Did you already know what a speed pedelec is? They are electric bicycles that can reach a maximum speed of about 45 kilometers per hour. If you have never heard of it, it is not crazy: things only sell slowly. It seemed a bit ahead last year, but then there was a new traffic rule at the beginning of this year that took the speed pedelecs off the bike path and considered them mopeds. As a result, people with such a bicycle have to share the road with mopeds, cars, and motorbikes.
Not convenient, says BOVAG. Now these bikes suddenly have to have a horn and direction indicators and they are on the road between the motorists who do not see the difference between a speed pedelec and a ‘normal’ electric bike, which can lead to dangerous situations. No one is satisfied with it, especially because that theoretical speed of 45 kilometers per hour, according to BOVAG chairman Bertho Eckhart, is only achieved with a considerable physical effort and on a long, straight stretch.
Not hard enough
That means that a lot of people just leave it and then buy a regular e-bike . You might think that it does not matter very much, but the BOVAG had great hope for the speed pedelec as an alternative to cars in commuter traffic. That could significantly reduce CO2 emissions and that does not happen in this way.
So they call for the speed pedelec back on the bike path, but that will be difficult. In any case, the classification of the speed pedelec as a moped is valid throughout Europe and the Netherlands would have to make the exception. Well we are quite a bicycle country, so there is still a lance to break. It is also no practice, with such a bicycle on the road where all cars and trucks you experience as annoying.
The great danger
What you do not hear about is the danger that this kind of fast cycling on the bike path entail. Every road user knows a number of stories of electric cyclists who move extremely dangerously through traffic and with extra speed that problem only gets bigger. You can pretend that the problems with cyclists who can make speed but are not able to cope with that properly are wash out, but that is a bit too easy.
When we talk about reducing CO2 in the Netherlands, we might be better at talking about public transport or making electric driving work. In 2017 about 3500 of those bikes were sold, just as in the years before, so as long as BOVAG can not prove that sales will increase by hundreds of percent if people with these things are allowed on the bike path again, it’s not really a big deal. story.