Tag Archive: E-SCOOTERS

  1. E-scooter legislation won’t apply to Northern Ireland, according to report

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    Source: Micromobilitybiz, A. Ballinger

    The UK Government’s plans for updated e-scooter legislation won’t automatically apply in Northern Ireland, according to a report.

    Earlier this month, the Government announced plans for a new low-speed, low-emission vehicle category, allowing the use of private-use e-scooters on public roads. 

    The Government mentioned that the update would form part of the upcoming Parliamentary session on the Transport Bill, but a report from news outlet Belfast Live suggests that the update to the law in Great Britain would not automatically be adopted in Northern Ireland. 

    A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure told Belfast Live that the NI Minister for Infrastructure would be responsible for any decision on the use of e-scooters, remarking, “It is currently illegal to use electric scooters on public roads and public spaces in the North.  Any decision on the potential use of e-scooters here is a matter for the Minister for Infrastructure.”

    The proposed change in regulations in England does not apply to Northern Ireland, however, DfI officials are currently monitoring developments there and, following review, will provide advice to the Minister on the way forward.” 

    Following the Government announcement on e-scooter legislation, Belfast Live also reported that police in Northern Ireland planned to step up their response to the illegal use of e-scooters, currently banned from the roads unless the rider has a license, tax, and insurance. 

    The popularity of e-scooters continues to grow, with shared schemes being hailed as a success across the country.

    The Government plans to use safety data collected from the shared transport schemes to inform its legislation update, including details like maximum speed, battery power, and regulations on lights.  

  2. UK government advised to consider new private e-scooter legislation

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    Source: European Transport Safety Council

    European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) member, PACTS, has set out recommendations for private e-scooter use in the UK if the vehicles are to become legal. This includes mandatory helmet use and a minimum rider age of 16. Recommendations were based on a nine-month research project.

    At present, e-scooter use in the UK is limited to city-specific rental schemes. Private usage is restricted to private land, despite this over a million such vehicles have entered the UK in recent years and it is not uncommon to see them in a public setting. Many users are either ignorant of or ignore the ban on public use and face fines or confiscation.

    Following its research, PACTS has published a comprehensive report looking at many aspects of e-scooter design and use which took into account research and experience from across the rest of Europe, where e-scooters are legal in most countries. This is seen by PACTS as the ideal legal scenario in which to launch private e-scooter ownership in the UK. Recommendations are as follows:

    • Maximum possible top speed of between 10mph-12.5mph (16-20km/h)
    • Maximum continuous rated motor power 250 W
    • Anti-tampering mechanisms should be included in the construction. Tampering should be prohibited by law
    • A maximum unladen weight of 20kg
    • A minimum front wheel size of 12 inches (30.5cm) and minimum rear wheel size of 10 inches (25.5cm)
    • Two independently controlled braking devices
    • Lighting to be mandatory at all times
    • An audible warning device to be mandatory
    • Helmet wearing to be mandatory
    • Rider age limit of at least 16 years
    • Riding on the pavement to be prohibited
    • Carrying of a passenger to be prohibited
    • Drink driving, dangerous or careless riding, and mobile phone use to be prohibited
    • In-person rider training recommended
    • e-scooters should be regulated as motor vehicles
    • Public liability insurance for riders recommended
    • The rider should inform the police if there is a collision involving an injury 
  3. Shared e-scooter micromobility trial in London reaches 500,000 journeys

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    Source: Micromobilitybiz

    The e-scooter sharing services have now been used to travel upwards of 1.6 million kilometers

    New data shared by Transport for London (TfL) and three e-scooter operators Dott, Lime, and Tier announced that their ongoing shared micromobility trial in London has surpassed the milestone of half a million trips. Total journeys reached 585,000 in early February, covering a total distance of 1.6 million kilometers since the scheme’s launch just 8 months ago.

    Following sustained success, the trail has seen a six-fold increase in available vehicles, now standing at 3,585 scooters; the number of partaking boroughs has also doubled. As seen in similar schemes, there is much discussion regarding the safety of e-scooters in regard to riders themselves as well as pedestrians. For this reason, TfL is working to develop a universal e-scooter sound in collaboration with UCL – this will allow easier identification of the vehicles, particularly for those with visual impairments.

