We notice a growing number of e-scooters on the market with a saddle. In the majority of cases, these vehicles are being marketed as e-scooters, which would have the same legal status as their counterparts without saddles. This is undeniably incorrect and wrong. Companies that sell e-scooters in this manner are selling illegal products.
Should their customers have an accident with such a vehicle, the company will without any doubt be held liable. However, it doesn’t even have to come to an accident. If the economic inspection knocks on the door, they will more than certainly confiscate the vehicles and take the company to court for their illegal trade practices. Moreover, through the RAPEX system all member states will be informed that the company is selling illegal vehicles, which have been impounded.
E-scooters with a saddle are NOT excluded from Regulation 168/2013 and must therefore be type-approved as an L1e-B moped. As a result, in the national traffic codes, the vehicle will have the status of a moped. Some member states have in their traffic code a separate category for 25 km/h mopeds, for instance in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. In these countries, the vehicles will come under that category provided that their maximum speed is 25 km/h. This means that all the moped rules with reference to helmet use, position on the road, driver’s licence, insurance and minimum age must be complied with.
With that it also appears, that a large number of companies who produce, export, import and market e-scooters (without a saddle) in the EU are not well informed about the technical regulations that apply to these vehicles. They, as well as self-balancing vehicles, monowheels, hoverboards, etc. come under the Machinery, RoHS and EMC Directives and this brings about a whole range of technical requirements and administrative obligations.