Pro-active legislation would help support the popularisation of pedelecs as a means of eco-mobile transport both in rural and urban areas.
Tax equality between cars and bicycles. This request has been recently implemented in Germany. This means that it is just as easy for a company to make works pedelecs available for its staff as today it is for them to provide a works van.
Further, claimable distance allowances should be set up as transport mode neutral.
A pedelec should be fully depreciated after four years for tax purposes.
Investment in cycle path building and in pedelec parking facilities with provision for fast charging, see:
>> The ChargeLockCable – Lock and load at the same time
In almost all coun- tries worldwide there is a huge investment backlog here, because systematic investment in cycle infrastructure has not been made over decades. If a goal of national and municipal politics was for example to achieve a 25% journey share for pedelecs and bicycles, then a sustained investment of 25% the funds available for trans- port infrastructure should be invested in this area.
Enforce the introduction of active safety methods.
Stringent checks on regulatory comformity by manufacturers, for importers and retailers. Unfortunately, every one of the pedelecs tested by ExtraEnergy in the last three years was not legal. So it can be assumed that there is not a single one in the EU which completely satisfies all of the applicable standards and laws. So on one hand the laws should adjust somewhat to the reality, and on the other they should be actually implemented in practice. Otherwise the only companies to be penalised are those who attempt to comply with the applicable rules. Examples include: CE marking, EMC Directive, Machinery Directive, BattG, UN-T 83.3, to name just a few.
Ban the sale of batteries so as to shift suppliers to only bringing battery systems to market which are optimised for a long service life and which are also intended for a second use.
Implement the laws which apply to batteries and regulate recycling, such as BattG. Currently it is not required by legislation that batteries are safe in use. Only for their transportation are there legally mandated minimum requirements (UN-T 38.3). The only standard which covers safety in transportation and use is the BATSO standard, which is currently forming the basis for a new CENELEC standard. This also brings with it the prospect, initially at least in Europe, that a mandatory minimum set of requirements could be imposed on the market by legislation.
Reform the health insurance system into a bonus system, which would support those maintaining a healthy lifestyle with financial incentives. Insurers should be allowed to provide pedelecs for their members and if these are proven to be used regularly, this should have a positive effect on the contributory payment calculations. The WHO predicts that 30 minutes of gentle physical exercise daily leads to 8 extra years of healthy life, see also:
>> Health as a side-effect - The pedelec as an everyday fitness aid
Require that in new builds or redevelopments of transport buildings such as harbours, stations or airports, a number of bicycle or pedelec parking spaces appropriate to the expected traffic volume must also be built.
Support the quiet revolution in local transport with pedelecs by ensuring that these are integral to electric mobility promotion programmes. They should not be seen as a token added extra, but taken seriously as a mode of transport which can in many circumstances replace the car, whether the car is powered by an IC engine or an electric motor.
There is still much basic research to be done in the field of humanelectric hybrid vehicles.
Support free competition between suppliers by standardising the interfaces between electrical components based around EnergyBus standards. Utility for customers will then rise while costs remain static, see:
>> Range Relativity of electric Vehicles
>> Public Charging Infrastructure: One Plug for All
>> Harmonisation - The EnergyBus Standard
Standardise service interfaces for LEVs, so that all dealers can read error codes barrier-free and so can offer at least a basic service without being a contracted dealer of the component supplier in question.
>> Dream Legislation around Pedelecs
Copy: Hannes Neupert, prepared within the EU GoPedelec! project: GoPedelec! Handbook (German version)
>> Go Pedelec! Handbook in Czech, Dutch, English, Hungarian, and Italian
Translation: Peter Eland (www.electricbikemag.co.uk)
Picture: Hannes Neupert
Online release: Angela Budde
24 January 2013