.30 GMT + 2: users (groups) of LEVs

To apply to attend a meeting, send an email here, stating which you would like to participate in.

Electric bikes with pedal assistance up to 250W and 25 km / h, vehicles without a saddle, self-balancing vehicles and vehicles with a seat below a certain minimum height are excluded from Regulation 168/2013.

In addition, electric bicycles 250W – 25 km / h have been given the status of a conventional bicycle in the traffic code of all member states. As a result, this category has been growing strongly for years.

It is unclear at present how or if the rule and regulation changes would affect the UK in a post Brexit world, though from a manufacturing point of view it would make sense for UK businesses to align to European member states rather than adhere to separate standards.