Examination of very small electric vehicles
The growing range of self-balancing vehicles and vehicles driven in a standing position, such as pedal-scooters with electric assistance, raises the question of their road safety. The Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) investigated the conditions under which such so-called Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) can be operated safely in road traffic.
Since 2016, self-balancing small electric vehicles and vehicles driven in a standing position have no longer been covered by the Type Approval Regulation for two- or three-wheeled vehicles. By excluding these PLEVs from the aforementioned regulation, their approval must now be regulated nationally. However, in order to be able to decide whether such vehicles can be approved, an assessment of the road safety of these vehicles is required. BASt took on the task of drawing up proposals for the classification of certain PLEVs and the technical requirements they have to meet. The aim of the project was to determine whether and under what conditions PLEVs can be operated safely in road traffic. In addition, the expected potential for conflict with other road users was to be clarified.
The newly proposed categories for self-balancing very small electric vehicles or those driven standing up are based on the requirements for the existing vehicle categories “light moped” or “moped” and the traffic areas to be used by them. If Personal Light Electric Vehicles were to be allowed to be used in public traffic in future, the recommendations made should form the basis for the requirements for safety equipment and the use of traffic areas.