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Confusion on Categorization and Type-Approval

Laws & Regulations 3128

DOETINCHEM, The Netherlands – A Dutch dealer recently clearly expressed the confusion that exists around the categorization of e-bikes in combination with type-approval regulations. The confusion is about an, as the supplier puts it “All-purpose electric bike that looks like a bike but feels like a jet with a 750-Watt motor — three times more power than typical 250-Watt electric bikes and a top speed of 25 km/h.”

Confusion on Categorization and Type-Approval
RadRhino e-bike is L1e-A approved which is unknown e-bike category causing confusion. – Photo Rad Power Bikes

The Dutch dealer commented on a report online published by Bike Europe’s sister magazine ‘Tweewieler’ on the Benelux launch of the RadRhino e-bike by Rad Power Bikes, a Seattle-based direct-to-consumer electric bike company.

‘Over 250W not allowed’

On that Tweewieler launch report the dealer posted a comment that says “As far as I know, an e-bike for use on public roads that is not allowed to drive faster than 25 Km/h cannot have a higher power than 250W. This does not belong here!”

Unknown e-bike category

What comes to light with the comment from this Dutch dealer is the existence of a still unknown e-bike category that falls within the European type approval regulations scope which came into force on January 1, 2017. This unknown e-bike category is named L1e-A – “powered cycles”. The technical specifications linked to this category list: a maximum power ranging from 250W up to 1 kW and a maximum speed of 25 km/h. interesting is also that such L1e-A – powered cycles can have a dual operating mode: pedal assisted as well as throttle.

Speed pedelec category

This L1e-A category exists alongside the one for speed pedelecs which is the L1e-B – ‘mopeds’ category. Technical specifications for this category lists: maximum power up to 4kW; maximum speed of 45 km/h operated by pedal assistance only.

Here’s more on the categorization of e-bikes and type-approval next to additional rules & regulations on electric bicycles.

‘First L1e-A approved bike’

Last November Rad Power Bikes announced their expansion into European markets including Germany, France, Netherlands and UK with an exclusive European model, the RadRhino. According to Rad Power Bikes its RadRhino “Is the first L1e-A approved bike which allows cyclists to experience the many benefits of a standard electric bike, but with much more power.”

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