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

1150 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

Annick Roetynck

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

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