Dutch Standard a Basis for EU Speed E-Bike Helmet Norm
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – The European and Dutch bicycle industry achieved a positive result in the standard settings of speed pedelec/speed e-bike helmets. Members of the EU CEN TC 158 ‘Headprotection Committee’ have agreed to develop specific requirements for the speed pedelec helmet. This is expected to have a positive effect on sales possibilities for this specific e-bike category.
Speed pedelecs, also known as speed e-bikes, are bicycles with auxiliary propulsion power, assisting the rider with pedalling up to a maximum of 45 km/h. According to the new EU directive (No 168/2013) on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles, the speed pedelec (S-EPAC) is classified as a moped. For the Netherlands, for instance, this means that wearing a moped helmet (in compliance with ECE R22) is currently mandatory for S-EPAC users. Such a moped helmet is in many cases a full face model which is not suitable for use in physical effort as is the case at speed pedelecs. Next to an increased safety level, other important considerations in defining the requirements were that the helmet should not impede the hearing ability of the speed e-bike user.
NTA 8776 standard
The lobby to get the Dutch-European approach accepted proved to be successful. It was initiated by the Dutch Standardization Institute (NEN) and the RAI industry association of the Netherlands, with support of Conebi members; the European trade association. In the Netherlands this special standard for speed pedelec helmets is known as NTA 8776, with the related NEN-based certification NCS 8776.
The expert group that has set up NCS 8776 certification consists of the following companies: ABUS, Accell Group, BBB Cycling, The Belgian Institute for Road Safety, Bell Sports, Conebi, Gazelle, KASK, MET Helmets, Pon, The RAI Association, Riese & Müller, TASS International , Telefication and TNO.
Moving towards European CEN-standard
This success means that work started for getting to a CEN Technical Specification for Speed Pedelec helmets. A big majority of the members of the EU CEN TC 158 ‘Headprotection Committee’ were in favour for the development of a European Technical Specification for the Speed Pedelec Helmet with 83% (minimum required 65%). A similar route will be followed
as has already taken place in the Netherlands. In the coming period the project plan will be elaborated and participants will be invited to participate in the working group.
National government decides
Ultimately, it is up to national governments to include the new standard in the law, as did the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment in addition to the possibility of wearing the R22 (motor) helmet.