E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

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Ross
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E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Ross » Fri May 25, 2018 6:50 am

https://www.bikebiz.com/news/bikes-need ... ance-in-eu

The European Commission has today decided that e-bike riders without motor vehicles third-party liability insurance are riding illegally. The decision – yet to be placed into law – would affect those riding pedal-assist e-bikes, often known as pedelecs i.e. the standard e-bike sold in Europe. However, individual EU states can, if they so choose, exempt e-bikes from the decision.

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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Tequestra » Fri May 25, 2018 1:38 pm

The fact that an electric bike literally has a motor, albeit not an engine, does literally place it in the category of 'Motor Vehicles', even if the top speed is only 25km/h or around that, and it weighs around 1% of the average full-sized car.

It added: "The use of these new types of electric motor vehicles in traffic has the potential to cause accidents whose victims need to be protected and reimbursed swiftly."


This excuse however begs an obvious question and I don't think it is a valid excuse for the new tax. The question is, how much more damage can a 70kg rider on a 30kg bike do than an 80kg rider on a 20kg bike?

Whether a bicycle has a few kg of motor & battery or a few kg of school books onboard, what's the difference?

There goes my motivation. I'm glad this is Friday. Maybe there'll be something to cheer me up next week?
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby eldavo » Fri May 25, 2018 2:00 pm

Decision made by the European Insurance Commission?

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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby LateStarter » Fri May 25, 2018 6:01 pm

Have they swallowed the Australian cycling encouragement pill, guess it will be helmets next, EU Commissioners sitting in their limos probably don't like being passed in the traffic by bicycles. Not much of a step from this to the same for all bicycles, crazy, no wonder more and more Europeans and euro governments are eurosceptic

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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Tequestra » Fri May 25, 2018 6:06 pm

LateStarter wrote:Not much of a step from this to the same for all bicycles, crazy ...


Well there now I suggest you all go out and buy Big Trucks and be like me and give the bastards what they asked for!
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Fri May 25, 2018 6:21 pm

Think that this was only a matter of time. I'm not offering commentary on e-bikes, rather on EU behavior. We'll see this occur eventually here as well.
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby trailgumby » Fri May 25, 2018 8:06 pm

e-bikes have become a bit of a bull in the china shop in many European jurisdictions.

Not sure if you've seen the articles about bicycle crash and injury rates jumping suddenly over there, with 55yo+ e-bike riders being the major segment responsible.

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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Fri May 25, 2018 8:09 pm

trailgumby wrote:e-bikes have become a bit of a bull in the china shop in many European jurisdictions.

Not sure if you've seen the articles about bicycle crash and injury rates jumping suddenly over there, with 55yo+ e-bike riders being the major segment responsible.


Saw that, wondering if there is a correlation between crash incidence, location and relaxed marijuana policy...(jk).

But seriously, it's not like there are lots of hills..
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby zebee » Sat May 26, 2018 9:21 am

I suspect some of it is lowering barriers to entry.

TO ride a bicycle you have to want to, because there are a lot of alternatives which get you there faster. To do it at any speed you have to work at it and train up. HIlls are a deterrent, it is jut too much work unless you have a very good reason. Even if you do have a good reason you won't be going fast to begin with.

With an e-bike you can get on and go. Fast without experience or skill.

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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby LateStarter » Sat May 26, 2018 12:30 pm

Australians seem to be such a lazy , whingy lot full of excuses I doubt we will ever see a significent bicycle mode share (again) unless it is made really easy for them. So if ebikes help to get more cyclists on the road I don't care if they all zoom past me on the hills (& flats), I will be happy to plod along after them. In this respect I see a huge number of food delivery riders, mostly on ebikes around the inner (Sydney) city these days and this has to be a good thing, the more cyclists of any sort the better.

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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Sat May 26, 2018 5:13 pm

Let's not forget these are jurisdictions with heavy moped use, which have similar power/soeed restrictions, and in most cases also need insurance, depending on location. The philosophy may be a case of bringing e-bikes into line with mopeds.
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby The Fixer » Sat May 26, 2018 5:54 pm

trailgumby wrote:e-bikes have become a bit of a bull in the china shop in many European jurisdictions.

Not sure if you've seen the articles about bicycle crash and injury rates jumping suddenly over there, with 55yo+ e-bike riders being the major segment responsible.


Well I'm 60 and ride one - and I feel far safer on it than on a regular cycle these days, mainly because it's far better in traffic, for a number of reasons. BUT... I've BEEN cycling since I was 4, and have ridden regularly as an adult since 1995. I also rode motorcycles for many years.

I am not a newbie or inexperienced, nor am I a MAMIL.

My bicycles are my SOLE means of transport, and have been for around 15 years.
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby trailgumby » Sat May 26, 2018 11:48 pm

The Fixer wrote:
trailgumby wrote:e-bikes have become a bit of a bull in the china shop in many European jurisdictions.

Not sure if you've seen the articles about bicycle crash and injury rates jumping suddenly over there, with 55yo+ e-bike riders being the major segment responsible.


