Last minute rally sees important threshold hit on electric bike insurance case

A last minute surge in submissions on a consultation relating to proposed mandatory insurance for electric bike users has bolstered the argument for legislative omission, believes CONEBI.

As reported just ahead of Tuesday’s deadline several hundred had submitted their views to the European Union. That figure in the final day leapt by over 100 to reach 530 responses, a figure that CONEBI GM Manuel Marsilio describes as “A very important and useful step in the common advocacy campaign which CONEBI and the European Cyclists’ Federation conducted.”

North of 500 submissions on a topic is deemed a success and the European Commission will now have ample evidence to consider when deciding whether or not electric bikes are to be bundled in to the proposed changes to the Motor Insurance Directive.

This case began on a Slovenian farm, where a tractor knocked a farmhand off a ladder; a situation that ultimately ended up in court. It was argued that the privately operated farm machinery needn’t have insurance, sparking a debate as to just which motorised vehicles should.

Electric bikes, while not legally permitted to go faster than 15.5 mph in the EU (a similar speed to pedal cycles) have been pulled into the proposed legislation. Within it is suggested that at least third-party liability insurance should apply, something that has been rubbished by many in the bicycle business.

All 530 responses are publicly available here. Among the responses are objections from global brands including Specialized, Accell and Orbea, as well as the Association of British Insurers.

Should the Motor Insurance Directive amendment pass without change many in the bicycle business are predicting an almost overnight reduction in demand for a sector that is, at the present time, one of the main drivers of trade in an otherwise generally down cycling market.

Furthermore, advocates of the electric bike are quick to point out the numerous social and health benefits attached at a time when pollution and obesity are very much in the news.