European cycling organizations welcome recommendations on the future of e-bikes in EU regulations
Study presented to the European Commission recommends the non-approval of type in EPACs
Brussels, 22 March 2021 - Leading European cycling organizations have responded positively to the recommendations on the e-bike and e-cargo bike sectors of the TRL (Transport Research Laboratory), charged with carrying out a study on the initiative of the European Commission on the security of Personal Mobility Devices, presented last Wednesday in Brussels.
'' Ensuring that EPACs remain outside the scope of the approval of the next EU-type legislation '' and 'regulations should not stifle the development of the cargo bike industry' stand out among the TRL's recommendations to the European Commission.
Manuel Marsilio, Secretary General of CONEBI, considers that “the declarations presented to the European Commission are a valuable result for the three associations over the past few months. An important milestone for our next actions, as we want EPAC to continue to be legally classified as a bicycle and not a motorcycle: a change in its legal status would have huge effects on sales and production. ''
Kevin Mayne, CEO of Cycling Industries Europe, commented specifically on the recommendations for cargo bikes. “We strongly advocate that commercial cargo bikes are a unique case in this analysis, since they were not designed as personal mobility devices. We are pleased that TRL has recognized the importance of the role they can play in making our cities greener. The regulations must support and not hinder this development ”.
It is important to note that the recommendations mentioned do not necessarily mean that EPACs will certainly be kept outside the scope of the revised EU type-approval legislation: in 2022, the European Commission will announce its legislative proposal, which will then be negotiated with other EU bodies.
“EPACs and e-Cargo Bikes have enormous potential for growth in the sector. ECF wants to see a greater increase in the use of all electric pedal bikes and a clear and appropriate regulatory environment is necessary for this to happen. To that end, we are working in collaboration with the bicycle industry and the European institutions ”, says Jill Warren, ECF CEO.
The Secretary General of CONEBI, Marsilio, agreed: "We are only at the beginning of the general process at European level, we expect a very positive and constructive dialogue with the European Commission and other interested parties, as happened with EU Regulation 168/2013 several years ago in order to support the continued growth of our sector within the framework of the European Green Agreement ''.
With regard to Speed-EPAC, which are currently classified under EU type-approval legislation, the TRL suggests moving them away from the mopeds category: positive news according to the associations, but an in-depth discussion on a wide range of aspects will be necessary .
TRL also recommends aligning road traffic regulations for new types of Personal Mobility Devices (LDCs) with existing national regulations for cyclists. E-bikes were included in the PMDs group, along with seated and standing e-scooters, electric unicycles with automatic balance, hoverboards, segways, electric skateboards and 'one wheel' boards. CONEBI, CIE and ECF believe that a clear differentiation between different types of vehicles is necessary to better take into account their specific characteristics and will do so in the next steps of the process.