    Helen Sharp, lead in the TfL e-scooter trail shares:

    “We’re working closely with operators, councils, and people across London to build on the success of the trial so far and we hope that even more people will be able to take advantage of the trial over the coming year. The anonymised data we gather is crucial and we’ll be analysing this closely so that we can learn more about the role e-scooters could play in helping people move around London sustainably.”

  4. TAITO launches Indiegogo e-scooter kickstart campaign

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    Source: Indiegogo

    LEVA-EU member, TAITO, has successfully launched its e-scooter kickstart scheme through Indiegogo. The Belgian start-up aims to take commuters to their destination in a safer, more enjoyable, and efficient manner. The e-scooter incorporates a three-wheel design and a wide bamboo standing platform – these features allow riders to feel more secure as they travel.

    At the time of writing, TAITO had reached its primary funding goal of €20,000, with over a month remaining for additional backers and investors to join the campaign.

    Visit the TAITO kickstart page here.

  5. Insight from McKinsey & Company on shared vs private escooter preference

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    Source: McKinsey & Company

    The global management consulting firm has shared findings and thoughts on consumer preferences for ownership of e-kickscooters in comparison to use of shared services.

    A July 2021 survey by the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility, the Mobility Ownership Consumer Survey, returned responses showing that a staggering 70% or those who answered would use micromobility for their daily commute. Of these, 12 percent said that they would use e-kickscooters as their preferred vehicle type. The follow up article takes a focus on such trips for e-kickscooters and analyze the preferred ownership types.

    Now ubiquitous in many cities and in the press, escooter sharing services first launched in the USA in 2017. Their popularity began to rise in 2019, with various companies competing for a portion of the market. The docked or dockless shared models however, warrant further discussion when it is taken into account that only 6 percent of respondents in the survey preferred a shared service when it comes to escooters.

    To break down the numbers in more detail, the article states that 64% of those who said they would use an escooter to commute preferred private ownership. Operational leasing or subscription came in a moderate second at 23%. If we consider this a ‘private’ form of ownership, the combined total is 87%. For shared forms including peer-to-peer, station-based, and free-floating services, a low 13% stated this as their preference.

    Image credit: McKinsey & Company

    Reasons for such a preference for private ownership of escooters were varied:

    “33 percent stated that they did not want to share a vehicle with others, and 32 percent wanted the flexibility to carry their vehicle onto a subway or bus. Interestingly, 22 percent of respondents stated that they decided to purchase a private e-kickscooter after trying one out in a sharing service”

    Manufactures are presented with mixed takehomes from this information. Where private use entails better care and storage and less wear and tear, the longer lifespan of each unit may result in lower sales figures. At the same time, an individual may be willing to invest in better features and quality, which can increase margins, or they may be open to buying more than one model.

    The article recommends: “To win in this potentially lucrative market, manufacturers should consider increasing their focus on B2C sales through dealers and other channels. They could also consider offering subscription-based services, which would provide users with an option between owning and renting.”

    Challenges are certainly in store for shared mobility businesses. Rapid uptake can be seen as an advantage for this format when entering new markets, but it would be prudent to consider the incorporation of subscription or leasing models. This can offer stability in the form of recurring revenue, as well as some chance at capturing those users similar to the 23% of respondents mentioned above. Another benefit might come in the form of sales of decommissioned shared scooters. Once they are due to retire from the fleet, the popularity of the escooter means additional revenue may be found in the sale of this stock, which could be re-invested back into the active fleet.

    Another sector which may be affected by the rise of the escooter is public transit. Since a large portion of micromobility journeys are replacing those which might have been taken by public transport. The article notes that it is not certain that their journey share will fall, but nonetheless has recommendations on adjustments that could be considered. These include storage space for escooters on their vehicles, which can help not only to retain, but even to gain customers. In a similar vein, employers should look at such storage provisions in the workplace, to contribute towards a happier and healthier staff. A step further for employers looking to embrace the rise of escooters would be financial incentives, offering micromobility vehicles in much the same way as company cars.

