E-scooters – compulsory registration for electronic scooters in accordance with ElektroG
Now that the Small Electric Vehicle Ordinance (eKFV) has entered into force, there is now the question of how to handle these vehicles under the German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG). In principle, this law does not change anything for two-wheeled e-scooters without a seat. They fall within the scope of ElektroG. As a manufacturer or dealer of such vehicles, you are thus obliged to register with Stiftung ear. This applies regardless of the speed range from 6 to 20 kilometres per hour. It is also irrelevant whether or not the scooter is sold, as merely offering it (offering it for sale, renting it out, provision free of charge, etc.) requires registration and application for a WEEE number. Without this, there is a complete ban on distribution.
In the context of the transport transition, many different electric vehicles are entering the market. Depending on their application and performance, these may also be subject to compulsory registration with Stiftung ear. Type approval plays an important role in the question of compulsory registration. E-scooters and scooters without a seat, for example, are excluded from type approval and thus from approval in terms of eKFV. As a result, they must be registered with Stiftung ear in accordance with category 4 of ElektroG. It may also be necessary to register charging cables, adapters or fuses (passive devices).
The question of compulsory registration for e-scooters
As a manufacturer, dealer or importer of e-scooters, you must comply with other laws in addition to eKFV. According to Stiftung ear (the national register for waste electric equipment), electric scooters are still subject to the German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act. This results from Section 2(2)(7) ElektroG. The regulation refers to electric two-wheeled vehicles for which no EU type approval is required. The scope of application of the German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act is accompanied by an obligation to register with Stiftung ear.
It is irrelevant whether or not the e-scooters or other electric two-wheelers fall under eKFV. When it comes to the regular obligation to register with Stiftung ear, you should also bear in mind that the batteries of the e-scooters must always be deducted from the total weight unless they are permanently installed.
Other small electric vehicles and ElektroG
In the context of the transport transition, many different electric vehicles are entering the market. This goes far beyond passenger cars with an electric drive. In addition to cars, HGVs, motorcycles and buses, more and more smaller electric vehicles are also being produced. The fields of application for these vehicles differ. Some of them are built to cover short distances quickly. These include e-bikes or smaller motorcycles, as well as scooters and e-scooters. Others, such as mobility scooters and mobility aids, serve as means of transport for physically disabled road users. Others still are marketed as toys and leisure equipment (e.g. hoverboards). According to Section 2(2)(7) ElektroG, these also fall under the German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act if they are two-wheeled vehicles for which no EU type approval is required.
ElektroG and its categories
The German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act provides for several categories. Typically, small electric vehicles are assigned to category 4. This refers to the type of equipment “large appliances”. It defines the equipment in such a way that at least one external dimension is more than 50 cm and the equipment has not already been included in one of the categories 1-3. These preceding categories are more specific
Chargers and rechargeable batteries
The rechargeable batteries used are fundamentally designed on a lithium-ion basis. As industrial batteries, they therefore fall under the German Battery Act (BattG). A registration according to BattG is thus required. This applies to the individual battery and the vehicles in which it is installed.
Within the context of the extension to ElektroG by compulsory registration for passive devices, such as charging cables, adapters and fuses, these are often to be regarded as independent devices and are therefore not automatically covered by an existing registration for the main device. Corresponding accessories of the e-scooter must therefore also be registered.
Registration obligation: Differentiation criteria
EU type approval plays an essential role in the question of compulsory registration. In this regard, Section 2(2)(7) ElektroG provides for vehicles for which no EU type approval is required.
In terms of terminology, the EU type approval in ElektroG refers to vehicles that fall under Regulation (EU) 168/2013. EU type approval is also the subject of the Small Electric Vehicle Ordinance. It is provided for in Section 2(1)(1) eKFV in the form of national type approval (Allgemeine Betriebserlaubnis, ABE) by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority.
E-scooters without a seat are explicitly excluded from the underlying EU regulation and thus from the EU type approval requirement. The obligation to obtain approval in terms of eKFV should be differentiated from EU type approval. It corresponds to the national type approval or individual approval procedures. It does not constitute EU type approval according to ElektroG. If the scooters are therefore electric scooters or scooters without a seat, you must register them with Stiftung ear as large electrical appliances in accordance with Category 4 ElektroG.
Even before the eKFV was enacted, two-wheeled electric scooters without a seat were already within the scope of the German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act. In a specific communication, Stiftung ear points out that this practice will not change after the law enters into force. The term ‘type approval’ correspondingly refers to the aforementioned EU regulation. The specific national implementation in Germany in the form of the Small Electric Vehicle Ordinance does not affect the regulation.
Foreign countries (within the EU) and compulsory registration for e-scooters
According to the WEEE Directive, the obligation to register e-scooters also applies in other European countries. In other countries within the European Union, small electric vehicles fall under the applicable national implementation of the law. They are therefore also subject to registration.
As a manufacturer or dealer, you are thus obliged to register these vehicles not only in Germany but also in other Member States. The WEEE Directive only applies in the European Union. Many European and non-European countries have comparable regulations and approaches beyond the borders of this area.
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