Tag Archive: LEV market

  1. Commission Asks TRL to Revise Technical + Road Use Rules for ALL LEVs

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    On behalf of the European Commission, TRL has started an investigation into the appropriateness and accuracy of European rules governing light, electric vehicles. The Commission had announced this research at the LEVA-EU symposium in February but then seemed to indicate that the scope would be limited to “Personal Mobility Devices”, i.e. e-scooters, self-balancing vehicles, monowheels, etc. The scope now appears to include all LEVs, which creates a unique opportunity to prove the need for fundamental change.

    Last February, LEVA-EU organised a symposium on the legal status and market position of the speed pedelec. This symposium, attended by the European Commission, clearly showed how European technical rules result in great difficulties for manufacturers and that the categorisation as L-vehicle create great safety risks for speed pedelec riders.

    Speed pedelecs are not the only LEVs suffering from inadequate and outdated rules. As electric cargo-bikes take up an ever increasing role in city logistics, the 250W limit to keep them out of the L-category becomes an ever increasing obstacle. There are legal bottlenecks for LEVs excluded from the L-category just as well. Some Member States, such as the Netherlands and the UK, still forbid e-scooters on public roads. Other Member States develop their own technical rules, thus undermining the principle of European harmonisation and the single market. The national terms of use for electric tricycles and quadricycles, excluded from the L-category are totally unclear and uncertain.

    E-scooters with saddles or very light mopeds, which are technically very similar if not identical to e-scooters without saddles are not excluded from the L-category. They are therefore subject to an extremely complicated, expensive though inaccurate type-approval, upon which they are subject to the terms of use for conventional mopeds including the wear of a motorcycle helmet.

    The only LEV to enjoy a much better regulatory framework is the electric bicycle with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W. This vehicle has been excluded from the L-category, as a result of which it became subject to the Machinery Directive. This has allowed for the harmonised standard EN 15194, whilst all member states have given this e-bike the same legal status as conventional bicycles. As a result, this market has been growing very steadily for several decades now.

    But to make mobility more sustainable and green, the EU needs a wider variety of LEVs. Markets, other than e-bikes 25 km/h-250W, such as speed pedelecs have only enjoyed a limited growth even though there is a clear potential. Or, the vehicles are under threat of very sudden and arbitrary changes in national rules that could suddenly destroy the market. The response of the Dutch government to the Stint accident is the best example of such threat. The insane penalties decreed by France for LEVs exceeding their speed limitation by construction is yet another sword of Damocles for the sector.

    LEVA-EU has been pleading and working for a fundamental change of the rules ever since its foundation. Without such change, the EU will never be able to achieve its Green Deal’s objectives, which include a 90% GHG emission reduction by 2050.

    At the February symposium, the EC representative announced the Commission’s intention to order a study on how LEVs, such as e-scooters and self-balancing vehicles (PMDs) could be included in the type-approval. This study has very recently been initiated by TRL and its scope appears to be broader than what the Commission announced in February.

    TRL is calling on all LEV stakeholders for their input. TRL is interested “to hear about the effects of national and regional regulations on the safety of, and market for, PMDs. We are also interested to hear any ideas that stakeholders might have for the best ways in which new and existing PMDs could be regulated in order to safely and efficiently integrate them into road use. We understand that the scope of this project includes vehicles that might already be type approved in the L category, e.g. cycles designed to pedal and cargo bikes and we are therefore open to suggestions regarding any improvements that could be made to that system.

    LEVA-EU is extremely pleased with this widened scope that allows for research into the accuracy of the rules, not only for PMDs such as e-scooters and self-balancing vehicles but also speed pedelecs, electric cargo-bikes, electric bikes with more than 250W (L1e-A), etc. Further good news is the fact that TRL is not only going to consider technical regulations but also road circulation measures to ensure the safe deployment of these machines in the EU and the effect of regulation on the PMD market in the EU. Current problems are to a large part resulting from the fact that Regulation 168/2013 was designed without any consideration as to the effect of the technical categorisation on the terms of use for the vehicles.

    LEVA-EU herewith calls upon ALL stakeholders concerned to state their views on current LEV-regulations as well as their proposals for improving the rules. TRL is currently collecting input and plans a webinar some time in September.

