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Implementing regulations for eWheels in Germany
The regulations in Germany currently don’t allow the usage of ewheels in the public area. The aim of the eWheel.org Association e.V. is to draft some regulations for the German government to include eWheels into legislation, so that they can be used legally in the future. In the past the eWheels.org community on Google+ has discussed how regulations can look like. Some of these can be adressed as wishes only. We can suggest how regulations can look like, but at the end, the government will decide. We would like to take the opportunity to show off what could be a solution. Also we like to explain some terms from current regulations as they can be misunderstood if not read in context.
Motor powered vehicle or not?
We need to divide vehicles in two main groups. There’re human powered with a small assistance of an electro motor (up to 0,25 kW in German regulations, known as pedelecs/ light eBike) and there’re engine powered only vehicles. eWheels are engine powered vehicles. As our eWheels are faster than 6 km/h, eWheels needs to been registered in Germany. Actually, the process it’s like a car registration. You need to register and to have an insurance to be legal. But for that, a matching vehicle category for eWheels is needed, which doesn’t currently exists.
Vehicle registration legislation
This regulation defines how vehicles are categorized and which requirements are needed to get a registration.
This kind of registration is best explained by a car. A car needs to have an insurance and a type approval. With the cars title and the insurance the car can be registered, is listed in the government database and the car will get the *licence plate* stating the registration area and a unique character set in behind.
Registration free are some types of vehicles e.g. the vehicle type defined in the Personal Assistive Mobility Device regulation (Mobilitätshilfenverordnung (MobHV)). The sentence registration free can be easily misunderstood. It only defines that vehicles in the category doesn’t need full registration. Vehicles need an insurance licence plate (as known from motorbicycles). The technical requirements are lower for this kind of vehicles. In most cases this cars don’t need to be regularly inspected. But a vehicle in this category still needs to come with an approved type certification. If you look on the existing stand up rollers, they’re offered with an additional „TUEV kit“, which means that this is an official title for safety and reliability, in order to get an insurance and finally to drive legally.
Placing eWheels into regulations
We’re looking forward to improve / adjust the Personal Assistive Mobility Device regulation here in Germany (Mobilitätshilfenverordnung (MobHV)) to include eWheels into it, to be able to drive legally in the future. In this regulation the technical requirements should be defined. These requirements should be equal to the standup roller (e.g. Segway) but adjusted to eWheels (no handle,..).Further more the eWheel have to be safe and reliable.
Why do we wish to improve / adjust the Personal Assistive Mobility Device regulation (Mobilitätshilfenverordnung (MobHV)) and there’s no need for new category? The Personal Assistive Mobility Device regulation (MobHV) can be improved / adjusted quicker and has the focus on electro mobility (e.g. no mechanical brakes). It covers the requirements of electric self-balancing vehicles already, but is written in a very specific way which only describes Segway-like vehicles with handlebars and two wheels besides a platform to stand on. Basically all eWheels would fit perfect into it, if it's written to specify the requirements of the self-balancing concept instead of the shape of the vehicle. Beside this, creating a new category in the vehicle registration legislation (Fahrzeugzulassungsverordnung (FZV)) could be a much longer run.
What’s happening right now?
We’ve contacted the BAST, a test center owned by the German government which is currently testing different types of electro mobility devices like eWheels. The goal of the study is about safety and reliability in order to be able to categorize them. Based on that, the federal ministry of transport will probably adapt some legislations in 2016 for these new types of vehicles. Additionally we’ll contact the federal ministry of transport by our contacts of other associations in the electro mobility area.
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