The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Code of Motor Vehicle Safety states that electric bicycles and tricycles meeting the definition of low-speed electric bicycles will be considered consumer products to be regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the same manner as ordinary bicycles, and are not considered motor vehicles under U.S. DOT and NHTSA regulations.
In conformance with legislation adopted by the U.S. Congress defining this category of electric-power bicycle (15 U.S.C. 2085(b)), CPSC rules stipulate that low speed electric bicycles (to include two- and three-wheel vehicles) are exempt from classification as motor vehicles providing they have fully operable pedals, an electric motor of less than 750W (1 hp), and a top motor-powered speed of less than 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) when operated by a rider weighing 170 pounds. An electric bike remaining within these specifications will be regarded simply as a bicycle for purposes of federal law. Commercially manufactured e-bikes exceeding these power and speed limits are regulated by the federal DOT and NHTSA as motor vehicles, and must meet additional safety requirements. However, such requirements do not apply to e-bikes assembled from parts or kits by an individual. The use of home-built or kit-assembled e-bikes are instead governed by state and local laws, as federal law does not preempt state and local jurisdictions from enacting their own laws governing the operation of such vehicles on public streets and roadways. The legislation enacting this amendment to the CPSC is also known as HR 727.
Also check - State updates from the USA Department of Motor Vehicles http://www.dmvnv.com/50_state_dmv_list.html
For information on Canada and its provinces go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws#Federal_Safety_requirements
NEW REGULATIONS for air transport of Lithium Batteries announced JANUARY 1, 2013!
This information is now available on the IATA website at: www.iata.org/lithiumbatteries
BERN, Switzerland – What in the European Parliament is still a much debated topic, has already been decided for in Switzerland. The Swiss Federal Council has set new rules for electric bicycles that allow for 500 Watt motors instead of the current 250 Watt. Read more here.
Pedelecs excluded from the type-approval had been included in the European Directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain
Hazardous Substances (RoHS II) without any consultation with the electric bike sector. This inclusion serves no purpose whatsoever whilst creating unnecessary administrative burden and increased costs for the electric bike sector. Following an impact assessment, the European Commission is now about to review the inclusion of pedelecs in RoHS II. This is to a large part the result of ETRA’s input in the impact assessment. Please read more here. Dated June 1, 2012.
LEVA Webinar on Legally Shipping Batteries both Inbound and Outbound
Watch 30 minute presentation (sign in with your email address first) by Peter Sveum of LEVA Member AllCell Technology on April 12, 2012.
Model Legislation for the USA
zero-emission, domestically-powered, appropriately-sized electric vehicles, the
Light Electric Vehicle Association recommends that each state's Vehicle Code conform to these rules. Doing so will simplify the rules, reduce
barriers, and fairly treat LEVs as viable transportation alternatives. LEVA had a member group of representatives from ebike companies and suppliers who worked on this model legislation during 2011 and issued their final suggested language on August 24, 2011. Cities and states who are struggling with language related to the use of light electric vehicles may find this information helpful in formulating their own regulations. To read the entire document, click here. Long time industry veteran, Rob Means, is LEVA's legislative advisor and chair of the committee.
Lithium Battery Shipping
NEW REGULATIONS for air transport of Lithium Batteries COMING JANUARY 1, 2013! This information is now available on the IATA website at: www.iata.org/lithiumbatteries.
Lithium metal batteries are non-rechargeable batteries you discard once they are depleted. Larger lithium metal batteries contain over 2 grams of lithium, and are forbidden. Most consumer lithium metal batteries such as AA, AAA, and CR-123A sizes, do not fall into the "Larger" category. Just follow the Basic rules.
Read more here. To calculate your battery size, Volts x amps = Watt hours.
A good introduction and start to understanding how to legally ship lithium batteries is to view the power point presentation LEVA Member AllCell Technology presented at our Interbike Seminars. View it here.
Shipping Batteries Safely: Everything you need to know from the DOT: http://hazmat.dot.gov/HMpubsreview/docs/shipBatt.pdf
Has your staff received hazardous material shipping training? Whether they mark, label, package, prepare or simply reoffer hazardous materials packages you must be trained. Sign up for it at www.shipsafeshipsmart.com. This one is sponsored by FedEx but you can also find the UPS Seminar on Hazardous materials/Dangerous Goods at http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/ship/hazardous/seminar.html.
In essence, any lithium batteries larger than 36V 8.3ah cannot be shipped either air or ground without being HazMat compliant. If the lithium battery is on the bike it has to go Class 2 which requires Hazmat labeling but not special packaging. International shipments of Lithium's need to be UN/DOT tested or the receiver is in violation.
A bigger problem is inbound from customers (batteries for repair) which have to go HM as well. Special exemption permits need to be acquired from Washington which take at least 4 months to come in.
