BRUSSELS Belgium – It’s not finalized yet in new type-approval regulations, but as it stands now 25 km/h electric bicycles with more than 250Watt motors will remain subject to the type-approval for motorcycles. As a result, they will remain classified as mopeds and riders will have to wear a helmet and have insurance and a driver’s licence. If they would be excluded from type-approval, they would be classified as bicycles without all these obligations. The bigger motors would make electric bicycles more suitable for heavy duty usages by postal workers with heavy bags, other types of freight transportation on bicycles and for cycling in hilly and mountainous areas.
The European bicycle industry united in COLIBI/COLIPED associations as well as the one for cyclists, ECF, on the one hand and dealer association ETRA on the other, strongly disagree on new e-bike regulations.
The industry associations as well as the European Cyclist Federation (ECF) want to make sure that the market remains limited to bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and a motor output limit of 250W. Both industry organizations are in favour of maintaining the current specifications as described in the Directive 2002/24/EC.
European TwoWheeler Retailers’ Association (ETRA) is lobbying the European Parliament for 3 main issues:
- as for bicycles with a motor that assists up to 25 km/h irrespective of their motor output limit: exclusion from the type-approval for motorcycles and inclusion in the regulatory framework of Machinery Directive + EN 15194
- as for bicycles and light electric vehicles with an electric motor that can propel the vehicle itself which do not weigh more than 25 kg: exclusion from the type-approval for motorcycles and inclusion in the regulatory framework of Machinery Directive + EN 15194
- as for all other electric bicycles and light electric vehicles that will be included in the type-approval for motorcycles: requirements that are adapted and appropriate to these vehicles.
It looks like that the European Commission will obstruct the use of bigger motors for e-bikes that comply to the current ‘bicycle’ specifications as described in the Directive 2002/24/EC.
The European Commission is willing to allow motors with more than 250 Watt but only when they are included in the type-approval just like motorcycles. This regulation required a compulsory insurance, the wearing of a helmet, a licenses plate a specific technological requirements for brakes and saddles.