Time and again, we are asked whether and where e-scooters, such as the Moovi, can be driven on public roads. In order to clarify the current legal situation and the possibilities of using e-scooters in road traffic, this article lists all the important contact points and current legal rulings. As things stand, e-scooters are not yet allowed to be driven on German roads. The reason for this is the lack of approval or classification for this category of device, but this should change by the end of 2018.
In Austria, Switzerland, France and other EU countries, for example, the situation is quite different. In Austria, e-scooters may be driven in road traffic under certain conditions, such as the maximum design speed of 20 km/h or an active front and rear light.
According to the Bundestag's answer on the topic of "New developments in the field of very small electric vehicles and opportunities for the transport turnaround" (see below), the Federal Government is in direct exchange with EU states in which e-scooters are already actively participating in road sweeping.
What politics says about e-scooters
The immense advantages of e-scooters for inner-city traffic (e.g. relief of road traffic, direct reduction of pollutants) were recognised early on by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen party and they are currently strongly advocating the introduction of a new class of device. There is also to be support from the FDP.
"The fact that the transport transition is a small-scale affair becomes clear in the case of very small electric vehicles. Their potential lies in short distances of a few hundred metres to a few kilometres in both urban and rural areas. In cities with a good range of public transport, micro electric vehicles can make it easier to get to or from the next stop and extend the radius of action."
Mathias Gastel - Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
The new vehicle class "PLEV" for e-scooters and very small electric vehicles
By the end of 2018, the Federal Government wants to introduce a new regulation that will allow e-scooters and similar miniature electric vehicles to be used on German roads without a licence. This is according to the answer to a question from the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group. Mathias Gastel tells in a Spiegel interview that the new device class PLEV (Personal Light Electric Vehicle) will probably be implemented under the following conditions:
- Design speed from 12 - 20 km/h
- Treatment under traffic law like bicycles with special regulations
- Use of cycle paths
- No driving licence required
All other questions and answers of the Bundestag on the topic of very small electric vehicles are summarised in this document.
Status: October 2018