Proposed features/ElectricBicyclesAndScooters

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Keys for Light Electric Vehicles
Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: Mueschel
Drafted on: 2019-10-20
RFC start: 2019-10-20


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 a set of keys that describe these vehicles and what they are (not) allowed to do. In parallel (like all the other vehicle types that exit), 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.

Heavier vehicles with electric motors (motorcycles, cars, trucks) are out of the scope of this proposal. Due to the vast amount of different vehicle types and uses a more generic approach is needed for them.

Current Situation


Currently two tags are in use for electric scooters: scooter=* (almost exclusively in the context of charging stations) and electric_scooter=*. Unfortunately 'scooter' can refer to two unrelated types of vehicles: Mopeds (like Vespas) and the "skateboard with a handle" type mostly used by kids in former times. It seems like most of the ~1400 scooter=* were added using presets from [beautified-JOSM-preset] which doesn't explain the intended meaning. This ambiguity also exists in other languages, e.g. French and German ("Roller"). Hence, I suggest to disentagle the two types of vehicles and use two different tags for them.

Proposed Tags

Key Current Usage Description Image
kick_scooter=* Scooter, non-motorized.
small_electric_vehicle=* Motorized scooters like those that can be rented in many cities. This legal category typically includes self-balancing vehicles ("Segway") and similar devices. German law calls this category "Elektrokleinstfahrzeuge", in France "Nouveaux Véhicules Électriques Individuels".
Electric Scooters


1400 times on charging stations Scooter, without distinction between engine types.

The key scooter=* is listed here for completeness and because it is already used many times due to an existing preset in the editors. Due to its ambiguity, it's proposed to deprecate this key.

In general the dedicated categories moped=*, mofa=* and motorcycle=* can be used instead. There is no need for a new key for this category.




Used few times

not used up to now

not used up to now

Scooters with an electric motor.

These keys should only be used as an access tag if there is a regulation that specifically covers mopeds and mofas with electric engines, but no other vehicles. In any other case, use the dedicated tags moped=*, mofa=* and motorcycle=* instead.

Electric Scooter

Tag Summary

This proposal defines the tags:

  • kick_scooter
  • small_electric_vehicle
  • moped:electric
  • mofa:electric

This proposal deprecates the tags:

  • scooter (because of ambiguity)

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:bicycle=*)
  • Combined with service tags on repair shops (e.g. service:moped=*).

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 names like 'moped'.

Especially, they should not be used:

  • ... if local law treats them identically to their base class.
    • E.g. if slow electric moped are treated like normal mopeds, only the moped=* 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 keys like moped=* is recommended because they are simpler and obviously refer to the electric variants.


Image Link Description Tags
German traffic sign
This German traffic sign allows electric scooters, e.g. on pedestrian areas. The sign includes the whole group of "Elektrokleinstfahrzeuge", for example Segway-style vehicles are included as well. small_electric_vehicle=yes
[Mapillary image] way 26383289 This pedestrian area is explicitly allowed for bicycles and scooters. Slow pedelec are included in the 'bicycle' tag and don't need to be tagged individually. highway=pedestrian




Please comment on the discussion page.