Brussels, 23rd January 2019 – Yesterday the Consumer Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (IMCO Committee) voted in favour of the exclusion of e-bikes (up to 25km/h assistance and 250W) from the scope of the new Motor Insurance Directive: a great result, which comes after several intense months of advocacy between ECF, CIE and CONEBI with the members of IMCO Committee.
The vote in the IMCO Committee is the response to the European Commission’s proposal of 2018 to impose a mandatory motor vehicle insurance to all e-bike riders: a detrimental proposal that would put at risk the uptake of the European e-bike market. Under the EU Commission’s proposed directive national governments could have exempted certain vehicles from the Directive, but we argued that this would create a patchwork of legislation across the EU, would complicate EU and national policy making with future reference to the legislation, or even begin the process of including pedelecs into wider vehicle regulations, all damaging to a vehicle that is essentially a bicycle.
We therefore supported the parliamentary lead on the subject (MEP Charanzová) to reverse this, for the EU to define clearly the scope by including only type approved vehicles and allow Member States to apply a mandatory transport/liability insurance at the national level if so desired.
While it is not the final decision of the full Parliament it is extremely unlikely that there will be any changes in the full vote because all the major political blocs supported a compromise in the committee which meets our needs.
Now that the IMCO Committee has recognized and supported our position, the final stage of the EU process will be the national governments (The EU Council). Our networks will be reaching out to them to highlight the benefits of the IMCO Committee’s proposal to exclude e-bikes from a motor vehicle insurance. At this stage we will certainly come back to all our networks to ask you for one last push to explain the importance of this change at national level. E-bikes are a business, environmental and social success story of the EU, we lead the world in this sector and we want the national governments to see this.
ECF Advocacy Director Adam Bodor said in a press release “this is a sensible decision by the European Parliament IMCO committee. We are happy that they agreed with the cycling community that there is no need to define pedelecs as motor vehicle and require compulsory third party liability insurance. We ask Member States to follow the lead of the Rapporteur Charanzová and the parliament to exclude pedelecs from this Directive.”
CONEBI General Manager Manuel Marsilio stated ‘’I would like to thank the members of the IMCO Committee that supported our position: we will now start the discussion with Member States to secure that the new Motor Insurance Directive will not include pedelecs in its scope. This is a crucial moment in the advocacy process.’’
Today we are one step forward – a very good one – in this difficult process, and we would like to thank every national association and company that has contributed to this first important result by sending letters to the members of the IMCO Committee!
Work is not over, so we will keep you posted.
CONEBI – Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry, ECF – European Cyclists Federation, CIE – Cycling Industry Club.