You can also access the DOT document on Shipping Batteries by Air at http://www.levassociation.com/assets/PHMSAShippingBatteriesSafelybyAir-1.pdf.
International Air Transport
The legal requirements for international air transport of dangerous goods are set out in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Technical Instructions). The organization IATA, publishes the Dangerous Goods Regulations that incorporate all of the requirements of the ICAO Technical Instructions, and in additional contain operational requirements and recommendations that are applied by their member airlines.
For lithium batteries, IATA, in conjunction with ICAO, the US DOT and the Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA) have developed a guidance document to assist shippers of lithium batteries to understand and apply the regulations applicable to the transport of lithium batteries by air.
This document is contained on the IATA website at: http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dangerous_goods/Pages/lithium_batteries.aspx
Presently the document is available in English, French and Spanish. A German version will be available shortly.
Why Are Batteries Regulated in Transportation?
Batteries are woven into the fabric of modern American life. They power portable computers, phones, and audio devices. They make possible motorized wheelchairs and cordless tools. We have come to depend on batteries for an increasingly mobile lifestyle. Today's batteries contain more power than ever, making possible a steadily growing number of higher-powered devices on the market. But with that increased power comes greater risk and the need to manage the risk. Shippers can play an important role in reducing this risk and preventing incidents including fires aboard aircraft.
Ignoring battery regulations is not only illegal, it can potentially be extremely dangerous.
CBC Canada News Article - Air transport of dangerous lithium ion batteries investigated
Transport Canada is investigating a high-profile Richmond, B.C., company in connection with the air transport of potentially dangerous lithium ion batteries. In one of four incidents under investigation, two batteries used to power electric bicycles allegedly exploded in the back of FedEx truck shortly after they were imported by plane to Canada by Dr. Battery — also known as Richmond International Technology Corp. Read the entire article by CBC News in Canada here.
EU Laws & Regulations
Being successful in the bike business in Europe requires detailed knowledge on the European laws and regulations for bicycles and bike products. Anti-dumping and anti-circumvention duties, the new CEN safety standards or the Generalized System of Preferences can have a huge impact on your business. Keep yourself informed with the Bike Europe EU Laws & Regulations files. Any new addition will be published in the weekly Bike Europe e-mail newsletter.
Do you want to stay informed? Subscribe to the Bike Europe e-mail newsletter! Click here.
For more information on the EU regulations including the Machinery Directive, Recycling, Type Approval and EN15194, click here for Part I and here for Part II.
And from Bike Europe, more on EU regulations, click here - EU Laws & Regulations.
Here is a good summary from Bike Europe on Ebike Regulations Check List for Distributors. Are you selling legal or illegal products?
Another great source is our EU Regulations partner, the European Twowheeler Retailers' Association (ETRA). Visit them at www.etra-eu.com.
EU Trade Regulations
- Import Duties on non-EU Bicycles
- Preferential Import Duty Rates
- Duties on the Internet
- EU Adopts New and Simplified GSP
- Timetable Anti-Dumping and Anti-Circumvention Measures
- Anti-Circumvention Duties on Certain Chinese Parts
- EU Reviews Bike Dumping By China
- EU lifts Dumping Duty on Vietnam Made Bikes
- Anti-Dumping Duties on Chinese Saddles
- No Dumping Duties on Chinese E-Bikes and Pedelecs
- EU modernises customs procedures and makes imports safer
- EU-Commission Appoints Trade Hearing Officer
- VAT Reduction on All Bicycle Products and Services
- New Boost for the Internal EU-Market
- Tighter checks on EU imports
- EU Relaxes Rules of Generalised System of Preference
Safety Standards and Regulations
- The European CEN Standard For Bicycles
- European Standard for Child's Seat for Bicycles
- Rapid Exchange of Information on Unsafe Products
- REACH: EU Legislation With Major Impact for Whole Supply Chain
- REACH Continue Reading
- USA: Lead Content in Bike Product
- EU Legislation on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- EU Regulations for e-Bikes (Part 1) Type-approval legislation and CEN standards
- EU Regulations for e-Bikes (Part 2) Machinery Directive
- EU Regulations for e-Bikes (Part 3) Electromagnetic Compatibility
- EU Regulations for e-Bikes (Part 4) Battery Transportation
- EU Regulations for e-Bikes (Part 5) Battery Directive
In Europe 250 Watt Pedelecs Reduce Pollution and Enhance the Safety and Mobility of Young and Elderly Riders.
By Alan A. Parker, Sorrento, Victoria, Australia
- Australian states and territories can be found at http://www.electric-bike.com.au/Need%20to%20know.html
- New Zealand LEV laws
- For the Czech Republic, the EU norms are just recommended, not compulsory. The street traffic law recognizes only "motorized bicycles", so there is 25 km/h rule and motor up to 1000W. A helmet is compulsory up to age of 14.