  6. Flemish Radio Interviews LEVA-EU Manager on E-Scooters with Saddle

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    The start of the European Mobility Week on 16 September is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with other more sustainable means of transport than the car. In that framework, the Flemish Radio 2 program “De Inspecteur” (The Inspector) interviewed LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck and Stef Willems (VIAS) about electric scooters with a saddle.


    “It’s complicated,” says Stef Willems of VIAS. “But the bottom line is that an e-scooter with a saddle is considered a moped in our country according to European and Belgian legislation. So, the only way to legally go on the road is with a number plate and helmet. You can in no way consider that vehicle as a regular e-scooter according to the law.”

    The police can fine you if you drive around with such a scooter without a number plate, or even confiscate your scooter, Willems warns. “The problem is that the people who buy e-scooters with saddles assume these are regular e-scooters, which allow them to go anywhere with them on the road. I have noticed that the sellers often do not clearly indicate that they are actually buying a moped.”

    Illegal e-scooters for sale

    We have seen that non-type-approved e-scooters are for sale on bol.com, says Willems. “Because they are not type-approved, you are under no circumstances allowed on public roads in Belgium. There is no certificate of conformity, so you can’t apply for a number plate. You can only drive around with it in your garden for instance. But the sellers don’t mention that.”

    There are also saddles for sale which you can mount on your e-scooter yourself, but that is not allowed either. “If you mount that saddle on your scooter, you are also not allowed on public roads, because here too you are in breach of European regulations.”

    Bol.com takes illegal steps offline

    At bol.com, they did not know that e-scooters with saddle are illegal, despite the fact that LEVA-EU had sent them a reasoned warning more than a year ago. The enquiry by the Flemish radio programme  “De Inspecteur”, convinces them to take immediate action. Tamara Vlootman tells “De Inspecteur”: “Our quality team will investigate this. Until then, we have taken the articles offline as a precaution. We will now look further into how we are going to approach that, maybe we will add a clear warning label.”

    Sellers be warned

    “We inform the companies about the correct legislation. It is all very complex but we call for the law to be respected,” says Annick Roetynck, from LEVA-EU, the professional association for light electric vehicles in Europe.

    “Some sellers actually don’t know the law; others choose not to know the law. They sometimes have the customers sign a paper to acknowledge that the e-scooters they are buying are not allowed on public roads. If an accident were to happen, they will not be able to avoid their liability.”

    Outdated law

    Annick Roetynck does not agree with the law at all. “The laws were made long ago, when there were only cars, motorcycles and mopeds with fossil fuels, but not with new vehicles in mind. That’s why you get strange situations for no reason, because an e-scooter with a saddle is largely the same as an e-scooter without a saddle. There is no justification for submitting them to two completely different legal frameworks.”

    That is why she hopes that the legislation will be changed: “Personally, I have been working for more than 20 years for accurate legislation for LEVS such as e-scooters with or without saddle but also electric bicycles-without pedals for instance. They all have a role to play in making mobility more sustainable. They have great potential in decarbonizing mobility in the fight against climate change. There is some good news: the European Commission has recognized that the legislation needs to be improved and we hope it to be amended within 2 or 3 years.”

    The radio-interview with Annick Roetynck is here: https://radio2.be/luister/select/de-inspecteur/sommige-elektrische-steps-zijn-illegaal-als-je-er-een-ongeval-mee-hebt-is-de-verkoper-mee-verantwoordelijk

  7. New Framework for PLEVs in Ireland

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    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:

    Definitions

    • 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.

  8. New Luxembourg Micro-Mobility Rules in Violation of EU law

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    Luxembourg’s Mobility Minister, François Bausch, has recently announced amendments to the national traffic code, with a view to accommodating micro-mobility. He probably did not realise that what he explained at that press conference was against European law.


    Luxembourg has a new category to its traffic code: the electric micro-vehicle (micro-véhicule électrique). This term covers electric monowheels, hoverboards, e-scooters, etc. The category is devised for “small vehicles with at least one wheel, with our without a seat, for the transport of one person only”. Their maximum speed must be limited from 6 to 25 km/h and their power to 250W. They must be equipped with a permanent red and white light, as well as with a bell. These vehicles are awarded the same status as conventional bicycles. They may therefore be used on cycle paths.

