European cycle associations clash over e-bikes

COLIBI and COLIPED dispute with ETRA
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According to this report on Bike Europe, cycle associations have clashed over electric bike regulations.

The European Two-Wheelers’ Retailers Association (ETRA) recently claimed to have achieved a mandate from electric bike manufacturers – something the COLIBI and COLIPED (representing bike manufacturers, assemblers and parts and accessories producers) have hotly disputed.

The two organisations sent a letter to ETRA, an abridged version of which reads:

“We are surprised that ETRA states to represent the bicycle industry. ETRA’s goal is to protect and promote the interests of the independent bicycle dealers in Europe. The European bicycle manufacturers, assemblers and parts and accessories’ producers are officially represented by COLIBI and COLIPED.

"These companies however cannot give you the mandate to represent other companies as well. We therefore kindly request you to correct your statements in which you indicate to represent the bicycle and bicycle parts’ industry. On behalf of the European bicycle and bicycle parts & accessories’ industries, COLIBI and COLIPED will inform the European Commission about their opinion.”

ETRA has responded to the letter: “COLIBI and COLIPED have indeed informed us before that they are in favour of maintaining the current specifications. And ETRA’s goal is indeed to protect and to promote the interests of the independent bicycle dealers in Europe. It is exactly in the interest of these dealers that ETRA has always been in favour of changing the current specifications.

“In 1999, ETRA has intensively lobbied the EC and Parliament for an exclusion of electric bicycles from the moped and motorcycle type-approval without any technical specifications in order to allow the companies concerned to determine the most appropriate specifications themselves. We are surprised to note that you seem to forget that for this lobby there was an ETRA, COLIBI, COLIPED alliance.

“Although COLIBI and COLIPED had made their position clear, we were not sure that this position was shared by the majority of companies in the electric bicycle industry. Therefore, we have organised three meetings, which proved beyond any doubt that the electric bicycle industry was not in favour of maintaining the current specifications. The proposal which has been submitted has been developed by these companies and is currently supported by more than 50 companies as well as the ZIV, which is the German member of COLIBI and COLIPED.

“We have never stated that at ETRA we represent the bicycle industry and we have never assumed that the mandate we have been given at the three meetings was a mandate to represent other companies as well. On the contrary, we have asked all companies and organisations who support the ETRA proposal to clearly state so. The list of companies and organisations who support our proposal is published on our website."

To read fuller versions of the letter, head over to Bike Europe.

Earlier in the year BikeBiz revealed the creation of the British Electric Bicycle Association – the first specific UK body of its kind.

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