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Jan Metdepet

Sondors outlawed in Europe

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Sondors outlawed in Europe

We have to solve a BIG problem. (Or am I the only European with a SONDORS?). There is a new rule that an e-bike, which can drive without peddling, needs insurance like a small motor bike. To get insurance we need a COC! The European law changed on October 1, 2016. NOW ALL Sondors bike are illegal, will be confiscated by police to be destroyed and the owners will have to pay a big retribution or go to jail. (Yes this is our law).

America is not Burundi, so I guess you also need a document for American law to confirm your bike to American safety rules? (In Europe called: certificate of conformity (COC).

If you can send me an American document stating your bike is conform US safety rules, I can ask for a European regularization.

I think this is very important for the future of the Sondors bike in Europe. You simply can not go on, selling bikes in Europe, knowing they will be confiscated, destroyed, and the owners will be prosecuted for breaking European law.

PC130193.jpg

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Hm... that sounds nasty (German Sondors owner here). I got my Sondors insured without a COC (see license plate on the pics in this thread), so I'll see if I'll be able to get another insurance form the insurance company in March again...

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Reading this, the problem is the speed, which exceeds 25 km/h and puts you into the 'fast bicycle' category.  I thought Sondors was already handling this with their controllers? And the EU bikes they sell are all re-rated at 250kw.  

The web page specifically says no insurance is needed if you are in the fast bicycle category

If you do nothing and let the bike be considered a fast bicycle, you must be 16 years of age or older, you have to have a license plate, you must have a valid driving license and you must wear a helmet.  You are regulated like a moped.  

Doesn't sound like a ban at all.

(edit:  The footnote in this page says that insurance is needed if you have a throttle vs. using pedal assist).

edit x 2:  That page I linked also talks about a Certificate of Conformity, so that is real.

 

Edited by MoneyPit

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Belgium: I got my Sondors in December. And my insurance company could not give me an insurance because there is no COC paper for the bike. (Before the new rules they could insure the bike without COC paper.) My insurance company pointed out that driving an illegal vehicle ( illegal = no COC) can lead to confiscation and destroying of the vehicle. More danger is when you are involved in an accident, you always will be responsible, and you can loose all you have.....

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8 hours ago, MoneyPit said:

Reading this, the problem is the speed, which exceeds 25 km/h and puts you into the 'fast bicycle' category.  I thought Sondors was already handling this with their controllers? And the EU bikes they sell are all re-rated at 250kw.  

The web page specifically says no insurance is needed if you are in the fast bicycle category

If you do nothing and let the bike be considered a fast bicycle, you must be 16 years of age or older, you have to have a license plate, you must have a valid driving license and you must wear a helmet.  You are regulated like a moped.  

Doesn't sound like a ban at all.

(edit:  The footnote in this page says that insurance is needed if you have a throttle vs. using pedal assist).

edit x 2:  That page I linked also talks about a Certificate of Conformity, so that is real.

 

 

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It is not the speed, not the power of the engine: it is the throttle that makes the ebike now a small motorbike. And for a motorbike you need a COC for the insurance. My insurance company pointed out that when I should be involved in an accident , no matter I am victim or not, I will be hold completely responsible, meaning I will have to pay all the fees, hospitalisation, damage, etc.. This can destroy one life completely...

On this moment the only way to avoid this:  CRIPPLE YOUR SONDORS: remove the throttle and put a speed limit of 25 km/H

6V6A5815.jpg

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On 12/24/2016 at 11:11 AM, Jan Metdepet said:

America is not Burundi, so I guess you also need a document for American law to confirm your bike to American safety rules? (In Europe called: certificate of conformity (COC).

I don't think any of us have answered this specific question:

American federal and individual state laws do not regulate electric bicycles in this fashion.  There is no such document.  You need to talk to Sondors the manufacturer, not the Sondors user forum.

Good luck.  I would think EU sales are enough to justify whatever effort is necessary to bring this into compliance.  

