ETRA and ECF Discuss European e-Bike Legislation
GAND, Belgium – The European Twowheel Retailers Association, ETRA and the European Cyclists Federation (ECF) have met last week to exchange views on the review of the European legislation on e-Bikes. The main absentees in this important discussion were
GAND, Belgium – The European Twowheel Retailers’ Association, ETRA and the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) have met last week to exchange views on the review of the European legislation on e-Bikes. The main absentees in this important discussion were the European industry associations for bike and component makers; COLIBI and COLIPED.
The Commission’s proposal regarding the new legislation for e-Bikes is expected for some time in April.
At the end of last weeks meeting ETRA and ECF concluded that their respective positions were too divergent to allow for a consensus.
ETRA has submitted to the European Commission a proposal for the improvement of that legislation. One element of the proposal is to increase the motor output for pedal assisted cycles, excluded from the type-approval, from 250 Watt to 500Watt. More than 70 companies operating in the electric bike industry backed the proposal, among which are Flyer, Gazelle, Giant, Riese & Müller, SRAM, Trek and Ultra Motor.
ETRA and these companies believe the modification to be necessary in order to allow for the full development of the electric cycle market. Today, 250 Watt often appears insufficient, for instance in hilly areas, for people who are overweight, for three-wheelers, cargo bikes, bicycles for postmen, couriers, etc. With a higher motor output these e-Bikes will be able to perform in a perfect way in all conditions, which in turn guarantees safe and comfortable usage.
ETRA President Maurice Manders and Secretary General Annick Roetynck explained to ECF President Manfred Neun and Secretary General Bernhard Ensink that since a few years, the electric bicycle market is expanding rapidly. In the framework of the European Presto project, ETRA has recently published a Policy Guide on electric bicycles, which shows the huge potential of e-Bikes. However, according to ETRA the current legislation prevents companies from maximising that potential. “ETRA owes it to its members, the European twowheel retailers, to lobby for legislation that stimulates the electric bicycle market rather than obstructing it,” says the retailers association in a press release.
Manfred Neun and Bernhard Ensink repeated that ECF does not wish to deviate from the official position adopted in 2007. The ECF Assembly General then decided that pedal assisted bicycles with assistance up to 25 km/h and a motor output up to 250 Watt were welcome on bicycle paths and lanes.