Well I'm 60 and ride one - and I feel far safer on it than on a regular cycle these days, mainly because it's far better in traffic, for a number of reasons. BUT... I've BEEN cycling since I was 4, and have ridden regularly as an adult since 1995. I also rode motorcycles for many years.

I am not a newbie or inexperienced, nor am I a MAMIL.

My bicycles are my SOLE means of transport, and have been for around 15 years.

My comment wasn't pointed at any particular individual. Of course risk is relative to skill.

However, given that most euros who cycle tend not to be enthusiasts but rather what I call "convenience cyclists" or what Mikael Colville-Anderson calls A2Bers, who pootle along like wheeled pedestrians, it's entirely likely they're simply not used to controlling that much power. They get themselves into trouble with the unfamiliar speed and longer braking distances.

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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Tequestra » Sun May 27, 2018 8:43 am

10speedsemiracer wrote:The philosophy may be a case of bringing e-bikes into line with mopeds.


There are pros and cons to this. It is more red tape, but it might be a sensible way to legalise 1000w+ motors, which might be comparable to half a low-end 50cc petrol moped for performance. Leave 250w ebikes in with the traditional tredleys: no licence, no insurance, no age limit. Then, if it was not too heavily regulated, (and this is the danger for economical Australian-made ebikes), 1000w bikes would need to be registered and riders would need a moped licence, which means aged over 16 in WA.

What worries me is that such things as lights, indicators, horn, are cheap and quite at home on a bike with a big, heavy battery, but all it would take is some malicious legislator who hates someone who owns a bike and they would be requiring airbags on mopeds or whatever. There goes the resurrection of the Australian manufacturing industry.

This idea has merit, but I think in practice modern governments' track records clearly demonstate that they will happily err on the side of overregulation and that means pricing beyond the means of the poor cyclist. I guess the second-hand 1000w ebike market might proliferate much like the second-hand car market, but I'd rather build my custom 1000w ebike with the lights, indicators, horn, mirrors, and pay the rego online than have to pay thousands to the bureaucracy to demonstrate to strangers what I already know works.
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Ross » Tue May 29, 2018 8:08 pm

Tequestra wrote:There are pros and cons to this. It is more red tape, but it might be a sensible way to legalise 1000w+ motors, which might be comparable to half a low-end 50cc petrol moped for performance. Leave 250w ebikes in with the traditional tredleys: no licence, no insurance, no age limit. Then, if it was not too heavily regulated, (and this is the danger for economical Australian-made ebikes), 1000w bikes would need to be registered and riders would need a moped licence, which means aged over 16 in WA.



It would be quite hard for the non-"trainspotter" authorities to determine at a glance what is a 250W bike and what is a 1000W+ bike

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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Trevtassie » Tue May 29, 2018 10:38 pm

I reckon the dude I saw today riding a throttled E-bike would fall into the category of overpowered and underskilled. Reckon his bike was about 1000W going on his speed and his brakes were ineffective given how he was pumping the levers to get them to work. That, with all the weaving around from lane to lane and at one stage riding along the wrong side of a traffic island says there really needs to be some enforcement carried out.

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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Calvin27 » Wed May 30, 2018 10:16 am

Don't like it. This is bicycle registration argument all over. Third party liability insurance = bicycles must be registered. Licensing? We've had these arguments before and in the end the numbers simply do not stack up.
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby g-boaf » Wed May 30, 2018 12:42 pm

10speedsemiracer wrote:But seriously, it's not like there are lots of hills..


In Europe? Local riders there that I've seen just cruise up average 8 or 9% grades on their mountain bikes chatting away like it is nothing. :shock:

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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed May 30, 2018 3:02 pm

g-boaf wrote:
10speedsemiracer wrote:But seriously, it's not like there are lots of hills..


In Europe? Local riders there that I've seen just cruise up average 8 or 9% grades on their mountain bikes chatting away like it is nothing. :shock:


But seriously, it's not like there are lots of hills...in Holland.
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Tequestra » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:50 am

Ross wrote:It would be quite hard for the non-"trainspotter" authorities to determine at a glance what is a 250W bike and what is a 1000W+ bike


Hello Ross. True indeed. I've spoken to a couple of fellow electric-bike riders from time to time when we pass outside shops etc., and I've noticed that their bikes are a little over the 250W by the look of things (IYKWIM?), and the general consensus is that what the constabulary want from us most of all is to see courteous, sensible behaviour around other road users - keep the peace, that's what it's all about.

Being able to keep up with the slower traffic such as buses or trucks, circa. 45-50km/h is IMHO safer than 25-30km/h because there are less chances of being hit from behind. That is where 1,000W is a good idea, but definitely not something for kids or cowboys to kill themselves on, so I can see why the 250W limit is sensible for all concerned. Discretion is the better part of 1,000W valour.

