DVSA Takes Action On E-Scooters

March 5, 2024
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A number of organisations have raised concerns about the fire risks associated with e-bikes and e-scooters, especially regarding online sales of the vehicles themselves and conversion kits that can be used to turn ordinary bikes into e-bikes. Particular concerns include parts not properly meeting British standards and the risk of batteries being used with unsuitable chargers.

As part of their role, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) operates a market surveillance unit, which inspects vehicles and trailers to make sure they meet vehicle safety and environmental standards. This includes e-bikes and e-scooters.

The DVSA recently released the findings of vehicle and component testing carried out during 2023.

For e-bikes (more correctly known as electrically assisted pedal cycles, or EPACS), they reported that 113 retailers and manufacturers were identified, of which 66 were selling bikes that did not comply with the relevant regulations. To date, seven suppliers have been successfully prosecuted, with more prosecutions ongoing. Suppliers have been instructed to recall non-compliant products that they have supplied.

DVSA says they will continue their work in 2024, including looking at 3-wheel e-bikes, conversion kits, and pedal bike conversion services.

For e-scooters, they looked at whether suppliers were providing customers with correct information about where privately owned e-scooters can legally be ridden. Action was taken where advertising and other information provided by suppliers was misleading or incorrect.

Going forward, DVSA says they will continue to monitor advertising, look at the power and speed capabilities of e-scooters, and extend the programme to include mini petrol scooters.

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