The growing popularity of electric bicycles has naturally resulted in new safety standards and regional legislation to ensure consumer safety. These standards and regulations can present themselves as overwhelming, leaving many e-bike suppliers at a loss when creating plans to meet all necessary safety and regulatory criteria. We’ve compiled a few tips to help clarify the process and set suppliers and manufacturers up for success.
First, let’s clarify the difference between bicycle and e-bike testing
The significant difference between standard bicycle requirements and e-bike requirements is the obligation to meet Electrical Safety Requirements and Wireless Compliance. It is important to acknowledge, however, that electrical components themselves will need to meet requirements in other test categories. For our purposes, we will focus on the larger categories of electrical safety testing and wireless compliance.
Prepare necessary documents and specifications
To determine relevant e-bike safety tests and potentially reduce testing obligations, companies must have a full understanding of the product and secure the following documents and specifications:
- Completed user/operation manual
- Claimed performance factors such as motor output and a maximum assisted speed
- Full specifications for motor, battery, charger, and controller
- Schematics and/or circuit diagrams of electrical components
- Full specifications of any wireless features such as Bluetooth, cellular, WIFI, NFC, etc.
- Full specifications on any lighting supplied with the bike
- Any test reports or certifications available for electrical components
Keep in mind, many of these documents can be supplied by the producer of the electrical components.
Outline relevant regional standards
In order to comply with relevant e-bike safety test standards, companies will need to identify and outline the regions in which the e-bike will be sold. For example, when e-bikes are sold in the United States, they are required to meet the following e-bike standards in addition to those for the standard bicycle:
- UL 2849 – this standard evaluates the electrical system.
- UN 38.3 – this standard ensures the safety of lithium-ion or lithium metal batteries during shipping.
- 10 CFR 430.32(z) – this regulation by the Department of Energy (DOE) outlines energy consumption requirements for battery chargers.
- 47 CFR 15 – this FCC regulation covers radio/wireless concerns with two separate sections: Subpart B for unintentional radiators, and Subpart C for intentional radiators
Begin the testing process
After the necessary documents and specifications are secured and regional standards are identified, the e-bike testing process can begin.
Lastly, complete testing certification
When the testing process is complete, there may be aspects of e-bike testing that require certification in order to meet the full publication of the law. For example, 47 CFR 15, Subpart C requires submission to the FCC for certification in the US. Once the certification process is complete, your e-bike is ready for market.
ACT Lab’s e-bike testing and compliance services
ACT Lab offers a comprehensive range of consultation and testing services to ensure e-bike consumer safety and compliance around the world. Our services extend beyond testing with an industry-leading team of experts providing individualized guidance on product evaluation, research and development, auditing, and quality control. With four test labs and six corporate offices across the globe, we work with customers to navigate the complicated world of e-bike compliance through all aspects of the global supply chain to deliver safe and reliable products to consumers.
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, 562.470.7215, or submit a test below.