New EPAC Standard EN 15194 for Safe e-Bikes

tuvtj

Just Joined
Apr 17, 2009
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#1
New EPAC Standard for Safe e-Bikes(NEWS FROM BIKE-EU.COM)

On April 30, 2009 the EN 15194 standard for ‘Electronically Power Assisted Cycles’ (EPAC) shall go into force. Worldwide the e-Bike industry is looking forward to the introduction of the new EN 15194 standard for ‘Electronically Power Assisted Cycles’ (EPAC). To qualify an e-Bike as ‘perfectly safe’ for the user as well as his surroundings, it has to comply with this new standard.

There is a great interest in this new European Standard, which will influence the booming European e-Bike market substantially. Why? It will change the market for e-Bikes drastically as it will no longer be possible to enter the e-Bike market in Europe by simply importing e-Bikes from China and selling them on.

These days an e-Bike with smooth running pedalling assistance is a sophisticated electric machine. All modern electrical equipment, including the e-Bike, has its own product Directive. These Directives cover product aspects such as the environmental impact of the materials used, product safety, Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) and low voltage characteristics.

The new European standard EN 15194, aimed at safety and reliability, will classify all Directives and become the new standard for all e-Bikes. To qualify an e-Bike as ‘perfectly safe’ for the user as well as his surroundings, it has to comply with this new standard.

Self-certification
In this new standard the CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) has drawn up the technical, environmental and safety requirements to qualify an e-Bike. In a very comprehensive test program an e-Bike is examined mechanically as well as electronically to the interest of the environment, health and safety of the user and his surroundings.

The self-certification within the industry is not foolproof and does not give the owner the guarantee he is entitled to. With that the image and the healthy future of the e-Bike are at stake. In order to guarantee a reliable product and the provision of correct information to the consumer, it is up to the e-Bike industry to implement this new EN 15194 as the standard.

The so-called CE-standard, of which the EN 15194 is part of, is relevant for all e-Bikes. CE stands for Conformité Européené meaning that it is in harmony with European regulation. The standard has to imply quality, reliability and safety. For the consumer this should be all well and good. But the reality with e-Bikes is far more complicated. Electric bikes contain a complex system of several electronic parts and components forming a drive system. The various parts each have to have their own CE-mark and be integrated with each other and similar equipment. For example like battery chargers for mobile phones and iPods. Mixing different components from several brands might lead to short-circuiting or worse.

Complicated
The same problem is lurking for e-Bikes. Putting all the components together does not guarantee high quality and maximum safety of the final product. An e-Bike can lay a claim to a CE-mark only if the final product, including all the individual electronic components has been produced according to the EN standard.

The EPAC standard is far more complicated than the CEN standard we know for bicycles. Manufacturers can do the CEN testing for standard bikes themselves. That is not possible for EPAC. It is too complicated as it is not about testing separate components. To meet the EPAC/EMC standard you have to test the whole system and you have to do that again and again after each minor adjustment. E-Bikes that are to comply with the new EN 15194 EPAC safety standards will have to be tested in the same way as cars, motorcycles or mopeds. One of the reasons for the testing of the complete e-Bike, is that for instance (brake) cables could interfere with the other electronics of the bike.

EMC
Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) is a good example of the importance of the new EN standard. Although the consequences are not fully realized throughout the market, EMC requirements are already applied throughout Europe to all kinds of electric appliances and vehicles including e-Bikes. EMC is one out of many parts of the CE test procedure. By the way, the EMC requirements are already in force throughout Europe, including all the e-Bikes that are currently on the market.

Electro Magnetic Compatibility requirements are designed, for instance, to ensure the safety of people who use a pacemaker or hearing-aid when driving cars or e-Bikes. In our world full of electronic equipment it is of utmost importance that any interference between electric equipment is limited. Everybody knows that you have to switch off your mobile phone in an airplane during take-off and landing. Can you imagine what will happen if a non-certified e-Bike interferes with a passer-by's pacemaker? A non-certified e-Bike is not only dangerous for the driver, but also for his environment.

The future for the e-Bike is looking bright. The industry will benefit from stable quality and a positive image that comes with the EPAC standard. However, at the same time it will only work as everybody and every e-Bike supplier will comply to it.

Time Table for EPAC Standard Implementation
January 14th, 2009 was the date when the definitive text for EN 15194 was sent to all European National Standards Bodies and was accepted by them.

Sixth month after the acceptance of the definitive text all European National Standards Bodies will have implemented the standard as national standard and any previous national standards shall be withdrawn before this date. This date is July 31st 2009.

The date of announcement by which the standard shall go into force is April 30th, 2009. The standard will be announced by the European National Standards Bodies and the text of the complete EN 15194 standard for ‘Electronically Power Assisted Cycles’ (EPAC) will be available at the National Standards Bodies in the various European countries.

The implementation of the CE standard varies by country. In some European countries the CE standard is compulsory by law, while in other countries it is just a part of the European product safety ruling.

The electronics of an uncertified e-Bike have the potential to harm the driver as well as other electronic equipment.

Each separate component of an e-Bike has to comply with the CE-standard and has to carry a CE mark.

