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British Association: ‘Bike Europe’s Whitepaper Correct on E-MTBs’

Laws & Regulations

LONDON, UK – The Bicycle Association of Great Britain (BAGB) has revised its position on Bike Europe’s Whitepaper. The BAGB reported last week that what’s in the Whitepaper on the exclusion of e-MTBs from the type-approval regulation that came into force per January 1, 2017 created confusion among British consumers and suppliers. After a response by this trade journal digging deeper into the detailed regulations the BAGB replied with “We don’t disagree with anything in the Whitepaper”.

British Association: ‘Bike Europe’s Whitepaper Correct on E-MTBs’
Bicycle Association of Great Britain says now ‘We don't disagree with anything in the Whitepaper’. – Photo BAGB

The BAGB response to Bike Europe however contained further questions on the new type approval regulations and said “On one matter there is still some debate here. I wonder if you could confirm whether it is correct in your view that an electric MTB (>250W and/or >25 km/h) which is excluded from type approval under the ‘primarily off road’ exemption, must be CE marked before being placed on the market? If so, it must presumably satisfy the various product safety Directives (mechanical, electrical etc). If this is the case, the CE marking process would provide some ‘backstop’ technical safety regulation for consumer protection”.

Read it yourself: download the Bike Europe Whitepaper on all European E-bike Regulations

Serious loophole

Bike Europe response to this is “It is our interpretation that it is possible to have electric mountain bikes excluded from type-approval regardless of their speed and power limit under the ‘primarily off-road exemption’ (Article 2(g)). An additional problem is the lack of specifications/definition for ‘primarily off-road exemptions’. Also, we both know that quite a lot of electric bikes look like mountain bikes but are used on-road.

“If mountain bikes are excluded on the basis of 2(g), they have to comply with the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD), as you point out correctly. As for the Machinery Directive however, we believe there may be a legal void for the moment since the Machinery Directive still refers to Directive 2002/24 and not yet to Regulation 168/2013.

“Also, we believe that an electric mountain bike up to 25 km/h and 250W may well enjoy exclusion under 2(g) without having to comply with EN 15194 either. Furthermore, in most member states there is no legal obligation to comply with EN 15194. As for electric mountain bikes that exceed 25 km/h and/or 250W, there are no limits set except those that could be presumed necessary to ensure a safe vehicle under GPSD.

“The main point we want to argue is that Article 2(g) creates a serious loophole and offers manufacturers who are looking to skirt complicated and expensive technical regulations, exactly that.”

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