Sorry I took so long to reply as I don't feel worthy to be here except after a ride, and I've got a most annoying little problem with battery charging right now, because the fuse & holder that protects the charging circuit has melted and it's going to need a soldering iron to repair it, and I need a new soldering iron and that's got to wait until after I pay the rego on the new truck, so I'm stuck with the truck for now, and that's why I don't login here. It would just be socio-political reasons and that's a slippery slope on so-called 'social' media. There was an interesting article on the ABC news website which is why I logged in this morning to post it.
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Calvin27 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:24 pm

Tequestra wrote:
Ross wrote:It would be quite hard for the non-"trainspotter" authorities to determine at a glance what is a 250W bike and what is a 1000W+ bike


Hello Ross. True indeed. I've spoken to a couple of fellow electric-bike riders from time to time when we pass outside shops etc., and I've noticed that their bikes are a little over the 250W by the look of things (IYKWIM?), and the general consensus is that what the constabulary want from us most of all is t


I have had the same experience. Before ebikes took off a lot of the argument against was that there was no way to tell how much power a bike was putting out and that they were easily modifiable - thus people would exploit that. I rekon I see 50/50 spread of legal vs illegal ebikes. I've tested a few different and rekon I can tell based on user input.

From an authorities point of view, it's far easier to just make the user pay, particularly when ebike costs begin in the thousands. The case against registration and insurance was always that little johnny would face too much red tape on his $100 kmart bike. This is different and I really do hate the 'insurification' of things but I suspect there is a lot more complexities than can be contained in one thread.
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Tequestra » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:03 pm

Calvin27 wrote:From an authorities point of view, it's far easier to just make the user pay, particularly when ebike costs begin in the thousands.


Thank you for your reply, Calvin. I know I am an outlier in this example, but I calculated the total cost of rebuilding the second-handie I picked up with a broken battery for $50 at a total of just over $600, and it took quite a bit more financial luck over the months to rebuild it, however I can understand the generalisation that the authorities will be inclined to make to cover the average retail consumer with a newie that would cost upwards of around $1,500 or so. Though hopefully there will be a growing second-hand market in time so that poor people can get off the buses and join 'The Movement', excuse pun. I've seen them advertised around the place for under $500, needs new battery ...

I suppose that the argument against rego is that the 'power-assisted' e-bike is a technological advance on the traditional bicycle, and the idea of every parent needing to register their child's 16" #1 Christmas present under the tree might be a minor non-vote winner. What about electric wheelchairs and those electric trikes that are popular with senior citizens? It is also not very environmentally friendly to charge people for taking the electric option in preference to the petrol-powered option. There are reasons to be wary of overreach but they are rather a weak arguments, depending on what one wants to achieve.

If it has to be, then I guess I'll have to suck it up and pay what they demand, but I would like to see the 250W limit increased to 2,500W if we're going to have to pay, because a powerful e-bike is still a lot less of an air pollutant as well as less of a noise pollutant than a 50cc 2-stroke moped. It is doing the world a favour, and so it shouldn't really come with penalties for doing it. A weak ideological argument that doesn't stand much of a chance when there's revenue involved.
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Calvin27 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:22 pm

Tequestra wrote:If it has to be, then I guess I'll have to suck it up and pay what they demand, but I would like to see the 250W limit increased to 2,500W if we're going to have to pay,


And that is a pretty valid argument. 'If I'm going to have to insure and register it, then why not boost the power up a fair bit!'
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Tequestra » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:32 pm

Calvin27 wrote:And that is a pretty valid argument. 'If I'm going to have to insure and register it, then why not boost the power up a fair bit!'

Not only for me, but for all the car drivers in Perth!

Guess what? If I'm on my 1,000W (too dangerous to ride around with no suspension except on careful Sunday afternoons w/shoes and jeans) Tequestra the Tequesta that I found early one morning in January 2016 on the front verge with six other bikes discarded in the council rubbish collection, and fitted the electrics in the lounge room, then my fellow motorists do not need to worry about the passing rules, because I can cruise at 60km/h. If I had a frame with at least some front suspension, it would safe enough for an experienced motorcyclist to use.

I just kind of fell in love with the Tequesta because of its unique triple something or other frame design, but I have now concluded that a bike without suspension is too dangerous to ride outside of a closed race track with a 1,000W motor.

Anyway, a 1,000W motor is perfect for city use, providing that the frame is strong enough to handle the potholes and has suspension, preferably front and rear. Then the cyclist can be like the moped rider and keep up with the traffic, so everyone is happy.
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Re: E-bikes are declared illegal to use on European roads without insurance, decides European Commission

Postby Scintilla » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:35 pm

Europe is a different world to Australia. In many countries it is illegal to drive a car without insurance (for third-party injuries AND for property damage claims). If you are not fully insured you do NOT drive a car. Many people routinely have public liability insurance for transport use and it is for you, not the vehicle I believe. Thus it is easy to have it extended to bicycle or e-bike use.

Application to Australia would require a huge rethink of legal obligations for all road users....... and maybe the good old 'presumed liability' :D

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