The fulfilment of the CE standard and using the CE marking is the responsibility of the manufacturer and/or the importer.
 

Tiberius

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 9, 2007
919
0
Somerset
#2
Call me cynical but....

I work as a consultant in a branch of technology and I deal with standards and test houses. I'm actually an expert in EMC and electronics, but I usually work with products that operate to ETSI rather than CEN standards, so I don't have a copy of EN15194 to hand (I can get ETSI standards for free because I sit on some of the committees that write them, but CEN want to charge through the nose).

One of the problems in my field is test houses telling manufacturers that they always have to have everything tested and always have to involve a test house. Quite often the legislation doesn't actually require that.

The above posting reads not like an official announcement, but like a press release from a test house. The poster's username suggests the test house in question is TUV.

I suggest anyone concerned by this should consult the EU Official Journal.

Nick
 

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
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Sevenoaks Kent
www.wisperbikes.com
#3
Totally agree

Hi Tiberius

Oh how I agree with you!!

Our bikes are off to TUV now for testing, after satisfying our selves that they will conform 100%.

The bill for 905, 705 and 806? £20,000.00 :eek:

Talk about make it tough!

I have a copy if you would like to see it, miall@aol.com

Regards David
 

Tiberius

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 9, 2007
919
0
Somerset
#4
Just sent you an email, David.

Nick
 
#5
All sounds quite horrendous and costly. Does this mean the end of small innovators not being able to produce their first production batch, without bankrupting themselves in the process. What about kits?

Can someone assure me the world has not gone mad with this regulation

John
 

Tiberius

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 9, 2007
919
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Somerset
#6
All sounds quite horrendous and costly. Does this mean the end of small innovators not being able to produce their first production batch, without bankrupting themselves in the process. What about kits?
The standard is only part of the picture, John. What we also need to look at is the enabling legislation that tells you two things:
1. In what circumstances the various parts of the standards apply,
2. How a manufacturer demonstrates compliance.

Can someone assure me the world has not gone mad with this regulation
My brief look through it leaves me unable to give you that assurance.

The EMC immunity test is set ridiculously high. It specifies video cameras to check the operation of the bike because the field strengths are high enough to be harmful to humans.

There is an alternative test for "max continuous rated power" that undermines the intent of the legislation.

These standards are written by committees of manufacturers. It would be very interesting to know which manufacturers were involved.

Depending on the timetable, now that it is published, there may be a route and a time window for people to object before it is adopted.

Nick
 

torrent99

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 14, 2008
395
3
Highgate, London
#7
My brief look through it leaves me unable to give you that assurance.

The EMC immunity test is set ridiculously high. It specifies video cameras to check the operation of the bike because the field strengths are high enough to be harmful to humans.
Field strengths high enough to harm humans!?!?! What do they think these bikes are? EMC weapons?
Aircraft could be brought down by DIY 'E-bombs' - tech - 01 April 2009 - New Scientist
US military: Electropulse bombs now from next year • The Register


There is an alternative test for "max continuous rated power" that undermines the intent of the legislation.

These standards are written by committees of manufacturers. It would be very interesting to know which manufacturers were involved.
Car manufacturers perhaps? Existing bike manufacturers with deep pockets and a will to drive out any new competition?


Depending on the timetable, now that it is published, there may be a route and a time window for people to object before it is adopted.

Nick
Sounds like we should be objecting!
 

Tiberius

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 9, 2007
919
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Somerset
#8
Car manufacturers perhaps? Existing bike manufacturers with deep pockets and a will to drive out any new competition?
Hi Steve,

This sort of thing is not unknown in the standards world. The established manufacturers will be the ones with representatives on the committees; they are the ones who will hear about new technical committees and projects first. Quite often they could have it all sewn up before new, small companies even hear about it.

Nick

PS. After a bit further digging, it looks like this standard has already gone through two Public Enquiries. Hands up all UK based e-bike manufacturers who knew that.
 
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Tiberius

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 9, 2007
919
0
Somerset
#9
OK, a little bit more from the same source as the OP was quoting (bike.eu), with my emphasis

According to Chairman Siegfried Neuberger of the CEN Technical Committee 333 that next to standards for bicycles also handled the EPAC standard, the legal status of EN 15194 is a bit lower compared to the CEN standards for bicycles in reference to the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) of the European Union.

This Directive says that: “Producers shall be obliged to place only safe products on the market.” Paragraph 2 of article 3 of the GPSD describes the legal status of EN 15194. It states that: “The conformity of a product to the general safety requirement shall be assessed by taking voluntary national standards transposing relevant European standards into account.”


Basic summary is that if an e-bike conforms to EN 15194 then it is deemed to meet the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD).

A copy of the GPSD can be found on the Europa website EUROPA - Consumer Affairs - Safety - Product legislation. This is part of the legislation that sits above the standard, so it is at least as important as the standard.

Incidentally, the europa website is a good first port of call for anyone looking into regulations and standards.

