Electric BikesNewsSpeed Pedelecs

LEVA-EU holds industry meetings ahead of EU LEV type approval review

LEVA-EU has today issued a statement announcing the European Commission’s review into type approval regulations for light electric vehicles within the EU.

The organization say today that they have “argued long and hard for a review of Directive 168/201” and have “extensively argued how the market potential of light electric vehicles (LEVs) covered by that type approval is being thwarted.”

The vast majority of electric bikes sold in the UK are 15.5mph (max motor assistance)/250W (max continuous rated power) and classified as EAPCs (electrically assisted pedal cycles) for UK road usage – meaning they can be used in the way same as an ordinary cycle. Such electric bikes are excluded from type approval, however electric vehicles remaining inside the legislation, such as speed pedelecs, require manufacturers to go through the costly type approval process.

LEVA-EU’s statement says: “To date, electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 250W and 25 km / h, vehicles without a saddle, self-balancing vehicles and vehicles with a seat below a certain minimum height are excluded from Regulation 168/2013. In addition, electric bicycles 250W – 25 km / h have been given the status of a conventional bicycle in the traffic code of all member states. As a result, this category has been growing and thriving for years. LEVs that have remained in the Regulation, on the other hand, have a particularly difficult time. Speed pedelecs, for example, have great difficulties to really develop because in most cases they are categorized as classic mopeds. However, the terms of use for mopeds are unsuitable for speed pedelecs. And so, massive uptake of speed pedelecs is not forthcoming. In L1e-A, powered cycles, the situation is even worse. In this category for electric bicycles 25 km / h with more than 250W, virtually no type approvals have been carried out since 2013.

“After all this time, LEVA-EU’s complaints have finally been heard.”

The EU has initiated the review by instructing TRL, a UK-based mobility research centre, to undertake a study of all light electric vehicles, including scooters, electric bikes and e-cargo, in terms of where they fit within the type approval framework and national traffic codes.

TRL has launched an initial, broad, online survey for completion before 30th October.

Today’s statement says LEVA-EU wants as many LEV companies with an interest in the growth of the market as possible to participate in the review. However they acknowledge that the current framework is ‘extremely complex’ and are keen that the survey responses are “informed and relevant;” as a result LEVA-EU are holding a number of online meetings for LEV companies:

– Tuesday October 13, 14:00 GMT + 2: electric bikes and speed pedelecs
– Wednesday October 14, 10.30 GMT + 2: PLeVS (e-scooters, self-balancing vehicles)
– Wednesday October 14, 14:00 GMT + 2: electric cargo bikes
– Thursday October 15, 10.30 GMT + 2: 3 & 4-wheel electric vehicles with pedaling function for passenger transport
– Thursday October 15, 10.30 GMT + 2: users (groups) of LEVs

LEVA-EU clarified that all UK companies with an interest are welcome to take part: “Anybody who is interested in the matter are welcome to participate, so if dealers [as well as manufacturers] are interested, they may also participate.” Companies wishing to learn more, or to participate, should email daan@leva-eu.com

Talking about the UK’s position post Brexit, Annick Roetynck told Pedelecs: “Less than three months before the decisive date, the UK has still not decided how to handle legislation governing light, electric vehicles. To be left in the dark like this is a very damaging situation both for LEVA-businesses in Europe and in the UK.”