SCHWEINFURT, Germany – In close cooperation with Velotech.de the international company Dekra will start to carry out safety related tests on fast hybrid e-bikes that apply for Vehicle Type Approval with any European approval authority. E-bikes are difficult to classify. For the time being, they are considered standard bicycles if motor assistance requires the rider to pedal in order to activate the motor and if it does not exceed 25 km/h and 250 W.
However, if maximum speed exceeds 25 km/h and/or output power exceeds 250 W they are considered motorcycles, Category L1e, and require type approval. Inspections for individual and EU type approvals can be carried out by DEKRA or the German Technical Inspection Authority (TÜV). Vehicle type approval is issued by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) or other European approval authorities.
German Road Safety Council
Current regulations are not adequate with respect to this new vehicle type. Fast electric hybrid bicycles with a maximum speed of up to 45 km/h do not fit into current design specifications for vehicles with combustion engines. The German Road Safety Council (DVR) has therefore been discussing the issue with a number of experts and has come up with recommendations they want to see implemented quickly. In particular, frequent poor operating stability and scope for manipulating speed and power limitation are pointed out. These findings shall be incorporated into the current revision of the EU framework directive for type approval of this type of vehicle.
DEKRA and Velotech.de address these insights by combining the facilities of an accredited and approved technical service with the potential of an accredited bicycle test laboratory. The focus when testing must be on confirming a vehicle‘s safety, not the compliance with any outdated standard or regulation. It is well known that there is a wide-spread interest in keeping standards at a low level on the European market. Yet, at the same time, manufacturers, suppliers, and sellers are liable for the appropriate operating safety of their vehicle.
For further information you can contact: DEKRA or velotech.de