    For all further details, please contact LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck, tel. + 32 9 233 60 05, email [email protected]

  2. EU LEV market continues to grow and flourish

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    The 2019 results for the European light, electric vehicle (LEV) market show a sector that continues to grow and prosper in all its segments. This is largely due to the fact that LEVs are sustainable means of transport, which become more and more popular as a solution to escape congestion, to prevent further damage to our climate and, importantly, a fun way of moving around that has an overall positive impact on public health.

    The Corona-crisis has unexpectedly put that health benefit of LEVs even more in the spotlight. Unfortunately, among policymakers, especially at EU level, there is still a huge lack of awareness as to the potential contribution of LEVs in making transport more sustainable. LEVA-EU works tirelessly to raise that awareness, to encourage policy-makers to design policies and legislation that encourage LEVs as well as to remove the various legal bottlenecks, which continue to seriously hinder the market development and uptake of LEVs.

    Even though there is still a lack of consistent statistical material, LEVA-EU is meticulously gathering statistics from all available sources and has brought these statistics together in one clear document for its members. The main conclusions for 2019 are as follows.

    Electric bicycles

    Total e-bike sales for 2019 currently stand at 2,285 million, which is quite a bit lower than the almost 2.8 million sold in 2018. However, not all member states have published their final 2019 results. The final total is expected to be at least around 3 million.

    The biggest e-bike market is Germany where 1.36 million were sold last year, followed by the Netherlands, 423,000, and Belgium, 238,000. These are also the countries where e-bikes have the highest share in total bike sales, i.e. 31.5%, 42% and 51% respectively.

    The biggest market for speed pedelecs is Belgium with a total of 13,416 last year. Belgium is the only speed pedelec market that constantly grows. This is because Belgium is the only EU member states that has made special provisions to accommodate the speed pedelec in their traffic code (see https://bit.ly/2VVEvUW)

    Electric mopeds

    The biggest market in 2019 for electric mopeds was Belgium, with just about 16,000 registrations, i.e. almost 56% up. In 2019 there was still a subsidy for e-mopeds available, which unfortunately has been abandoned in the meantime. France is the second market with almost 14,000 registrations (+33.5%), followed by the Netherlands with just under 12,500 registrations (+52.6%).

    Finally, we also have a first statistic on the sales of Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) such as e-scooters, self-balancing vehicles, e-monowheels, e-hoverboards and other PLEVs excluded from the L-category. In France, total sales reached more than 605,000 vehicles, that is “only” 5% more than in 2018, but 400% up since 2016.

    For more detailed statistics, please contact Annick Roetynck at LEVA-EU: [email protected], tel. +32 9 233 60 05.

    Photo by Tolu Olarewaju on Unsplash

  3. Light Electric Vehicle trade association LEVA-EU urges European Commission to match green transport rhetoric with action on LEVs

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    LEVA-EU, the sole trade association for the light electric vehicle sector, says the European Commission cannot continue to ignore a key barrier to growth for the LEV market following its decision to carry out yet another study into LEVs.

    LEVA-EU wrote to the European Commissiion calling for urgent legislative change for LEVs, centring on the technical legislation for L-category vehicles – mopeds and motorcycles.  At the request of the Commission, the European Council and Parliament decided in 2013 to only exclude electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250 W from this L-category. So, all other electric bicycles are included in technical legislation, which was originally written for internal combustion engine mopeds and motorcycles. This leaves manufacturers forced to navigate complicated, costly and inaccurate procedures. Moreover LEVA-EU said classing LEVs in the same category as mopeds presents considerable safety issues for riders.

    In a reply to LEVA-EU, Joanna Szychowska, head of the Automotive and Mobility Industries Unit at the Commission’s DG Grow, said the EC would shortly launch a study on the safety of personal mobility devices that would also look at the relevance of requirements for certain vehicle categories of the legislation in question, Regulation (EU) No 168/2013.

    But LEVA-EU manager Annick Roetynck said the organisation found the response ‘deeply frustrating’ saying it was ‘more procrastination’ and ‘more costly delays’ for the highly innovative LEV sector which is desperate to break free from the ill-fitting regulation.

    In the letter, Ms Szychowska said the EC was working to provide effective measures to facilitate the ramping up of production after the end of the COVID-19 confinement phase, while at the same time looking for ways to promote cleaner ways of transport.( see notes to editors)

    Earlier in June, the EC’s executive vice-president, Frans Timmermans, spoke at a major press conference on green transport and addressed the EU’s pledge of 20 billion euros for sustainable infrastructure transport projects, including electric mobility and bike lane schemes, saying: “When it comes to public investment to relaunch the transport sector more sustainable mobility will be key… funds can support the financing of one million electric vehicle charging points, clean fleet renewals, sustainable transport infrastructure especially looking at modalities of rail and electric mobility and bike lanes in cities.

