Revised EN 15194 E-Bike Safety Standard Implemented
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The very long-awaited revision of EN 15194 has finally been published and is already implemented by quite a few national standardization institutes. They have until 30th April 2018 to implement at national level, by publication of an identical national standard or by endorsement. This revised version of the standard for 25km/h – 250W e-bikes is very different from the ‘old’ standard.
The previous standard only covered the electrical part of the concerned electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and a maximum continuous rated power of 250W. For the mechanical part, producers were referred to the ISO 4210 standard for conventional bicycles. EN 15194:2017 now covers the complete electric bicycle. This change was made because the mechanical part of an electric bicycle needs more stringent requirements than a conventional bicycle.
Harmonized under Machinery Directive
Another essential change is the fact that EN 15194 is now harmonized under the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC). This means that if an electric bike complies with EN 15194, it is presumed to be in conformity with the Machinery Directive. This should make life for e-bike producers much easier. Whereas before they had to analyze the Machinery Directive themselves for relevant requirements, they can now rely on EN 15194:2017 for compliance with the legislation.
With that however, it is important to note that in most European member states compliance with EN 15194:2017 is not a legal requirement, compliance is voluntary. Compliance of electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and maximum 250W with the Machinery Directive is a legal obligation, as is compliance with the Product Safety, EMC, Low Voltage and RoHS Directives.
Changes in scope
The revised standard also entails some major changes in the scope. Because ISO 4210 was not applicable to specialized types of bicycle such as delivery bicycles, recumbent bicycles, tandems, BMX bicycles, and bicycles designed and equipped for use in severe applications
such as sanctioned competition events, stunting, or aerobatic manoeuvres, the old EN 15194 could not be applied to the electric versions of such bicycles either.
In the updated version, the scope is defined as follows: “electrically power assisted bicycles of a type which have a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the EPAC reaches a speed of 25 km/h, or sooner, if the cyclist stops pedalling.”
Furthermore, electric bicycles intended for hire from unattended stations and electric bicycles of which the maximum saddle height is less than 635 mm are excluded from the scope of the standard. And since the standard only uses the term bicycle, electric tricycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and maximum 250W are now no longer covered by the standard. So, although the new standard makes life of most electric bike producers easier, it rather complicates life of tricycle manufacturers since they are left on their own for compliance with all above-mentioned Directives.