Big Changes Ahead For European E-Bike Market
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The market for e-Bikes is about to change drastically. Beginning next year, it will no longer be possible to enter the booming e-Bike market in Europe by simply importing complete e-Bikes and/or components from China and selling them in Europe. The new
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The market for e-Bikes is about to change drastically. Beginning next year, it will no longer be possible to enter the booming e-Bike market in Europe by simply importing complete e-Bikes and/or components from China and selling them in Europe.
The new EN 15194 standard for EPACs (Electrically Power Assisted Cycles) is far more complicated than the CEN standards currently in force for conventional bicycles.
Standard will published beginning 2009
That new standard is about to be implemented. The CEN Technical Committee TC333, with representatives from the bike industry and headed by Chairman Siegfried Neuberger from the German industry association Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV), expects the safety standard to be published beginning next year, along with an annex detailing EMC requirements. These Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) requirements contribute significantly to the complicated and costly new safety standards for electric bicycles.
EMC requirements are already applied throughout Europe to all kinds of electric appliances and vehicles like cars, motorcycles and mopeds. Electro Magnetic Compatibility requirements are designed to, for instance, ensure the safety of people who use a pacemaker or hearing-aid when driving cars or e-Bikes.
EMC requirements already in force
Once vehicles that use electronics have passed EMC testing they will obtain a CE mark. By the way, the EMC requirements are already in force throughout Europe, including all the e-Bikes (pedelecs) that are currently on the market.
Pedelecs that are to comply with the new EN 15194 EPAC safety standard will have to be tested in the same way as cars, motorcycles or mopeds. That means that, as TC333 chairman Siegfried Neuberger points out: “Complete bikes and/or electronic/electrical subassemblies will have to be tested.”
e-Bikes, e-Systems and all other e-Bike news in Bike Europe October edition
Bike Europe brings in its October edition special product reports on all the new e-Bikes, e-Systems and all other news about electric bicycles & pedelecs. This edition also features an interview with the general manager of European e-Bike market leader Sparta, Huub Snellen.
He says about the soon to be implemented new safety standard: “The EPAC standard is far more complicated than the CEN standard we know for bicycles. Manufacturers can do the CEN testing themselves. That is not possible for EPAC. It is too complicated as it is not about testing separate components. To meet the EPAC/EMC standard you have to test the whole system and you have to do that again and again after each minor adjustment.”
TC333 chairman Siegfried Neuberger further stipulated: “Currently the new EPAC standard EN 15194 is in the process of final voting. All CEN members (30 countries) must agree on this standard. If there is a positive vote, the standard will be published as EN standard. Than all CEN-member countries have to publish this standard as a national/EN standard. In Germany as DIN EN 15194.”
These publications will give the EPAC standard the ‘presumption of conformity’ with the EU Safety Directive 2001/95/EC that: “Lays down an obligation on producers to place only safe products on the market.” This Directive also states that: “A product shall be presumed safe as far as the risks and risk categories covered by national standards are concerned when it conforms to voluntary national standards transposing European standards, the references of which have been published by the Commission in the Official Journal of the European Union in accordance with Article 4 of that Directive.”