The Minister of Mobility, François Bellot (MR), seeks to make the purchase of electric bicycles attractive tax-wise, particularly for “speed pedelecs”, bicycles which allow reaching speeds of 45 km/h. “Electric bicycles are an ideal alternative to cars for short and medium distances,” he declared Tuesday at the presentation of a legal framework on electric bicycles which will be in force beginning October 1st.
After October 1st, speed pedelecs, bicycles for which the pedalling mechanism continues to operate above 25 km/h, will be considered mopeds and not bicycles. Consequently, their users will require a driver’s license (for mopeds or cars) and must wear a helmet. They must also register their bicycles, and have a license plate and insurance, summarized Denis Hendrichs of SPF Mobilité.
For other electric bicycles, nothing will change except if pedalling assistance provides a propulsion force up to 25 km/h without the need to pedal actively. These bikes, called “motorized bicycles”, are restricted to those at least 16 years old and must be insured.
The sale of electric bicycles, and recently of speed pedelecs, has been booming in Belgium and all over the world. Philippe Decrock of Traxio, the federation of the automobile sector and related sectors, estimates that between 25 and 30% of bicycles sold have electric assistance.
Minister Bellot wants to encourage this trend. He has begun negotiations with his colleagues of Public Health and Finances to fiscally stimulate the sale of electric bicycles. “They offer a positive solution to the problem of queues as well as to environmental challenges,” he highlighted.