    With these new and probably well-intended rules, the Luxembourg government is in violation of European legislation. According to Regulation 168/2013, any vehicle with a seat that can be propelled by the motor itself, is an L1e-B moped. It must be type-approved as such. The Luxembourg government has the competence to award it the same status as a conventional bicycle in the traffic code. The government is however not entitled to exempt if from type-approval and grant the limited technical requirements as outlined above.

    LEVA-EU has written about this issue on several occasions, see https://leva-eu.com/non-type-approved-e-scooters-with-saddle-are-illegal/. The fact that even a member state goes wrong, shows to what extent current legislation is ill-adapted. That is why, in our position paper on the review of the type-approval for light electric vehicles (LEVs), we propose to exclude all LEVs up to 50 km/h. Instead, they should all be made subject to a horizontal vehicle Regulation complemented with harmonised standards and, if necessary, specific type-approval for certain categories. It cannot be justified that the technical rules for an LEV, change completely just by adding a saddle to it.

    Photo by Cedric Letsch on Unsplash

  9. Non-Type-Approved E-scooters with Saddle are Illegal

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    In those member states that allow electric scooters on the road, they are clearly on the rise. With that, the offer of e-scooters with saddle is also growing. However, those vehicles are ticking time bombs since they are completely illegal if non type-approved. LEVA-EU, the trade association for businesses in the light, electric vehicle sector, explains why a saddle makes such a difference.

    The growing popularity of the electric scooter is gradually becoming visible in traffic. It is a green means of transport that can contribute to making mobility more sustainable. A number of manufacturers have now added a saddle to that scooter, possibly in an attempt to improve comfort and to promote the vehicle to a wider audience.

    Incalcuable consequences

    In Belgium, which has introduced very favourable rules for e-scooter in its traffic code, the offer of electric scooters with saddle is growing noticeably. Bol.com has an electric scooter “for children” from € 117.99. Via Fruugo, Zipper scooters with saddle are advertised from € 269. MediaMarkt offers the Mpman as an electric balance bike for € 349. In the web shop of the weekly magazine Knack the Ecoscooter is at € 499 and Fnac promotes the Inmotion P1F at € 699.35.

    All these vehicles have one thing in common: they are illegal. All distributors should cease sales immediately and recall all vehicles sold. Should one of these vehicles be involved in a serious accident, the consequences for the involved distributors and manufacturers of the scooters will be incalculable.

    The warning comes from LEVA-EU, the European trade association for light, electric vehicle businesses. LEVA-EU negotiates directly with the European institutions on the technical legislation for these vehicles. As a result, the organization has first-hand correct and in-depth knowledge of the legislation.

    1,036 pages

    Most vendors do not disclose the legal status of these e-scooters with saddle or suggest that they belong to the special category that Belgium has created in the traffic code for e-scooters without saddle.  There is a chance that the distributors themselves are in the dark about the illegality of their merchandise. The legal status of the electric scooter with saddle is the result of 1,036 pages of European legislation that has not evolved with the market and has grown into a gigantic legal bottleneck.

    In 2009, the European Commission had to rewrite the technical requirements for mopeds and motorcycles. It was already clear then that the internal combustion engine would have to make way for its electric counterpart and that classic mopeds and motorcycles would be supplemented or replaced by a series of light, electric vehicles with the electric bicycle in the lead. The Commission then, with the approval of the European Parliament and the Council, stubbornly refused to write future-proof legal texts. In 1,036 pages, Regulation 168/2013 and the 4 associated implementing regulations mainly describe the limitation of emissions and safety features, which are not relevant for light, electric vehicles.

    Saddle = moped

    The Commission was prepared to exclude the classic electric bicycle (25 km / h-250W) from Regulation 168/2013, along with a number of other vehicles, which they did not know how to handle in type-approval. This was the case for vehicles that “are not equipped with at least one seating position” (Article 2.2.j of Regulation 168/2013). Electric scooters that are not equipped with a seat are therefore excluded from the type-approval for mopeds and motorcycles. As a result, as far as the traffic codes are concerned, these scooters end up in a legal vacuum, which Member States can fill at their discretion.

