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 (moped, motorcycle, car, truck) are out of the scope of this proposal. Due to the vast amount of different vehicle types a more generic approach is needed for them.


Bicycles and similar

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 named "Speed-Pedelec". Required to be registered and equipped with a license plate. Look like bicycles, can be driven manually like bicycles, but 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 is in use 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=*.


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



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.
kick_scooter=* Scooter, without distinction between motorized or non-motorized versions.
? Motorized scooters like those that can be rented in many cities.
Electric Scooters
scooter=* 1400 times on charging stations Scooter, without distinction between engine types.

This tag is listed here for completeness and because it is already used many times due to an existing preset in the editors. In general the dedicated categories moped=*, mofa=* and motorcycle=* should be used instead. In particular, this key should not be used as an access tag.

electric_scooter=* Used few times Scooters with an electric motor.

This key should only be used as an access tag, if there is a regulation that specifically covers both 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

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:electric_scooter=*)
  • 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 names 'bicycle' and 'scooter'.

Especially, they should not be used:

  • ... if local law treats them identically to their base class.
    • E.g. if slow electric bicycles are treated like normal bicycles, only the bicycle=* tag should be used on all roads.
  • ... if there is no ambiguity between electric and non-electric vehicles
    • On charging stations the use of bicycle=* and scooter=* are recommended because they are simpler and obviously refer to the electric variants.


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


German traffic sign
This German traffic sign allows electric scooters, e.g. on pedestrian areas. There is no need for a scooter=* tag, because these are treated like pedestrians by law. electric_scooter=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



[] way 364775225 The city of Tübingen explicitly allows speed pedelecs in a central tunnel for bicycles and pedestrians. highway=cycleway



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



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 'moped_A'.

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



vehicle:conditional=yes @ permit





Please comment on the discussion page.