Leva

fka and TRL announce Webinar for new Personal Mobility Devices Study on behalf of European Commission

212 days ago

4 minutes

Regulation 168/2013 on the approval and market surveillance of 2- or 3-wheel vehicles and quadricycles is the core of technical legislation and categorization of light electric vehicles (LEVs). These are either included in the scope of the legislation. That is for instance the case for electric cargocycles with more than 250W or for speed pedelecs. Or, they come under one of the exclusions listed in Article 2.2 of the Regulation. That is for instance the case for EPACs, i.e. electric bikes with pedal assistance up to 250W and 25 km/h, but also for e-scooters, self-balancing vehicles, etc.

If they are excluded from Regulation 168/2013, the vehicles come under the Machinery Directive. This opens the possibility of developing harmonized standards, which offer presumption of conformity. If your vehicle complies with the standard, it is presumed to be in conformity with the Machinery Directive. However, so far, there is only one harmonized standard for LEVs, i.e. EN 15194:2017. The EN 17128:2020 for vehicles without a seat and self-balancing vehicles has not been harmonized, nor will the future standards for e-cargocycles be.

Two major legal problems

Current legislation for LEVs poses two major problems. First, the legislation has not been specifically written for LEVs and is therefore not adequate. This results in very serious legal bottlenecks, which obstruct market development. One of the worst affected vehicle categories is L1e-A “Powered Cycles”, i.e. electric cycles with a maximum speed of 25 km/h and maximum 1 kW. As a result, virtually no vehicles have been type-approved in L1e-A

Second major problem is that inclusion in Regulation 168/2013 results in national rules that are particularly restrictive and hindering, since they have been developed for vehicle concepts, which are quite different from LEVs. The worst example is the categorization of speed pedelecs as mopeds. Consequently, in most member states they are subject to moped terms of use that seriously hinder the use of speed pedelecs, thus the market development.

Commission acknowledges problems

Vehicles excluded from Regulation 168/2013 are for their use completely dependant on national rules. Some member states for instance do not allow the use of e-scooters on public roads. On the other hand, all member states have granted EPACs the same status as conventional bicycles, which allowed the market to prosper.

The European Commission is cognizant of the fact that current European technical legislation causes serious problems for LEVs but so far, failed to do anything to solve those problems. In 2021, the Commission asked TRL to conduct a study into so-called “Personal Mobility Devices” (PMDs). This term covers standing and seated e-scooters, EPACs, L1e-A Powered Cycles, cycles designed to pedal in L1e-B (speed pedelecs), electric cargocycles, self-balancing vehicles, e-hoverboards, e-monowheels and e-skateboards. The study concluded that LEVs would benefit most from their own, separate technical framework, a solution which LEVA-EU has been advocating since its establishment.

The file remained shelved for two years, but now the Commission has ordered yet another study. fka and
TRL announced the launch of a study: “on behalf of the European Commission to investigate the methods by which the technical characteristics of micromobility devices could be regulated in the European Union.

On the 8th of December at 2pm (Central European Time), fka and TRL will hold a webinar which is intended to provide a briefing to the micromobility industry, government representatives, safety charities and other NGOs, and other interested stakeholders on the project and the support that will be required by fka and TRL. LEVA-EU was informed that the term “micromobility” should be interpreted in a broad sense and covers all vehicles, which were subject of the previous study, i.e. e-scooters, self-balancing vehicles, electric cycles and speed pedelecs.

If you wish to participate you need to register here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fkatrl-the-future-of-european-micromobility-technical-regulations-tickets-754655082667?aff=oddtdtcreator The event will be recorded and made available via the TRL website www.trl.co.uk.

LEVA-EU sincerely hopes that this exercise will go beyond the study and that the research will finally
inspire the Commission to work on adequate and urgently needed technical regulations for LEVs.

Annick Roetynck

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

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