Proposed features/ElectricBicycles

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Keys for Electric Bicycles
Status: Approved (active)
Proposed by: Mueschel
Tagging: electric_bicycle; speed_pedelec=*
Applies to:
Definition: Tags for bicycles with an electric motor
Drafted on: 2019-10-20
RFC start: 2019-10-20
Vote start: 2020-05-23
Vote end: 2020-06-06

Rationale

Many new types of vehicles like electric bicycles or scooters came into use in the past years and access restrictions for them are getting more and more common. Up to now, there are no documented tags for these new vehicle types.

This proposal wants to formalize two keys for electric bicycles that describe these vehicles and what they are (not) allowed to do. In parallel (like all the other vehicle types that exist), these are keywords that can be used in combination with other features like shops, workshops, parking to specify that these kinds of vehicles are available/welcome/serviced there.

Like with already existing access keys it is obvious that it will be impossible to define global rules with definite classifications. Law is and always will be slightly different in different countries, so that the precise meaning has to be established by local communities. Hence, this tries to set up a scheme for tags that can be adapted to local law.

Other vehicles with electric motors (kick-scooters, mopeds, motorcycles, cars, trucks) are out of the scope of this proposal.

Current Situation

Legal Situation

In many countries there are two types of electric bicycles:

  • Bicycles with an electric motor as assistance. Often named "Pedelec". The motor is only active while the driver puts force on the pedals. Limited to a slow speed (e.g. 25 km/h). No license plate or driving license required. Treated equally to bicycles on roads.
  • Electric bicycles that are capable of a higher speed (often up to 45 km/h). Often named "Speed-Pedelec". Required to be registered and equipped with a license plate and cyclists need to wear a helmet in certain countries. Look like bicycles, can be driven manually like bicycles, but usually not treated like bicycles by law.

Suggested Tagging

In the context of charging stations, mostly the basic tag bicycle=* is used. There is no ambiguity here, as non-electric bicycles can not be charged. Apart from that tags currently in use are e-bicycle, ebike, e-bike, e_bike and pedelec as well as speed_pedelec and speed_pedelecs. In Belgium the key moped_p was used for a while for speed pedelecs.

In most cases pedelecs can be tagged as bicycle=* because no special rules apply. As explicit tag e-bicycle=* is already in use, but electric_bicycle=* blends into existing tags more naturally. Fast speed-pedelecs can be tagged as speed_pedelec=*.


Proposed Tags

Key Current Usage Description Image
e-bicycle=*

pedelec=*

electric_bicycle=*

Used few times

Correct term but uncommon

Not used

Bicycles with motor assistance at low speeds. The suggested tag fits best into existing schemes and is recognizable in layman's terms.

This tag should only be used if there are special rules for electrically assisted bicycles. In all other cases, they are covered by the generic bicycle=*.

Bicycle with electric motor
speed_pedelec=* ~ 130 times Bicycle-like vehicles with electric motor. Treated similar to light motorcycles (mofa, moped) by law.
Speed-Pedelec

Tag Summary

This proposal defines the tags:

  • electric_bicycle
  • speed_pedelec

This proposal deprecates other, undocumented spellings or versions of these tags. Almost all are used in a couple of cases only and can (after checking) be replaced by these newly defined tags.

Access Key Hierarchy

How do these two keys fit into the existing grand scheme of access tags?

As the linked Wiki page states, the hierarchy of vehicle classes may be different from country to country due to different legal definitions. According to Belgian, German and likely most European laws this would mean:

  • electric_bicyle=* is a sub-class of bicycle=*.
  • speed_pedelec=* is a sub-class of moped=*. If this doesn't fit the legal situation, it might be treated as its own class of single-tracked motorized vehicles, on the same level as 'moped'.

Allowed Values

In the context of access restrictions, the possible values are the same as for any other access key. The full list can be found on the main access-Key page: Key:access#List_of_possible_values. Useful examples include 'yes','no','destination','use_sidepath' or 'designated'.

In combination with shops or amenities, the typical values are yes,no and only. The latter is already in widespread use on shops and amenities, e.g. with organic=only. Here it is used to explicitly state "this vehicle type and no others", see below for an example.

Where to use

  • These tags can be used on any object that can be combined with access tags.
  • Like other vehicle types, they can be combined with other restrictions (e.g. maxspeed:speed_pedelec=*)
  • Combined with service tags on repair shops (e.g. service:electric_bicycle=*).


