LEVA-EU calls on Commission to speed up review LEV-legislation

644 days ago

4 minutes

On 14 September 2022, the European Commission will hold a workshop on the technical requirements and road safety for so-called Personal Mobility Devices (PMD). The term PMD covers all electric cycles, including cargocycles and speed pedelecs, e-scooters, self-balancing vehicles, electric skateboards, etc. In a letter to the Commission, LEVA-EU has expressed serious concerns about the workshop and about LEV-legislation in general.

In the letter to the Commission, LEVA-EU explained that Regulation 168/2013 as well as the Machinery Directive are very severely hampering the market development of LEVs. The trade association is confronted with these legal bottlenecks on a daily basis, through questions and issues reported by its members. Furthermore, the inadequacy of the current technical framework for LEVs was confirmed by the TRL-study carried out for the Commission and presented in March 2021.

In March 2021, TRL presented to the Commission, Member States and stakeholders, among which LEVA-EU, their “Study on market development and related road safety risks for L-category vehicles and new personal mobility devices“. In that study, TRL formulated a number of important findings and recommendations. Just to quote a few:

  • The current 250 W limit applied to EPACs is too low for the heavier pedal assisted cargo bikes that are now growing in popularity.
  • The L1e-A subcategory (electric cycles up to 25 km/h but more than 250W) has failed to attract manufacturers and consumers.
  • The business model of many PMD manufacturers is incompatible with the type-approval system.
  • On the question of traffic rules, there is support for the development of an EU harmonised approach.

TRL concluded that technical regulation outside the Machinery Directive and Regulation 168/2013, tailored to the needs of the PMD industry was the best way forward . The system could include a variety of assessment methods, ranging from self-certification to independent testing. TRL concluded further: “In our view this new system for the regulation and approval of PMDs would provide the flexibility necessary to support innovation in this rapidly evolving sector, while maintaining technical standards and road safety.

In the letter to the Commission, LEVA-EU expressed its surprise and confusion about the content of the workshop. Even though the TRL study covered all so-called PMDs and also made recommendations for all of them, the workshop deals almost exclusively with e-scooters. Moreover, this workshop is not organised as a dialogue with the LEV-businesses on the many regulatory problems they are facing and how they might be solved. The workshop programme consists mainly of the presentation of national e-scooter legislation in 3 member states.

LEVA-EU fails to understand why the programme is only focused on vehicles that are not covered by Regulation 168/2013, but by the Machinery Directive. The organisation also doesn’t understand what the purpose is of explaining national legislation that, in their opinion, is at least in breach of Article 6.1 of the Machinery Directive and possibly also of Directive 2015/1535.

In a prompt reply, the Commission also stated surprise by LEVA-EU’s reaction to the workshop. The Commission explained that this workshop is focused on e-scooters “due to their recent substantial market size growth, increasing safety concerns and the diverging national measures regulating them across the EU.” However, the Commission reassured LEVA-EU that the workshop is only a first step and the discussions will not be limited to e-scooters: “The discussions will build on the findings of the TRL study on L-category vehicles and PMDs and are aimed as a preliminary step in the analysis of potential common rules on PMDs.” Furthermore, the Commission announced a dedicated impact assessment for 2023 that will include an extensive consultation of all actors of the PMD and L-category sectors.

LEVA-EU will continue to urge the Commission to speed up the legislative review for the benefit of LEVs and to hear the voice of the LEV-sector. In the past few weeks, LEVA-EU has called on the whole LEV-sector to participate in the workshop to have their say on how EPACs, Electric Cargo Cycles, Speed Pedelecs, E-Scooters, Self-Balancing Vehicles, … need their own accurate legal framework without any futher delay. In the framework of the energy and cost of living crises, as well as the Green Deal, the Fit for 55 Package, the New Urban Mobility Framework, the European Climate Pact and many more EU policies, it can no longer be justified that LEVs are neglected for so long and to this extent. We need solutions NOW.

Fur further details, please contact LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, tel. +32 9 278 45 46, email annick@leva-eu.com.

Annick Roetynck

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

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