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Through our dedicated work at the eWheels.org Association e.V., we discovered interesting boundaries around the strictly regulated situation in Germany, potentially one of the biggest markets in Europe for electric mobility. Germany is part of the European Union and has a population of 81 million people as one of the biggest economy drivers in Europe.
All engine powered vehicles faster than 6 km/h need to have a type approval, to get a liability insurance which is required for legal use on the street, everything else would be a criminal act. Depending on the vehicle category it needs to get an insurance plate or a license plate.
Where do the regulation come from?
Based on the „Agreement of uniform technical prescriptions“ of 1958 in Geneva and the Vienna „Convention on road traffic“ of 1968, the European Union regulations and European Union type approval requirements have derived. Each country in Europe or the European Union which signed the agreements must issue national regulations based on the requirements of those agreements. If definitions are missing the European countries can issue their own regulations and national type approvals based on the UN ECE regulations (e.g. the Geneva regulation issued first in 1958).
If harmonized regulations for eWheels would be in place
As for this in Europe we’ve harmonized test requirements for vehicles and their parts. A vehicle (e.g. car) can be approved in Spain, getting a European wide type approval and can be registered with no problems in Germany or vice versa.
As long the eWheels (electric self-balancing vehicles) are not covered by the „European Union type approval regulation (EU) 168/2013“, this can’t be done and the usage in public space is strictly prohibited. As you can see the regulation is dated 2013 and will be issued and get valid on 1st of January 2016. You might imagine how long it will take to integrate eWheels in the European regulations.
National type approval
Each country in the European Union or Europe which also signed the Vienna / Geneva agreements can issue national regulations based on the UN ECE requirements. Those regulation papers stating requirements for different components in each category - for the case that vehicles are not defined in a European approved regulation. Depending on the vehicle's type (weight, speed,..) requirements can be defined in a simplified manner.
The attached documents are showing why eWheels are no toys and have to be compliant with the European Union type approval regulations, what national regulations and vehicle categories in Germany exist, where to be placed best and where the national or European Union regulations are derived from.
The slides are published under the creative commons 4.0 license. This means that the author of the document must be named (by), that they are free for non-commercial use only (nc) and no derivatives are allowed (nd).
The eWheels.org Association e.V. was founded in 2014 and is dedicated to helping the community of electric self-balancing wheel owners to flourish. We help the community with knowledge, infrastructure, education, distribution, publications and lobbying.