Nick
 

Alex728

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 16, 2008
1,109
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Ipswich
#10
Hi Steve,

This sort of thing is not unknown in the standards world. The established manufacturers will be the ones with representatives on the committees; they are the ones who will hear about new technical committees and projects first. Quite often they could have it all sewn up before new, small companies even hear about it.
Of course - business is business - why would a company not use regulations to their advantage?

a few years back I worked in a Civil Service Department which had some regulatory powers and an investigative force (it was also where I got seriously into cycling as they had something like "cyclescheme" long before the private sector!).

There were and still are various hotlines whereby both citizens and businesses could report their peers being in breach of regulations. The bulk of all referrals to these hotlines came from commercial rivals finding fault with their competitors processes and hoping the regulators would seize on it and disrupt the rival business and cause negative publicity to them.

Ironically many of these companies were the same ones berating the government and EU for "excessive regulation".

I do agree though that in the interests of openness and transparency, the manufacturers who supported the regulations (I do appreciate that some manufacturers may not have wanted them but have complied out of obligation) should put their hands up, or anyone with more knowledge should be able to expose them.

After all I'm sure their marketing people would think its a "selling point" we are all going to be riding "nice safe e-bikes" :rolleyes:
 

tuvtj

Just Joined
Apr 17, 2009
4
0
#11
hi everybody, I am Qiang from TUV Rheinland China, The above information is a news from Bike Europe - The website for the global bicycle business, not from TUV,so for your reference!

I am very happy to join this forums, and make friend with your ,I think this new standard is a big challenge for China E-bike manufactory, because
many China manufactory are very small ,have not good quality system,and European safety regulation have not any requestion for E-bike,it's very easy to export their product to Europe, I think it's a large risk for consumer, that's why the new EPAC standard was issued.

but on the other hand, It's good news for e-bike consumer and European manufactory,because their product have good quality ,and It's very easy,
 

Tiberius

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 9, 2007
919
0
Somerset
#12
Hi Qiang,

Thanks for the clarification. Yes, I realise the article came from Bike Europe, but they have obviously just copied a press release, rather than doing the investigation needed to present a balanced view

Nick
 

stevenwong

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 14, 2009
7
0
#13
Hello Sir

we are an electric bike manufacturer from China mainland

we are keeping an eye on this norm.

my concern is very easy.should we get some certificate or test report before we shipped e bikes to EU in future??

or just make our e bikes due to the standard and we declare that our products meet the standard,then we can export it.i am not so sure about this issue.

could somebody here can give me some idea?

thank you in advance

Steven
 

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
5,455
120
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Sevenoaks Kent
www.wisperbikes.com
#14
Certification

Hi Steven

As far as we have been able to ascertain, all bike must have a valid certificate from an inspection company such as TUV although no one is quite sure when this will be finally made law. I believe it is July 09 but other people in the industry disagree and say no time has been set.

It's all a bit of a mess I'm afraid.

All the best David
 

stevenwong

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 14, 2009
7
0
#15
Hi Steven

As far as we have been able to ascertain, all bike must have a valid certificate from an inspection company such as TUV although no one is quite sure when this will be finally made law. I believe it is July 09 but other people in the industry disagree and say no time has been set.

It's all a bit of a mess I'm afraid.

All the best David
thank you David and it's a surprise to encounter you here.we met each other one year ago(at least).also i have a good personal relationship with your people in China.Because Steven left your OEM cooperator 2 month ago then joined another e bike company
anyhow.i plan to send one or two models to be test by TUV agent here next month.
 

Dynamic Position

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 28, 2009
306
1
#17
Its no wonder that the 2009 models of e-bikes are so expensive!

All that safety testing.

For the ultimate all purpose e-bike, Increased Safety (Ex 'e'), the New EPAC Standard EN 15194 for Safe e-Bikes will have to applied with the EN 60079-7 standard. This will allow you to cycle through designated catagory 2 and catagory 3 designated areas!:eek:
 

Mussels

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2008
3,208
2
Crowborough
#18
Its no wonder that the 2009 models of e-bikes are so expensive!

All that safety testing.

For the ultimate all purpose e-bike, Increased Safety (Ex 'e'), the New EPAC Standard EN 15194 for Safe e-Bikes will have to applied with the EN 60079-7 standard. This will allow you to cycle through designated catagory 2 and catagory 3 designated areas!:eek:
Does that mean I can ride through listed buildings?
 

Alex728

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 16, 2008
1,109
0
Ipswich
#19
Does that mean I can ride through listed buildings?
I think in this country you can anyway if you dress up like that teacher in the 1970s film "If" whilst singing "to be a pilgrim" :D
 

Perbear

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 15, 2009
6
0
#20
I have the EN 15194:2009 as well as some of the other standards that is related, like EN 14764 - city and trekking bicycle safety standard.

EN 15194 requires, among other things, that an EPAC needs to fulfill EN 14764 chapter 4, 5 and 6. The EN 14764 is only valid for regular cuty and trekking bikes, not MTB, trikes, delivery bikes, etc.

Does that mean no MTB or trike can be approved as EPAC (EU Pedelec), or should the EN 14764 chapter 4, 5 and 6 simply be ignored for bikes excluded from the EN 14764 standard? :confused: