Will we soon see a revision of the 250W limit for electric cargobikes?

When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Ursula?

Present regulation determining the status of light electric vehicles is a bodge. Essentially a list of requirements was drafted in the last century to exempt e-bikes from Regulation 168/2013 (type-approval for mopeds and motorcycles). The most important of these requirements were

  • pedal assistance
  • motor shut-off at 25kph
  • maximum power of 250W

The last one has become anachronistic as large electric cargobikes have proven to be very effective in urban logistics. 250W is often insufficient to carry heavy loads up hills. It is therefore very important to relax this restriction if we want to radically transform the way goods are delivered in town and city centres.

The Light Electric Vehicles Association has been campaigning on this issue’ Its manager, Annick Roetynck said: “This is something I have been working on for exactly 21 years now. I sincerely hope it will result in a fundamental change of legislation, which will allow light electric vehicles other than e-bikes with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h – 250W to flourish and contribute to sustainable transport.”

It seems that the European Commission is moving in the right direction. They have enlarged the scope of a review by consultants TRL on micromobility, to look exactly at how to revise present rules to enlarge the scope of cargobikes, without lowering their excellent safety record.

LEVA-EU is extremely pleased with this widened scope that allows for research into the accuracy of the rules, not only for PMDs such as e-scooters and self-balancing vehicles but also speed pedelecs, electric cargo-bikes, electric bikes with more than 250W (L1e-A), etc. Further good news is the fact that TRL is not only going to consider technical regulations but also road circulation measures to ensure the safe deployment of these machines in the EU and the effect of regulation on the PMD market in the EU. Current problems are to a large part resulting from the fact that Regulation 168/2013 was designed without any consideration as to the effect of the technical categorisation on the terms of use for the vehicles.

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