    To fill this vacuum, Belgium has devised the category “locomotive machines” (voortbewegingstoestel (NL) – engin de déplacement (F)). Belgium stipulated in the traffic code that these vehicles are allowed to drive up to 25 km / h. In addition, they get a similar position on the road as bicycles, they do not require a license plate and no insurance. The user must not wear a helmet and does not require a driver’s license.

    Put a saddle on that scooter and the story is completely different. Then it is vehicle equipped with at least one seat. So, it is subject to type approval in the category L1e-B “moped” and in the Belgian traffic code it comes under “moped class A”. As a result, you must register it, apply for a license plate and pay insurance. You are also obliged to wear a motorcycle helmet and at least have an AM driving license. You must also be at least 16 years old to drive such a scooter. Bol.com’s scooter for children is therefore doubly illegal in a manner of speaking.

    There is no (scientific) research that supports the decision to submit e-scooters with a saddle to type approval and without a saddle not. At the time, decision-makers just put a wet finger in the air, as they did when deciding on the 25 km/h and 250W limits for the electric bicycle.

    Highly dangerous

    However, it is impossible to have the Zipper scooters, Mpmen and Ecoscooters of this world comply with the European type-approval for mopeds and motorcycles. The technical requirements are totally inaccurate for these vehicles. Even if you manage to get a type of electric scooter with saddle approved, it still does not guarantee a safe vehicle. The same problem also occurs for example for speed pedelecs or electric cargo bikes with more than 250W. However, if you keep the saddle of all those vehicles under 54cm, you don’t have to meet type approval after all (exclusion from Article 2.2.k); legal nonsense pushed to an extreme.

    Another, much bigger problem is that most Member States do not have a “moped class A”, like Belgium has, or the Netherlands with “snorfiets” or Germany with “Leichtmofa”. All mopeds in L1e-B mopeds are treated as one and the same vehicle in the traffic codes of those Member States. In most of these cases, mopeds are not allowed to use cycle paths. This is how the feather weight Zipper, Mpman or Ecoscooter, which often doesn’t even reach 25 km / h, ends up between cars and freight traffic that drive much faster. This creates life-threatening situations. This problem also occurs with speed pedelecs, the majority of which cannot reach 45 km / h but rather have a cruising speed of 30 to 35 km / h. This appeared from recent research commissioned by the Flemish Environment Department (see https://bit.ly/3cTQtnI)

    4.2 million deaths a year

     LEVA-EU has recently made an urgent request to the Presidents of the Commission, Council and Parliament for a rapid and fundamental revision of Regulation 168/2013. In addition, LEVA-EU has developed a concrete and practical proposal as to how to replace the legal bottlenecks with rules for light, electric vehicles that will enable the market to grow safely.

    LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck adds: “In the Green Deal and other European policyy instruments, several billion euros are earmarked for making mobility green and sustainable. Improving legislation for electric scooters and other light electric vehicles is a measure that is virtually cost-free, much needed and guaranteed to generate millions, if not billions, of euros. And yet Europe continues to systematically put that measure off. This is unacceptable.

    Meanwhile, the Commission has replied to the LEVA-EU request. They announce yet another study, the results of which will be published in the first quarter of 2021. Only then could a debate on a possible revision of Regulation 168/2013 be started. Should a proposal for review be made, it will need to be approved by the Council and Parliament.

    Annick Roetynck: “This means that it could take at least another five years before our sector can have any hope of removing the legal bottlenecks. That is downright unacceptable. More than 400,000 people have died of Covid-19 so far. But meanwhile, 4.2 million people die from air pollution every year. Mobility is clearly a growing part of that problem. Why is Europe blocking the opening of the market for light electric vehicles? Why does Europe continue to ignore the potential of light electric vehicles to make mobility more sustainable? ” LEVA-EU does intend to keep knocking on the European door.

    The Dutch version of this article is here: https://bit.ly/3fk5AZj

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