    But Ms Roetynck said rhetoric is not being matched with action. “The current 250W limit handcuffs the e-cargo-bike-industry so that it cannot meet the current demand from consumers,” she said. “The inaccurate type approval is creating a huge legal bottleneck for ebikes, nipping development in the bud before it has had time to flourish. By not changing LEV legislation, the EU Commission is doing harm to its own climate ambitions and we need change now. Moreover, as a result of these rules, riders are often forced to ride in dangerous conditions because the speed difference between them and other means of transport is often life-threatening.

    Ms Roetynck said LEVA-EU had written to Mr Timmermans and the three EU Commission presidents. The group had already received a response from the cabinet of President Charles Michel stating: “On 23 April, President Charles Michel together with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen presented to the Heads of State and Government the Roadmap for recovery. It was agreed that the green transition will play a central and priority role in relaunching and modernising the EU economy. Further action to decarbonise the transport sector, which should also improve air quality, is necessary to succeed in the green transition. The Council of the European Union will thoroughly examine any proposal in this regard brought forward by the European Commission.

    But Ms Roetynck said the response was ‘warm words’ but left the problem of reforming Regulation 168/2013 still firmly at the door of the European Commission.

    Ms Roetynck  also pointed to a recent study in Belgium called project 365SNEL  which examined the benefits of commuting by speed pedelec. The study found that workers highlighted punctuality and improved mental health as their main motivations for choosing a light electric vehicle over a car.  The research followed 106 employees from ten companies commuting on a speed pedelec for three weeks and involved people who had never ridden a speed pedelec before, and who lived between 15km and 35km from their workplace.

    The predictability of journey time was an important factor for many, as traffic considerations did not need to be made. Many enjoyed the exercise element, which meant they arrived at work with a clear head, said the study. The main hurdle for many consumers was the price.

    This study again shows the key role speed pedelecs can make to the future of commuting,” she said. “But it is critical we encourage the growth of the sector and remove barriers quickly as solutions to the future of green transport are needed urgently now as cities across Europe and the world are scrambling to find safe and sustainable forms of transport and commuting. It is worrying that the study found consumers are being put off by price as price is a direct result of extremely complicated, inaccurate European technical rules.

    LEVA-EU acts on behalf of around 50 members across Europe and estimates about three million E-bikes alone were sold in the European Union during 2019. About 98 per cent of these were E-bikes with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W, which shows the extent the technical legislation for L-category obstructs the development of new types of E-bikes.


  4. Commission publishes report on the impact of coronavirus on EU trade

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    The current world health crisis will result in a decline of 9.2% in EU exports and 8.8% in EU imports from third countries in 2020, according to the EU Chief Economist note, based on the estimated decline in GDP worldwide.

    The increasing spread of the virus has prompted many governments to temporarily shut down businesses, and restrict travel and the movement of people. These measures will lead to sharp contractions in the level of economic output, household spending, investment and international trade.

    While there is a wealth of forecasts on GDP growth in 2020, there is a limited range of work done on trade projections for 2020, in particular for EU trade.

    The analysis outlined in this note is one of the few attempts at predicting the impact of the COVID19 outbreak on trade flows. In order to test the robustness of this analysis, results are also compared to the latest WTO trade forecasts published on 8 April.

    Read the report

    Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

  5. Covid-19: Legal Measures in Europe concerning LEV-Businesses

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    LEVA-EU is gathering information on Covid-19 measures in Europe  which are relevant for LEV-Businesses.

    We will update this information regularly. If you have relevant information, which is not yet in our list, please send it by e-mail to [email protected]

    Read more on best LEV-practices @ourwebsite. Latest update: 05 May.

    Stay safe!


    • Measures: bicycle shops are allowed to remain open. Update on 14 April. Read more @WKO.
    • Further information on measures in Austria:
      • All relevant information about Corona measures and financial support. Read more @Bmdw.gv.


    Czech Republic

    • Measure: bicycle shops are allowed to be reopened since 8 April. Read more @Vlada.
    • Further information on measures in the Czech Republic:
      • Update of measures since 14 April. Read more @Vlada.


    • Measure: dealers and repairers are allowed to stay open for sales and repairs.
    • Further information on measures in Denmark
      • Hotline for business related questions during Corona. Read more @Politi.dk.
      • Information materials for shops. Read more @SSK.

