European Commission to review regulation surrounding LEVs and type approval

The European Commission has initiated a review of Directive 168/2013, which regulates type approval for vehicles with two or more wheels.

LEVA-EU has argued “long and hard” for a review of the regulation, saying how the market potential of light electric vehicles (LEVs) covered by the type approval is being “thwarted”.

To date, electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 250W and 25 km/h, vehicles without a saddle, self-balancing vehicles and vehicles with a seat below a certain minimum height are excluded from Regulation 168/2013. In addition, electric bicycles 250W-25 km/h have been given the status of a conventional bicycle in the traffic code of all member states.

LEVs that have remained in the regulation, on the other hand, have a “particularly difficult time”, LEVA-EU said. “Speed ​​pedelecs, for example, have great difficulties to really develop because in most cases they are categorised as classic mopeds,” the organisation added. “However, the terms of use for mopeds are unsuitable for speed pedelecs. And so, massive uptake of speed pedelecs is not forthcoming. In L1e-A, powered cycles, the situation is even worse. In this category for electric bicycles 25 km/h with more than 250W, virtually no type approvals have been carried out since 2013.”

The European Commission has asked TRL, a research centre specialised in mobility, to investigate the position of LEVs in the type approval and their position in national traffic codes. All LEVs will be scrutinised, including electric scooters, self-balancing vehicles, electric bicycles in and outside the type approval, and electric cargo bicycles.

TRL has started a broad survey of the sector through an online questionnaire that can be completed until 30th October. However, the current legal framework is extremely “complex and confusing”, said LEVA-EU, and it is important that LEV companies have a good understanding of the framework.

LEVA-EU said it wants to help companies with information meetings, which are intended to provide a “clear picture” of the current legal framework and in addition, it will explain the opportunities and risks of the ongoing review.

The online information meetings will start on 13th October with a first session reserved for LEVA-EU members. This will be followed by open meetings according to vehicle type:

– Tuesday 13th October, 14:00 GMT + 2: electric bikes and speed pedelecs
– Wednesday 14th October, 10.30 GMT + 2: PLeVS (e-scooters, self-balancing vehicles, …)
– Wednesday 14th October, 14:00 GMT + 2: electric cargo bikes
– Thursday 15th October, 10.30 GMT + 2: 3 & 4-wheel electric vehicles with pedalling function for passenger transport
– Thursday 15th October, 10.30 GMT + 2: users (groups) of LEVs

Each meeting will last one hour, with information provided in the first half and questions answered in the second half. To participate, interested parties should send an email to daan@leva-eu.com stating which meeting (s) they wish to attend. They will then receive a personal invitation to the meeting.

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