Avere: Rise in EU speed pedelecs sold without type approval

11th January, 2017 in Electric bike news

Avere, the European Association for Electromobility, has issued a reminder to the EU e-bike industry that the “definite application” of the new type approval rules took effect from 1st January 2017 for electric bikes with a (max continuous) rated power of more than 250w, or where the motor continues to provide assistance beyond a 15.5mph cut off – known as a speed pedelec.

Manufacturers are not required to type approve electric bikes falling within the definition of an EAPC (electrically assisted pedal cycle) which account for the vast majority of e-bike sales in the UK.

Avere note the new year as the “definite application” since 31st December 2016 saw the end of the transitional one year period between the old and new type-approval system.

Avere’s statement says: “Type-approval is a legal obligation as a result of which the manufacturer has to have its vehicle type approved by a ‘technical service’. This is an organisation or a body accredited by the type-approval authority of a Member State as a testing laboratory, which is entitled to carry out the tests prescribed by the type-approval legislation in order to establish that the type complies with the law.”

In the UK, the VCA ensures that a vehicle and its components meet certain safety and performance standards to ensure safe use on the UK’s roads.

Avere states: “Type-approval already applies to [some] electric bicycles since 2003. Electric bicycles, which before the 31st December 2016 have been type-approved according Directive 2002/24, may still be sold. Their type-approval remains valid until the manufacturer ends the production of the specific vehicle type. If the manufacturer brings a new type of vehicle on the market after 1st January 2017, this must be type-approved according to the legislation set out by Regulation 168/2013.”

Type approval is required for electric bikes and its components where the motor’s (maximum continuous) rated power is higher than 250w, even though its assistance still cuts off at 25km/h (15.5mph). Such power-assisted cycles require type approval under the category of L1e-A for “powered cycles”. Speed pedelecs, where the bike’s motor assists the rider beyond 25Km/hr, fall into category L1e-B “mopeds”. The manufacturer should, in both cases, issue a “Certificate of Conformity” (COC) which is handed to the purchaser.

The organisation is warning that accompanying the growing popularity of speed pedelecs in Europe, is a rise in electric bikes being sold without the required type approval however, stating: “Manufacturers continue to sell electric bicycles, that should be type-approved, without COC simply because they have not been type-approved.”

Avere have issued the reminder to avoid any potential negative impact on a growing market. They say: “AVERE LEV-TF believes that the sales of illegal electric bicycles may eventually put off consumers, thus jeopardize this promising market. A number of countries, such as the Netherlands and Belgium, have recently taken initiatives to sort out the legal problems involving so-called speed pedelecs. One issue being that the vehicles have to be registered and fitted with a number plate. However, this is only possible if the consumer can present a COC. ”