New Framework for PLEVs in Ireland

1193 days ago

4 minutes

Ireland is proposing amendments to their Road Traffic Act 1961  in order to regulate the use of personal light electric vehicles (PLEVs), including electrically assisted pedal cycles and electric scooters. Currently, the general principles of the Bill are debated in the House. LEVA-EU was consulted for the preparation of the bill.

Below is an overview of the proposed requirements for PLEVs which however, are not yet official law. The bill still need to pass several stages of the legislative process which you may find here.

Under the new legislation for PLEVs, it is stated that an electric scooter is a PLEV and is defined as a bicycle if it complies with the following requirements. The maximum designed speed of PLEVs is proposed to be 25 km/h, limited by a speed limitation device. The maximum continuous rated power should not exceed 250W. Maximum weight and dimensions limitations have not been proposed.

As for terms of use, it is proposed to exempt PLEVs from motor tax and vehicle registration. Riders would have to be at least 16 years old and the use of mobile phones while driving will be prohibited.

LEVA-EU is preparing a briefing on PLEV legislation in European member states, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Our current overview has details on Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Further information on how to obtain this and other LEVA-EU briefings is here: https://leva-eu.com/leva-eu-briefings/ or contact daan@leva-eu.com for more information.

Bill 28 of 2021 can be found here, below is a summary:


  • PLEV means a personal light electric vehicle and could be:
    • An electric scooter
    • An electrically assisted pedal cycle or
    • Such other class of electrically propelled vehicle as may be prescribed under section 2(3)  (Page 4/5)
  • Electrically assisted pedal cycles means a bicycle or tricycle that:
    • Is fitted with pedals for manual propulsion
    • Is fitted with an auxiliary electric motor, capable of electrically assisting propulsion and
      • Otherwise complies with section 2(2)  (Page 4)
  • Electric scooter means a bicycle that:
    • Is propelled electrically by means of an electric motor
    • Is not fitted with pedals that are capable of manual propulsion
    • Has a means of directional control through the use of handlebars which are mechanically linked to the steered wheel,
    • Has a means of controlling the speed through hand controls,
    • Has a maximum design speed of no less than 6 kilometres per hour, and
    • Otherwise complies with section 2(1)

Requirements in relation to PLEVs

  • Have 2 wheels, one front and one rear, aligned along the direction of travel
  • Be designed to carry no more than one person
  • Be fitted with no other means of mechanical or electrical propulsion other than an electric motor that has a maximum continuous rated power that does not exceed 250 watts
  • Be fitted with a speed limitation device that limits the speed of the scooter to not more than 25 kilometres per hour
  • Be fitted with a power control in respect of which the default output of the electric motor is nil
  • Conform to such restrictions as may be prescribed under section 3 (page 5, bill).

Weight and size restrictions of PLEVs

  • Weight, length, weight and height are still under debate

Minimum age

  • Riders must be at least 16 years old

Prohibition of use of mobile phone while driving

  • A person commits an offence when he or she drives a PLEV in a public place while holding a mobile phone

Speed limitation device

  • A person commits an offence if the person removes to the tamper, attempt to remove the tamper or causes another person to remove the tamper
  • A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction—
    • In the case of a first offence, to a class D fine, or
    • In the case of a second or subsequent offence, to a class C fine.

Photo by Christina Spinnen on Unsplash.

Annick Roetynck

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

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