Will cargo e-bikes soon lose their status as bycicles?


source: Hans-2

Will cargo e-bikes soon lose their status as bycicles?

The Pedelecs: They have three wheels, have an electric motor and are designed for a playload of several 100 kilograms. This makes them very different from an ordinary bicycle. And yet they have the same legal status. This is the reason why the European Commission is debating to what extent a reorganization of the vehicle categories make sense. However, most e-bikes will probably retain their status in view of the type approval regulation that has been in force since 2013. This regulation defines what a motor vehicle is and under what conditions. The e-bike, provided it has a maximum rated continuous power of 250 watts, travels no more than 25 kilometres per hour and only requires assistance with pedalling, is classified as a bicycle within the meaning of the Ordinance. This means, of course, that it may also enjoy all the freedoms that apply to the ordinary cyclist. However, further requirements apply to the pedelec, which are owed to the Machinery Directive. Based on this directive, standards have been developed to which manufacturers must adhere. This works well, but should nevertheless be subject to improvement. Incidentally, not only pedelecs are affected, but also light electric vehicles. There is no regulation for the total weight or length of such wheels yet. Currently, all types of bikes fall under the term "cargo bike". It ranges from cargo bikes used for transporting children to cargo bikes used for transporting freight, which is why safety standards or even weight limits are being discussed. Guide values could be 300 to 600 kilograms. However, there are also other questions, such as the possible use of cycle paths or even the possible need for licence plates. Speed pedelecs are also to be discussed. Currently, they are considered mopeds because they travel up to 45 kilometres per hour. For them, this means that the cycle path is not open. This in turn means that they have to use the road and this raises the potential for conflict with motorists who assume that the speed pedelecs are mistakenly using the road. Switzerland and Belgium have developed extra cycle paths and lanes for speed pedelecs for this case. At the moment, it is still regulated in such a way that some people specially release the cycle path for S-pedelecs by marking it with a traffic sign "S-Pedelec free". However, it is important to ensure the protection of other road users. However, a uniform standardisation will still take time. It is expected to take about 3 years.

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