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buzzook
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Post by buzzook » Sat, 09 Mar 2013, 22:29

Hey, all!

I know this may not be the most appropriate forum to advertise this, but I know some AEVA members are involved in e-bikes and other NEV-type projects, so this inquiry into Non-Registered Motorised Vehicles could have significant impacts on the future usability of low-powered e-vehicles if a few of us don't put our thoughts on the subject in writing.

In today's Sydney Morning Herald the NSW Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety called for Submissions regarding increasing use of non-registered vehicles on roads and footpaths...from the view of 'public safety'.

website www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/staysafe

Phone Bjarne Nordin 02 9230 2843

Closing date 30th April 2013

C'tee Chair is Greg Aplin MP

While the inquiry covers "mobility scooters, electric bicycles, Segways, and quad bikes - on public roads, footpaths and public land and their impact on road safety" it seems that the EVs and NEVs that we could be using (if allowed) may end up caught under some general 'public safety' catch-all.

For example, while e-bikes are limited to 200W motors and pedal-assist, some of the online-available 2-stroke motor kits don't require pedal assist....and are efectively low-powered motorcycles...like mopeds....

...yet European style mopeds already form a 'non-category' - neither fish nor fowl, but must be registered as motorcycles or not used at all....

Are they contemplating registration or power limits for mobility aids?

Could this be an opportune time to advocate for broadening of the categories of registration to include mopeds and NEVs as some sort of 'lesser' category of vehicle.....???

Over to you guys....

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jonescg
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Post by jonescg » Sun, 10 Mar 2013, 04:40

I'm in. I don't live in NSW (home of the state catch-cry: Welcome to NSW, Fines Apply) but over here in WA we are seeing more folks riding e-bikes with modest power levels getting more attention from the local constabulary then they deserve.

I'll happily make a submission for you!

Cheers,
Chris
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch vice-chair

Canberra32
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Post by Canberra32 » Sun, 10 Mar 2013, 15:00

O...
M...
G...

Are they ever going to get a submission from me!!!

Staysafe just made my list!!!

buzzook
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Post by buzzook » Sun, 10 Mar 2013, 16:17

Yeah, the e-bikes being pulled by the Police is only one aspect, but I suspect they are copping the flack for the noisy, smelly, 2-stroke bogan buzz bombs that I find polluting my air and creating nothing but noise pollution - many of them are oversize at 75 or 80cc, and the Police are stopping everyone on powered bikes to check their legality.

A moped category, which might involve brake lights indicators and hard hat, but might also enjoy a higher-powered motor that could be speed-limited rather than power-limited might be a way around that.

E-bikes currently have to be no more than 200W of power assistance, which frankly isn't enough to haul my lard arse very far at all, but with appropriate gearing a 600W motor might haul me to 30km/hr. In other words, less than I could travel at without one on a steep slope...but under the current rules would be illegal.

It appears from what I've read in the NCOP Regs for vehicles that NEVs are specifically targeted, especially such things as the Corbin 3-wheeler and its ilk, which can only be registered in Oz under the Individually Constructed Vehicle (ICV) rules, so must in effect comply with the rules for a car - with lighting, windscreen, washers, wipers, indicators, brakes etc as for a car, but certified by a contractor, and without the need for crash testing.....but that precludes the Corbin and it's ilk - and perhaps even the VW X1 - because the GVM for a reverse-delta trike with "any permanent structure greater than 200mmm high behind the driver" is 'greater than 450kg' - which rather defeats the 'light as possible' NEVs, although I'm sure that most could easily be ballasted up to this.

The problem is that you would need to build it yourself, so there's no real incentoifve for any entrepreneur to set up a business selling ready built ones, due to the crash-testing and ADR compliance regime, which is onerous at the very least.

The problem is that if they are to be registered, they must be registered as for a motor car which is capable of travelling at 100km/hr, and therefore in a much higher 'risk category' for insurers.

In reality, an NEV is more like a motorbike with some sort of roof and bodywork, yet most are not capable of highway speeds due to the need to keep battery consumption down to increase range....

...so maybe we need a 'micro-car' category that is capable of, say, up to 50km/hr (speed-limited rather than power-limited) that would enable small NEVs to be used in cities and low-speed urban areas...??

The problem is anything with four wheels must be registered as "individually constructed", unless it has been properly 'crash tested', which costs a fortune and really only the major manufacturers can afford the luxury of such testing.

Which is why so many of the promising ideas and vehicles have yet to make it to market - the hurdles are set way too high for niche market vehicles. Like NEVs.

Rego is a given, as the CTP requirement precludes anything else. Frankly I think they'd like to have all vehicles - even bicycles - registered, just so that the insurance issue could be 'covered'.

And maybe that's not a bad thing to "compromise" on if we are ever to get higher-powered E-bikes, E-mopeds or low-powered NEVs in Oz....??

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jonescg
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Post by jonescg » Sun, 10 Mar 2013, 17:23

It would be such a huge administrative burden to register bikes, it just wouldn't be worth it. Rego plates are simply there so they can snap a photo of you when you do 63 in a 60 zone.

If the maximum speed on a shared path is 30 km/h and the speed on the road is the posted limit, why make it harder? They may well choose to go down that route, but I can't see it being worth while.
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch vice-chair

buzzook
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Post by buzzook » Sun, 10 Mar 2013, 17:39

Yeah, I know what you mean, but now that all Police vehicles have database-linked cameras fitted, it would be one way of preventing the unecessary apprehension of otherwise innocent e-bike riders if Police could tell without getting out of their vehicle, that a particluar bike carried a 'plate' that indicated it's ownership and compliance.

If they simply banned the 2-stroke bogan buzz bombs, then anything not 'registering' would be one of those and safe to apprehend.

Would save valuable Police time, too.

I'd be happy to pay $50 (as a one off) for such an 'ID plate'.

Available from motor registries - too easy.

Knowing govt and bureaucrats, they'd want to make it an 'annual' charge so as to raise revenue, which probably would have a negative impact on bike ownership and usage....

...so would need to be fought hard, but need not be the complete disaster everyone assumes it would be.

But, yeah, the risk is there....

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