When NOT to use

The new tags should only be used if one needs to refer to electric vehicles explicitly. If not, always use the basic keyword bicycle=*.

Especially, they should not be used:

  • ... if local law treats them identically to bicycles.
    • E.g. if slow electric bicycles are treated like normal bicycles, only the bicycle=* tag should be used on all roads that don't have special rules.
  • ... if there is no ambiguity between electric and non-electric vehicles
    • On charging stations the use of basic key bicycle=* is recommended because it is simpler and obviously refers to the electric variants.

Examples

Image Link Description Tags
Rental of pedelec
node 4707460090 A bicycle rental station that has only electric bicycles. amenity=bicycle_rental

electric_bicycle=only

[SWR.de] way 364775225 The city of Tübingen explicitly allows speed pedelecs (which would be treated as mopeds otherwise and would not be allowed) in a central tunnel for bicycles and pedestrians. highway=cycleway

speed_pedelec=yes

maxspeed=30

German traffic sign
A dedicated charging station for bicycles, using a connector known as 'ropd'. The common 'bicycle' tag can be used on charging stations, there is no need to use a dedicated 'electric_bicycle' tag here. amenity=charging_station

bicycle=yes

socket:ropd=5

Belgian traffic sign
A way in Belgium were only permit holders, bicycles, mopeds class A and speed pedelecs are allowed. Moped class A is a Belgian speciality, commonly tagged as 'mofa', (or as 'moped_A' or 'moped_a' in the past)

Speed_pedelecs are officially called "moped class P" in Belgium and were tagged 'moped_p' in some cases. A globally unique tag "speed_pedelec" for this class would be favourable compared to national tags.

highway=*

vehicle=no

vehicle:conditional=yes @ permit

bicycle=yes

mofa=yes

speed_pedelec=yes

Comments

Please comment on the discussion page.

Some earlier comments can also be found on Talk:Proposed_features/ElectricBicyclesAndScooters

Voting

Voting closed

Voting on this proposal has been closed.

It was approved unanimously with 27 votes for.

  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. I actually use one of these; they are almost exactly the same as a mofa=* --Floridaeditor (talk) 21:01, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
Please explain why you think that electric_bicycle are the same as mofa? As explained in the proposal, law in several countries specifies them as a separate class of vehicles with separate rules (e.g. no insurance or license needed, cycleways can be used). Please check the images provided, maybe you have a different kind of vehicle in mind? --Mueschel (talk) 21:33, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
Looks like according to mofa page, you are describing the same thing. --Floridaeditor (talk) 21:37, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
No, mofa and electric_bicycle and speed_pedelec are three different vehicles by (at least) European law. --Mueschel (talk) 10:43, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
+1, see discussion page.

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. In my part of America, they are the same. But if the tag is needed in Europe, then I change my vote. --Floridaeditor (talk) 12:29, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Florimondable (talk) 12:10, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Bxl-forever (talk) 13:00, 28 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Lukas458 (talk) 14:02, 28 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Polyglot (talk) 15:29, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Gileri (talk) 08:52, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Nw520 (talk) 11:48, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --TheBlackMan (talk) 13:55, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Surveyor54 (talk) 14:55, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Soldier Boy (talk) 17:28, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Mstriewe (talk) 18:16, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Gendy54 (talk) 19:01, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Riiga (talk) 10:54, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --JIDB (talk) 11:58, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. Apparently speedelec (sse discussion page) would be a better term. Especially when you explain that speed pedelecs are not pedelecs! Except this language difference, I support the proposal. --Nospam2005 (talk) 12:20, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Where did you find the term 'speedelec'? I never heard it, and Google finds about 10x more entries for both speed-pedelec and s-pedelec. In Germany it's definitely not used at all. --Mueschel (talk) 13:16, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
We don't care about Germany for Britsh terms, Germany is not speaking British English right now ;-). See the quoted discussion page. --Nospam2005 (talk) 18:36, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. I'd like to see tags to differentiate e-bike classes 1 and 2 (common in many parts of USA now) but speed-pedelec should work for class 3. --VigilantPenguin (talk) 18:07, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Can you explain on the discussion page the difference between class 1 and class 2? And class 3. Probably too late for this proposal but may make sense for a follow-up. --Nospam2005 (talk) 18:36, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Jeisenbe (talk) 21:16, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Fanfouer (talk) 18:03, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Nordpfeil (talk) 18:03, 6 June 2020 (UTC)