Following European legislation, Germany finally regulates the use of electric light vehicles (EL-Vs) nationwide. The new law, which will go into effect latest by early 2019, will open new possibilities for both rental services and manufacturers. Additionally, it will gather all EL-Vs (kick scooters and mono-wheelers) in one category.

The German Ministry of Transport precises that the legislation will foresee a maximum speed of 20 km/h unless the driver is wearing a helmet. Furthermore, small electric vehicles will be subject to compulsory insurance and the electric motor power will be limited to 500 watts, except for self-balancing vehicles. The Ministry further precises that the EL-V needs to be roadworthy, which means that it must be able to brake, be controllable and very probably needs a lighting system. Last but not least, EL-Vs must use the “existing cycle path structures or cycle lanes”.

This is good news for users, manufacturers and service oriented companies. The new law will enable similar sharing concepts (such as Bird or Lime) that have emerged in several cities around the world over the last years. Nevertheless manufacturers of EL-Vs criticise some of the steps made by the German Ministry of Transport, such as the need for compulsory insurance.

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