    European Union

    • Travel advice and border measures in Europe. Read more @ECEuropa.
    • Guidelines concerning the exercise of the free movement of workers during COVID-19 outbreak 2020/C 102 I/03. Read more @EUR-lex.
    • Find an overview of restrictions to transport, announced by Member States. Read more @MobilityandTransport.


    • Information on measures in Finland:


    • Measure: sales and repair of (e)bikes, e-mopeds, e-motorcycles and other LEVs is allowed. Read more @Legifrance.gouv.fr.
    • Further information on measures in France:
      • Update on Corona measures and shops that are allowed to remain open. Read more @Gouvernement.


    • Measure: Since 20 April, dealers and repairers are allowed to open again for sales and repairs, but measures may differ per region. Read more @Sazbike. or @theGuardian.
    • Further information on measures in Germany:


    • Measure: Repairs of bicycles are allowed since 4 May. Sales of bicycles will be allowed from 18 May. Read more @Gazetta or @governo.

    The Netherlands 

    • Measure: dealers and repairers are allowed to stay open provided they comply with safety and hygiene regulations
    • Further information on measures in the Netherlands:
      • General information on Corona. Read more @KVK.
      • Compensation for SME’s – TOGS-steun. Read more @KVK.
      • Financial measures. Read more @Rijksoverheid.
      • Several tax solutions to survive the Coronavirus. Read more @Belastingdienst.
      • Find here information about the NOW measure. Read more @Rijksoverheid.
      • Overview for business that need information about foreign markets including information about Corona. Read more @RVO.


    • Measure: in general stores are allowed to stay open if they can maintain at least 1 meter private space for visitors and at least 2 meters amongst colleagues
    • Further information on measures in the Norway:


    • Measure: shops are allowed to stay open
    • Further information on measures in Sweden

    United Kingdom

    • Measure: dealers and repairers are allowed to stay open provided they comply with safety and hygiene regulations. Read more @ACT.
    • Further information on measures in the United Kingdom:
      • Covid-19 operational advice for mobile mechanics. Read more @ACT.
      • Measures at GOV.UK:
        • Closing certain businesses and venues. Read more @GOV.UK.
        • Guidance for UK businesses. Read more @GOV.UK.
        • Guifance for local authorities on business support grant funding. Read more @GOV.UK.

  6. European Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) market shows continued growth

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    LEVA-EU collects all available statistics on LEVs to provide its members with an overview and thus a better insight into the EU market. The preliminary results for 2019, albeit not complete yet, are very promising.

    The electric bicycle market in Europe continues to grow. Not all national results are known yet. Therefore, total EU sales cannot be definitively calculated yet, but it looks very likely for total sales of electric bikes to surpass the mark of 3 million. The lion share of these bicycles were sold in Germany, where for the first time the magical limit of 1 million was exceeded. There is little doubt that the one and a half million mark will be exceeded this year.

    Sales of electric mountain bikes have increased with almost 47% in Germany, to just under 360,000, and with more than 24% in Switzerland to a good 50,000. The results for other “E-MTB countries” such as Austria or France are not known yet.

    As we already reported, there is only 1 steadily growing speed pedelec market, i.e. Belgium. This is due to the fact that Belgium has amended its traffic code to accommodate speed pedelecs. As a result, the traffic rules for speed pedelecs are fairly clear. Moreover, speed pedelec commuters can enjoy a compensation of up to € 0.24 per km, tax-free. In the past year, 106 test riders commuted on a speed pedelec for 3 weeks in a row in the framework of the 365SNEL project. They covered an average of 21.6 km a day. So, this can result in more than € 1,300 extra per year, tax-free.

    A total of 13,154 were sold in Belgium, that is 54.4% more than in 2018. Germany and the Netherlands, respectively second and third market are a lot smaller and unstable.

    For the third year in a row, European electric moped sales have made a big leap, in 2019 of almost 50% to just under 60,000 vehicles. It should be noted that these figures include speed pedelecs, which are registered as mopeds. EU sales of speed pedelecs are estimated at around 25,000 in 2019. That is getting close to half of all e-moped sales.

    Finally, in 2019 electric motorcycle sales more than doubled to 14,111. However, it is still very much a niche market with only 1.3% share in total motorcycle registrations.