Interesting that the EU enacts laws that retroactively causes a problem like this for vehicles that were once legal.  Are you sure there is no allowance for a commercially-produced vehicle imported into the EU prior to the regulation?

 

Edited by MoneyPit

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Hi @Jan Metdepet

In Germany you don't need a COC Certificate to get an insurance. Serveral Users some in this group, in particular

@3D-vice already got such an insurance. But anyways a Sondors will never be completely street legal in Europe. Only 250 Watt Motors are allowed on Pedelecs with a speed cut on 25 km/h. But no matter what... the police is not allowed to confiscate your bike and destroy it. This is complete idiocy because it is only not allowed on the streets. Aside from that it is comletely legal. (also I think, every country is have their own version of the law which is different but compliant to the EU Law)

On 26.12.2016 at 10:42 AM, Jan Metdepet said:

My insurance company pointed out that when I should be involved in an accident , no matter I am victim or not, I will be hold completely responsible, meaning I will have to pay all the fees, hospitalisation, damage, etc.. This can destroy one life completely...

This is true. But if you buy an Sondors, you should have informed about everything. Anyway, there is a way to make it 98% street legal if you have an LCD at least here in Germany. You have to change 2 or 3 parameters. This will limit your Motor Wattage to ~250W (+/- 50W) and set your throttle to assist you only up to 6km/h (which is then legal here). Also noted, a 250W eBike is peaking up to 500W #justsayin'

 

But anyway, I will request a statement about CoC from Sondors, but I have literally no hopes on this.

 

One last thing... please keep the discussion here I will keep this topic open as a information resource for future Owners or People who are interested buying a Sondors when living in the EU, do not create new topics here or on Facebook. This is a topic where we cannot help at all, because we are Owners, we are not the Company & I am not the Company. (see Terms and Privacy Policy you have both accepted)

If you feel the need to post more about the same topic please do it at the Sondors Facebookpage (the official one, not the groups) and contact support@sondors.com 

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On 12/27/2016 at 9:52 PM, Andi said:

don't need a COC Certificate to get an insurance.

used not to need....law changed on oct 1-2016, so I am curious for the one's who had an insurance in the past, do they get a new one? Are the insurance companies going to ask for a COC? Or ignore European law?

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Official Sondors Answer:

pcTZ5rj.pngSONDORS Customer Support (SONDORS Inc.)

Dec 29, 10:26 PST

Hello Andi,

Thank you for your inquiry.

I am sorry but this is not a document we are able to provide.

Kind regards, 
Caitlyn

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On 29.12.2016 at 10:31 AM, Jan Metdepet said:

used not to need....law changed on oct 1-2016, so I am curious for the one's who had an insurance in the past, do they get a new one? Are the insurance companies going to ask for a COC? Or ignore European law?

In February, I have to get a new license plate, so I'll keep you guys informed on this matter.

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I just can confirm that the insurance company now requires an operating license, so this is a dead end.

What remains is:

a) to exchange the 350W hub motor with a 250W motor (or try to limit its wattage), as well as

b) setting the P4 parameter to 1 (P4 = 1) in order to have the thumb throttle only function when pedaling, and

c) setting the C4 parameter to 1 (C4 = 1) in order to limit the thumb throttle only push until 6 km/h

to get that damn vehicle 100% legal.

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On 2/16/2017 at 10:18 PM, 3D-vice said:

I just can confirm that the insurance company now requires an operating license, so this is a dead end.

What remains is:

a) to exchange the 350W hub motor with a 250W motor (or try to limit its wattage), as well as

b) setting the P4 parameter to 1 (P4 = 1) in order to have the thumb throttle only function when pedaling, and

c) setting the C4 parameter to 1 (C4 = 1) in order to limit the thumb throttle only push until 6 km/h

to get that damn vehicle 100% legal.

Hi there, I would  appreciate it a lot  if you tell me how to convert the 350W hub motor to 250W in the lcd setting. 

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3 hours ago, Dave Ethi said:

Hi there, I would  appreciate it a lot  if you tell me how to convert the 350W hub motor to 250W in the lcd setting. 

