Electric bicycles and scooters are particularly attractive means of alternative transport. This is largely thanks to their accessibility, not just in terms of low pricing and affordable operating costs, but also due to the fact that they don't require registration or even a license to use. That is, for now, at least.
You see, a bill was recently filed in France which aims to make the registration of e-bikes, e-scooters, and other lightweight electric vehicles mandatory. Now, bills of this nature surface every now and then, though none of them have ever really gained traction. This time around, a senator from the Presidential Majority submitted the proposal citing a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, the bill seeks to empower users of electric bikes and scooters by introducing parameters surrounding their usage. This implies that there will be clear-cut rights for e-mobility users. Additionally, it will serve as a major deterrent to theft.
On the other hand, it also aims to eliminate the abuse of electric bicycles and scooters by folks who are not supposed to operate them. In a previous article, I talked about the rising number of e-scooter accidents in France, and the concern the situation has been raising in the region. Limiting access to e-scooters by way of registration will surely be an effective, albeit controversial solution to this problem.
In an article published by French e-mobility publication Clean Rider the parameters of the proposed bill were highlighted. Xavier Iacovelli, a Senator from France, was quoted saying, "These new modes of transport have profoundly changed the circulation in the heart of our public spaces, leading to numerous abuses, incivilities and dangerous behavior." Additionally, he cited the importance of being better able to identify these devices while on the street, deterring theft and encouraging people to use them much more responsibly.
At present, the bill is still in its first reading in the Senate, and sources suggest that it has little chance of being adopted. Nevertheless, some of the rules and regulations suggested in the bill could eventually make their way to the e-mobility space in France and other parts of Europe. Indeed, Paris, for example, has already mandated the registration of personally owned electric scooters since the end of 2022.