Leva

Verge Editor Ricker analyses EU speed pedelec regulations in Stromer ST2 test

422 days ago

2 minutes

In a great article for the Verge, Thomas Ricker combine testing the Stromer ST2 with explaining the obstacles of the EU regulations for speed pedelecs. Thanks for the great work! 


Source: The Verge, 16 April 2021 – The words “Swiss design” conjure images of luxury watch movements and delicately sculpted eyeglasses, not hulking e-bikes with thickly welded frames and face-melting power. Stromer is here to challenge those assumptions and force a rethink of how its Swiss-made electric bikes, with top speeds of 45 km/h (28 mph), can disrupt urban transportation for the benefit of residents. I’ve certainly seen the light after testing a new 2021 edition ST2, Stromer’s first e-bike with a carbon belt drive.

Broadly speaking, US cities have all of the fast e-bikes and no bicycle infrastructure, whereas European cities have all of the protective infrastructure and few fast e-bikes. It’s exceedingly rare to see fast e-bikes known as speed-pedelecs in my Amsterdam home, for example, where half of all new bikes sold are electric, and bicycles outnumber people by a lot.

It’s not that EU bike makers are an effete bunch of cheese-eating milquetoasts; they manufacture slow, underpowered e-bikes to avoid the draconian measures triggered by EU Directive 168/2013. It states that any e-bike that goes faster than 25 km/h (15.5 mph) with a continuous rated power above 250 watts is to be treated the same as a gas-guzzling moped. Makers of s-pedelecs like the Stromer ST2 are subjected to a grueling certification process that then requires owners to hold a moped-class driver’s license, liability insurance, and registration. By contrast, a similarly specced Class 3 e-bike in the US usually requires… nothing, other than a helmet.

Regulating speed-pedelecs is a good thing, but they should be specifically targeted and not just shoe-horned into existing rules that curtail adoption, stifle innovation, and increase costs. (…)

This is a preview of an article published for The Verge.

Photo credits: Stromer ST2 Belt Drive

Daan van Dieren

Daan is a policy officer for LEVA-EU

View all posts

Campaign success

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Member profile

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.