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Netherlands to close e-bike speed modification loophole

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Alex Bowden's picture

Alex Bowden

Alex has been editor of ebiketips since 2021. He previously contributed news, reviews and more to road.cc and has also had a parallel (largely lapsed) career writing about cricket for various publications.

5 comments

1 month 2 weeks ago

Given the increasing 20mph zones in villages and metropolitan areas it only increases road danger to prevent ebikes from sustaining 20mph because resentful motor vehicle drivers will put bike riders at risk with dodgy overtaking and close passes.

The danger to pedestrians of an ebikes that can sustain 15mph is little different to 20mph so let's stop pretending that it's the main problem.

15mph is an arbitrary limit that doesn't align with the real world and does explain why derestriction is popular..

1 month 2 weeks ago

Why is the limit so low at 25 km/h?

I don't know how it was picked but you have to remember the motor is there to give assistance to pedalling, not as a replacement. I would therefore guess the argument is that if you can pedal over 25kmh you don't really need more assistance and can just keep pedalling. The assistance is there for e.g. hills, or for the less physically able and so on.

I'm not sure that using the argument that there is a segment of the population who want to go fast on the public roads without pedalling is a good one for setting the assistance limit. After all there are plenty of people who want to, and do, speed in their cars.

If people want to be able to legally do over 25 kmh then they have choices other than a regualr e-bike. There are speed-pedelecs for example (up to 45 kmh IIRC) - it's just, commensurate with their easy speed, you need a drivers license and I believe have to pay registration - and I guess people want the conveneice and freedom of a bike without having to register or follow as many rules, but also want to go past without the effort - but unless you want to deregulate these and presumably regular mopeds - I'm not sure why regulation on e-bikes should be reduced.

1 month 2 weeks ago

Once again people seem to want the same privileges for e bikes that are afforded to other motorised vehicles, without going through any of the tedious testing, licencing or insurance requirements. It seems completely fair to me that if countries are going to allow more powerful electric bikes and scooters they should be subject to the same regulatory regime as other powered vehicles

1 month 2 weeks ago

The real issue is: Why is the limit so low at 25 km/h? That's too slow, which makes people find a way around it. I've never found a road with a 25 km/h speed limit, so who came up with this arbitrary speed and why? North Americans use the same bikes/motors limited to 20 mph / 32 km/h; it would be easy to do the same in Europe, and then I expect that a lot fewer people would feel the need to delimit their bikes. No other private vehicles have such limitations. Motorbikes may be power limited, but still never speed limited. Decent e-bikes cost a lot of money - people want to be able to use the motor that they've paid all that money for during more than 20% of their ride (which is the case for any somewhat capable cyclist).

1 month 2 weeks ago

Made this comment before, but dutch police have *long* used roller dynos to test things like mopeds for compliance. I've stood there and watched my moped on a roller dyno as a police officer abused it by overrev'ing back in the early 90s.

The dutch are fastidious about regulation of light vehicles. I seriously doubt testing ebikes is new, and only "begun" recently.