    If you are looking for any further details on EU LEV-statistics or any other aspect of the European LEV-market, you should consider joining LEVA-EU. All further details are here or contact Annick Roetynck at +32 9 233 60 05, email [email protected]

  7. Rad Power Bikes News

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    LEVA-EU member Rad Power Bikes acquired $ 25 million (more than €23 million) in funding led by Vulcan Capital and Durable Capital Partners LP. The funding will support new brick and mortar retail locations around the world, along with expansion of the company’s mobile service and white glove delivery offerings.

    I’ve been passionate about achieving a future where ebikes are king and transportation is energy efficient, enjoyable and accessible for all since I was 15 years old,” says Mike Radenbaugh, Rad Power Bikes’ founder and CEO. “We found two groups of world class consumer and retail investors who believe in our vision and will help us surprise and delight our customers in new and exciting ways.

    Leading the investment is Stuart Nagae, Director at Vulcan Capital and early Rad Power Bikes customer. “Rad Power Bikes is the market leader in electric bikes, bootstrapping its way to a profitable business,” said Nagae. “This additional capital will enable the company to broaden its market, accelerate growth and continue to deliver the exceptional experience today’s customers expect.

    Henry Ellenbogen, founder and CIO at Durable Capital Partners LP, is also a lead investor in this round. Ellenbogen recognizes Rad Power Bikes’ growth potential after investing in the venture rounds of a number of notable companies in the direct to consumer and technology startup space.

    Find out more about Rad Power Bikes

  8. New French E-scooter Rules

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    Since 25 October, France has introduced new rules for non-type-approved personal light electric vehicles (PLEVs). According to a spokesperson of the French Ministry of Transport, driving forces behind this revision was the lack of a well-designed legal status for these vehicles and safety concerns on public roads.

    Focus of the revision are rules for e-scooters, however they will also apply to hoverboards, monowheels and self-balancing vehicles. As a result, these vehicles now have a legal status in the French highway code (Décret n° 2019-1082, art. 10). This status results in rules on place on the road, parking, technical requirements and sanctions in case of infringement.

    The following rules apply since 25 October 2019.

    • A minimum age of 12 years for using these vehicles
    • A maximum design speed of 25 km/h when used on public roads
    • Only one rider per device
    • Using a mobile phone and/or headphones while driving is forbidden
    • Driving on pavements is forbidden, however parking is allowed
    • PLEVs in urban areas can go either on cycle paths or on the road, provided the maximum speed is no more than 50 km/h. Outside urban areas, they must go on cycle paths.
    • Using a helmet is recommended but not obligatory.
    • Riders must wear reflective clothing during the day in case of reduced visibility and at night
    • Individual owners of PLEVs must undertake an insurance. Owners of a free-floating sharing system must underwrite an insurance for their customers.

    Furthermore, some technical requirements come into force on 1 July 2020. From that date on, every e-scooter needs to comply with the following requirements:

    • Front- and rear lights
    • Rear & side retro reflection
    • A bell
    • A braking system

    Disobeying the new rules could results in a fine of up to €1,500 if your e-scooter has a design speed of more than 25 km/h. More than one person on your e-scooter results in a fine of €35 or €135 in case of driving on pavements.

    The link to the legal revision is here: link to Official Journal of France.

    Sources: Link to Official Journal of France & Overview of the revision & BBC

    Photo credits: pixabay

  9. LEVA-EU collects Market Data on LEVs

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    The lack of market data is a persisting issue in the European LEV-business. LEVA-EU has now started to collect sales information on electric bicycles, speed pedelecs, electric mopeds, motorcycles and quadricycles for the European Union, Switzerland and Norway. Unfortunately, so far, no information is available on e-scooters.

    In a first step, LEVA-EU is collecting readily available information from trade press, related associations, etc. Until now, the information available was scattered around many different websites. LEVA-EU has brought all these pieces together in one file, which still has many gaps. But this is only the start of an excercise to be improved and continued.

    The information is for LEVA-EU members only. On top of this unique overview, LEVA-EU has a range of overviews and briefings on a variety of topics listed here: https://leva-eu.com/rules-regulations-leva-eu-briefings-available/

    The following overviews and briefings will be published before the end of the year:

    • Briefing on EN 15194:2017
    • Briefing on OBD for electric motorcycles
    • Briefing on CEN and ISO activities related to electric bikes and electric cargo bikes

    To find out more about all information LEVA-EU has to offer and/or about LEVA-EU Membership, please contact Annick Roetynck, tel. +32 475 500 588, email [email protected]


    Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

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