"Rules would not apply to offroad going bikes", a cause for concern to association

ETRA urges European Parliament to close e-bike speed loopholes

ETRA is calling on the European Parliament to stall their vote on type-approval of electric bikes having found a potential loophole which it believes to be dangerous.

Article 2.2(g) of a paper on electric bikes presented to MEPs stipulates that speed regulations do not apply to vehicles primarily intended for off-road use and designed to travel on unpaved surfaces. ETRA believes that this is a permit for manufacturers to label bikes as intended for off road use in order to skip over proposed rules on maximum speeds.

MEPs will formally debate and vote in plenary. That is scheduled for Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 November.

ETRA secretary general Annick Roetynck explains: “Manufacturers can very easily declare their electric bicycles vehicles primarily intended for off-road use and designed to travel on unpaved surfaces, since there are no criteria whatsoever set for labelling a vehicle as such.”

Roetynck continues: “If a manufacturer labels his electric bicycle as a vehicle primarily intended for off road use and designed to travel on unpaved surfaces then the vehicle is out of the type-approval and there are no other technical rules applying. There is only the General Product Safety Directive which obliges the manufacturer to put a safe product on the market. Furthermore, the owner of the above vehicle will be allowed to use the vehicle without any other obligations, i.e. helmet, insurance, driving licence, age limit. There is no speed limit by construction set for his vehicle, nor a motor output limit.”

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