WEDNESDAY APRIL 25, 2012
As of the first of May 2012, in Switzerland pedelecs with a pedal assistance up to 25 km/h are allowed a motor output of 500 Watt, whilst being classified as a bicycle. So far, the motor output of these pedelecs had to be limited to 250W in order for the vehicle to be considered a bicycle. Vehicles with a motor output between 500 Watt and 1,000 Watt and/or assistance up to 45 km/h are considered mopeds. Switzerland is not the only country that classifies pedelecs 25 km/h as bicycles with a motor output of more than 250 W. Despite current European legislation limiting power output to 250W, for some time now, Austria considers 25km/h pedelecs with a motor output of 600W as bicycles.
ETRA welcomes the change of regulation in Switzerland. ETRA points out that the Swiss decision proves all arguments against higher motor output limits in view of road safety wrong. Austria has already proven the arguments wrong for some time by allowing for 600W. However, the European trade-association stresses that the Swiss change in classification is in the first place linked to the traffic code which determines the conditions for using the vehicle on the road. ETRA’s lobby in the European Union is in the first place linked to technical regulations. The regulations currently in place for pedelecs 25 km/h and 250W are just as suitable for any pedelec 25 km/h irrespective of its power output limit. As for other pedelecs and E-bikes, ETRA is lobbying for an adapted type-approval procedure instead of the regulations developed for conventional combustion engine mopeds which are currently in place.
ETRA hopes that the Swiss decision and the Austrian “dissidence” against the European legislation will help to convince the European institutions of the justness of ETRA’s proposals.
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