BRUSSELS, Belgium - The decision on the possible release of the motor power for electric bikes is expected not earlier then July 3, 2012. Currently work is being done to get to a so-called first-reading agreement. According to Annick Roetynck, general secretary of the European dealer association ETRA, such an agreement will ensure that the European Council will immediately accept the decision taken by the Parliament.
The first-reading agreement could have caused the postponement, says Roetynck. The European Parliament was supposed to decide on the much disputed new technical regulations for electric bicycles last March or April. Last December Bike Europe reported on the breakthrough in the European debate on new technical regulations regarding e-bikes. This breakthrough would cause that electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h - regardless of their motor power - be excluded from the new type-approval regulations for mopeds and motorcycles which are currently determined by 'Brussels'.
E-bikes with more than 250 Watt motors classified as bicycles
All this allows e-bikes with more power than 250 Watts (but with an up to 25 km/h pedal assisted speed) be classified as bicycles and no longer as mopeds. Early December, the majority of the European Parliament Committee for the internal market and consumer safety voted for this adjustment of the type-approval requirements for mopeds and motorcycles. In recent months various parties reacted negatively to the release of the motor power for e-bikes. Most retailers are in favour of the motor output release but some manufacturers and NGO’s like the European Cyclist Federation fear adverse consequences for road safety. For more on this controversy, click here.
‘Blatant falsehoods proclaimed'
In a Dutch dealer magazine published by dealer association and ETRA member BOVAG, Roetynck says: "We have campaigned vigorously for our proposals the past few months. That the European Parliament committee at last voted for our poposals, pleased us. The politicians seem to have understood that more power, coupled with a speed limit, does not result in a safety disadvantage, but the widens the possible usage of electric bicycles. It amazes us that our opponents each time come up with improper arguments. There are sometimes blatant falsehoods proclaimed. And that is unfortunate. However, we are confident in a positive outcome."