Legislation and requirements on electric personal transportation devices

The legislation and requirements applied to electric personal transportation devices depend on the features of each device so much so that even within one type of device different models may be subject to different provisions.

The purpose of this information material (pdf) is to help importers and sellers of these devices to identify the legislation and requirements applied to different types of devices, and in this way to ensure the safety and compliance of the devices.

Electric personal transportation devices are roughly divided into devices to assist/replace walking, light electric vehicles and electrically assisted or motorised bicycles. Distinction between these groups is mainly based on maximum speed and power.

  • Devices that assist or replace walking have a maximum speed of 15 km/h and maximum power of 1 kW. Such devices include electric balance boards, lighter electric scooters and other lightweight personal transportation devices.
  • Light electric vehicles have a maximum speed of over 15 km/h but no more than 25 km/h and their maximum power is 1 kW. These devices include electric scooters, balance boards and skateboards.
  • Electrically assisted bicycles have a maximum assistance power of 250 W and maximum assisted speed of 25 km/h. The assistance may only work when the bicycle is being pedalled.
  • Motorised bicycles (L1e-A) have a maximum power of 1 kW and maximum assisted speed of 25 km/h. The assistance may work without pedalling.
  • Electrically assisted or motorised bicycles that reach speeds exceeding 25 km/h with the help of a motor are not roadworthy as bicycles. They must be registered as mopeds if this is possible considering the features of the vehicle. In practice, the vehicle must also have type-approval as a moped.

In addition to the above, there is a group called other electronic vehicles. These vehicles are comparable with devices in the first two groups mentioned above (e.g. electric longboards, big electric scooters) but they have a maximum speed exceeding 25 km/h. It is important to take into account that these devices must not be used in road traffic and they must not be misleadingly marketed as suitable for road traffic. In Finnish road legislation, ‘road’ is used as a generic term referring to the following: a public or private road, street, road marked in a building plan, snowmobile route, market place or other areas that are intended or commonly used for general traffic, such as cycle paths or highways. The general requirements of the Vehicles Act apply to the devices. The competent authority is the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.

There are a few exceptions to the above requirements. For example, if the purpose of the device is to compensate for the user’s restricted mobility, the Finnish Medical Devices Act (629/2010) may be applicable. In that case, the competent authority is Valvira.

For more information

Tukes: Requirements for machinery

Traficom: Electric personal transportation devices

Electric personal transportation devices
 

Devices to assist/replace walking

Light electric vehicles

Bicycles

Electrically assisted bicycles

Motorised bicycles
(L1e-A)

Examples

electric scooter, balance board and skateboard

Electric balance boards, electric scooters, electric skateboards, electric rollerblades and electric sledges

electric scooter, balance board and skateboardElectric balance boards, electric scooters, and electric skateboards

electrically assisted or motorised bicycle

Electrically assisted and motorised bicycles

Market surveillance authority

Tukes Traficom Traficom

Primary legislation

Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and

Machinery Decree 400/2008

Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and

Machinery Decree 400/2008

Vehicles Act 1090/2002

Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and Machinery Decree 400/2008

Vehicles Act 1090/2002

Vehicles Act 1090/2002

Regulation (EU) No 168/2013

Maximum speed and power

15 km/h and 1 kW

16-25 km/h and 1 kW

25 km/h and 250 W

25 km/h and 1 kW

Other requirements

Maximum height of the seat on 2-wheelers 440 mm 2 Maximum height of the seat on 2-wheelers 440 mm 2

The assistance may only work when the bicycle is being pedalled. Power supply must cut off when the speed reaches 25km/h.

The assistance may work without pedalling. A hand throttle is allowed. Power supply must cut off when the speed reaches 25km/h.

Requirements for lights, reflectors and  sound signal

 

Front light, reflector at the back (must be used in dark and dusk, both may be worn by the driver), sound signalling device.

Front light (must be used in dark and dusk, both may be worn by the driver), reflectors in front, on both sides and at the back as well as a sound signalling device.

In a type-approved L1e-A vehicle also a red back light.

Size
requirements

 

Maximum width 0.8 m

Maximum width:

Two-wheelers 0.8 m

Three wheels or more 1.25 m

Maximum width 1.0 m

Placing on the market 1

Technical file, declaration of conformity (i.e. a document declaring which provisions the device complies with), CE marking

Technical file, declaration of conformity (i.e. a document declaring which provisions the device complies with), CE marking

Technical file, declaration of conformity (i.e. a document declaring which provisions the device complies with), CE marking

Type-approval requirement 3
Insurance and registration

No requirement for insurance, registration or driving licence

No requirement for insurance, registration or driving licence

No requirement for insurance, registration or driving licence

Must be insured, no requirement for registration or driving licence

Applicable rules of the road

The device may be used on the footpath when travelling at walking speed, otherwise it should be used on cycle paths where the same rules of the road apply as to bicycles.

Mainly on a cycle path, the same rules of the road apply as to bicycles. Self-balancing devices may also be used on the footpath when travelling at walking speed.

On a cycle path, the same rules of the road apply as to bicycles.

1 Placing on the market Possible applicable provisions: Machinery Directive, Low Voltage Directive, EMC Directive, RoHS Directive, Medical Device Directive, Vehicles Act 1090/2002, Regulation (EU) No 168/2013, Traficom's Regulation TRAFI/147282/03.04.03.00/2018, Government Decree 1270/2014.

2 Height limit of the seat Deviation from the limit is only allowed when the vehicle falls outside the scope of Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 (e.g. vehicles exclusively intended for users with restricted mobility, vehicles primarily intended for off-road use and designed to travel on unpaved surfaces, and self-balancing vehicles).

3 Type-approval in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 Unique, one-off vehicles in the category L1e-A do not need to be type-approved.

Additional information:

  • If a vehicle has a maximum speed that exceeds 25 km/h or maximum power over 1 kW (e.g. more powerful electric kickbikes/scooters, longboards or balance scooters), it cannot be regarded as a device to assist walking or as a light electric vehicle. If such a vehicle is intended to be used in traffic, it must be approved for a suitable category (e.g. as a moped, L1e-B), in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 168/2013. In that case, the product is also subject to type-approval, insurance and registration requirements as well as driving licence provisions.
  • A vehicle is not a light electric vehicle if it has been type-approved as a category L vehicle (mopeds, motorcycles and light quadricycles) in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 168/2013.
  • A vehicle is not roadworthy if it does not belong to any of the vehicle categories defined in the Vehicles Act 1090/2002 or Regulation (EU) No 168/2013.