LEVA-EU, the trade association for the light electric vehicle sector in the EU, has voiced its frustration on learning that another mobility safety study is to be carried out by the European Commission ahead of implementing any changes to regulations the association says are urgently needed for an innovative sector ‘desperate to break free from ill-fitting regulation.’
The association has called on the European Commission to make changes to the technical requirements for L-category vehicles – originally written for mopeds and motorcycles – particularly to free the full growth potential for e-cargo and speed pedelecs, thereby facilitating broader change to greener transport habits.
Currently, the European Council and Parliament has ruled to only exclude electric bikes with pedal assistance up to 15.5mph (25km/h) 250W maximum continuous rated power from the L-category, leaving manufacturers to navigate costly type approval procedures for all other electric bikes.
The European Commission recently announced the safety study into ‘personal mobility devices’ within the context of vehicle categories legislated by Regulation 168/2013, a course of action Annick Roetynck of LEVA-EU says is “‘deeply frustrating” and “more procrastination”.
While the EU has pledged 20 billion euros for sustainable transport projects as part of a greener ‘roadmap for recovery’, including investment in electric mobility alongside bike lane schemes, Ms Roetynck says rhetoric is not being matched with action.
“The current 250W limit handcuffs the e-cargo-bike industry so that it cannot meet the current demand from consumers. The inaccurate type approval is creating a huge legal bottleneck for e-bikes, nipping development in the bud before it has had time to flourish. By not changing LEV legislation, the EU Commission is doing harm to its own climate ambitions and we need change now.”
In February LEVA-EU highlighted the flaws the existing regulations posed in the EU, whilst proposing that all zero emission transport for individuals (up to a determined maximum speed and weight) be lifted out of type approval requirements.