You don't do it that way.  You buy a 250w motor, remove the 350w motor and lace up the 250w into the wheel in its place.  Since the 250w and the 350w motors are actually identical except for the number engraved on the casing, you will wind up with identical performance and a casing that conforms to EU law.

There is a separate thread here documenting 3D-Vice's efforts to source these motors and get the job done.

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20 hours ago, 3D-vice said:

I've not been successful in finding how to reduce the wattage of the motor via LCD code, sorry.

You can reduce the wattage that goes to the motor via the C5 setting.  However since wattage output has nothing to do with the motor rating there's not a lot of point to doing it for regulatory reasons.  

  1. Go into programming mode for the LCD.  There are youtube instructions linked below.
  2. Go to the C5 setting (a PDF of the user manual is here on the forum somewhere.  Probably in Instructions forum).  
  3. Set the C5 setting to one of the following values:
    03: Max wattage divided by 2.00
    04: Max wattage divided by 1.50
    05: Max wattage divided by 1.33
    06: Max wattage divided by 1.25
    07: Max wattage divided by 1.20
    08: Max wattage divided by 1.15
    09: Max wattage divided by 1.10
    10: Max wattage
    00:  Max wattage with slow/soft start

If the EU ever starts enforcing the 250w "final output" limit as opposed to just using the meaningless motor casing rating, then literally no ebike on the planet will be weak enough to meet that herbivorous standard.

For the record: Wattage for the purposes of final output is volts of battery times amps of controller.  So the new EU bikes with 250w motors have 15 amp controllers and 36v batteries.  36v x 15a = 540 watts.  You'd have to cut wattage in half with C5 = 03 on even a basic 36v Original and you'd still be overpowered at 270 watts max output.  And notice that the motor wattage is not involved in this calculation.

 

 

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Hello!

Find this on:

https://autorevue.at/ratgeber/e-bikes-recht-gesetz-regeln  (Translation with "google translate"):

E-bikes and pedelecs: the legal regulations
Austria
E-bikes, ie electronically driven bicycles without pedal assistance as well as pedelecs (with pedal assist) are equal in terms of traffic law to "normal" bicycles.
Thus, both e-bikes and pedelecs must be used on cyclists, if one exists.
For e-bikes and pedelecs: The maximum drive power of the motor must not exceed 600 watts, also applies a maximum design speed of 25 km / h.
The rated continuous power is to be distinguished from the maximum power of the motor. This describes the performance that can be sustained over a period of 30 minutes. Lt. The current EU type-approval ordinance must not exceed 250 watts for pedelecs
If one of the above values (600 watts maximum power or 250 watts rated continuous power or 25 km / h speed of design) is exceeded, the vehicle is legally no longer classified as a bicycle but as a moped. (associated with, for example, helmet duty, driving license and liability insurance, etc.)
Also for e-bikes and pedelecs: 0.8-thousandths, calls only with handsfree. Incidentally, trailers may only be towed if a bicycle stand is also mounted on the e-bike.
Equipment: It applies the equipment regulations as with bicycles, duty are therefore bell, headlights, tail light, reflector and reflectors on spokes and pedals.
Minimum age: from 12 years you can be alone on the road, including only when accompanied by an adult or with a cycling license. Attention: Helmet required for children under 12 years. 
A throttle grip (thumb throttle) is allowed in Austria!

Look also this: http://www.biketronic.at/images/biketronic/technik/gesetzliche-bestimmungen/e-bikes-alles-was-recht-ist-oesterreich.pdf


Germany
If you want to forego driving license, registration (including license plate) and helmet obligation in Germany, an e-bike must not bring more than 250 watts of engine power and the engine support must also switch off at 25 km / h. The bike path must be used, if one exists.
For more powerful e-bikes (or up to a maximum of 500 watts engine power / engine connection up to a maximum of 45 km / h): driving license of the class AM and approval (insurance license plate) are required, then it also applies the helmet. In addition, the use of a bike path is no longer allowed.

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