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EU Standards for E-Cargocycles and for E-MTBs: an Update

139 days ago

4 minutes

CEN, the European standardization institute is currently preparing a standard for (e)cargocycles and for E-MTBs. Furthermore, there are a few issues with the published standard for electric bicycles, the EN 15194:2017. After last week’s meetings, it is time for an update.


With Manager, Annick Roetynck, and Technical Director, Bram Rotthier, LEVA-EU has two experts who are actively working on standardization in CEN TC333 – Cycles. LEVA-EU working member, Eddie Eccleston, has been appointed as an SBS-expert in that TC. He has to ensure that in the standardization work, the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are taken into account. Eddie Eccleston has established mirror groups for the TC333 – AGM as well as for WG5 – EPACs and for WG9 E-cargocycles. These mirror groups are open to any company that wishes to follow ongoing standardization, whilst not having the resources to become fully active as experts in TC333. On top of all this, LEVA-EU has been able to convince several members to take up the role of active experts in the CEN TC333.

E-cargocycles

The WG9 for (e)cargocycles was launched in January 2020. The past year was mostly spent on preparatory work with a view to determining the scope and categorization of (e)cargocycles. Another main issue was the preparation for the harmonization of the future standards under the Machinery, EMC and RoHS Directive. If the standards are eventually harmonized, then they provide presumption of conformity with the said Directives. As a result, they become a powerful tool to comply with the law.

The work has now been divided in 7 parts:
Part 1 – Terms and definitions
Part 2 – Lightweight single track carrier cycles – mechanical aspects
Part 3 – Lightweight multi track carrier cycles – mechanical aspects
Part 4 – Heavyweight multi track carrier cycles – mechanical aspects
Part 5 – Electrical aspects carrier cycles
Part 6 – Passenger transport carrier cycles
Part 7 – Carrier cycles – Trailers

For the first 3 parts, an official vote will be launched soon to turn these parts into effective work items. When that happens, the clock will start ticking since deadlines will come into place for the different procedural stages. Initially, there will be 8 months, possibly extended to 12 months to develop a first draft for the 3 parts. This draft will then be translated and submitted to all national standardization institutes for comments. The last 4 parts have been accepted as preliminary work items. This means that the development of those parts can begin without the clock starting to tick.
There still is a need for specific expertise and experience on the different aspects, as well as on testing methods in all these parts, especially in part 5, electrical aspects.

E-MTBs & EPACs

The draft standard for electric mountain bikes has been finalized for quite some time, but has not yet made it to publication. The current text is not fully in line with the essential health and safety requirements of the Machinery Directive yet. As a result, further amendments are required to achieve so-called harmonization under the Machinery Directive. A harmonized standard allows for presumption of conformity. This means that if your E-MTB complies with the standard, it will be presumed to comply with the Machinery Directive, which is a legal requirement.

As for the EN 15194:2017, here too the Machinery Directive is at the root of a number of problems. Two formal objections have been filed against the harmonization of the standard under the Machinery Directive. One objection concerns the battery requirements, which are allegedly insufficient to guarantee a safe battery on EPACs. The second objection concerns the lack of a vibration test, required by the Machinery Directive for EPACs for professional use. WG5 is starting up the necessary amendments to accommodate the objections and safeguard the harmonization of EN 15194:2017 under the Machinery Directive.

LEVA-EU believes that all these harmonization issues are further proof of the fact that the Machinery Directive was never meant to cover vehicles. LEVA-EU has developed a detailed proposal to solve these issues by creating a specific technical regulatory framework for light, electric vehicles including electric bicycles. See https://leva-eu.com/leva-eu-calls-on-commission-to-give-zero-tailpipe-emission-vehicle-sector-its-own-voice-and-own-legislation/

For further information on standardization or on how to become involved in standardization, please contact LEVA-EU manager, Annick Roetynck, annick@leva-eu.com, tel. +32 9 233 60 05

Annick Roetynck

Annick is the Manager of LEVA-EU, with decades of experience in two-wheeled and light electric mobility.

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