E-scooters, hoverboards and electric unicycles will soon be legal on German roads

There is currently increasing evidence that various electric vehicles can be legally used by private users in Germany. Where e-scooters, hoverboards and electric unicycles are currently only allowed to drive on private property, they should soon be legalized for cycle paths and streets; of course with some conditions and requirements. In the following I have summarized how the facts and circumstantial evidence are shaping up for you. If you don't have any points of contact with the topic yet, you can also take a look at these posts: My new hobby: learning to ride an electric unicycle (EUC) / With the electric unicycle KingSong KS 18 L through the dirty German winter weather.

E-scooters, hoverboards and electric unicycles should be legal on German roads in 2019. Photo: Sir Apfelot

E-scooters, hoverboards and electric unicycles should be legal on German roads in 2019. Photo: Sir Apfelot

Notes on legalization in the Handelsblatt

“Micromobility” is used in the Reuters written. It is said that the Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CDU) in particular now wants to push for quick solutions in this direction. According to Handelsblatt, a regulation has been in preparation in the Ministry of Transport for several months, paving the way for e-scooters, hoverboards and electric unicycles on German bike paths and roads. In particular, the guidelines regarding “vehicles with handlebars” are as good as finished. But before it becomes valid legal texts, the European Commission and the Federal Council have to look over it. 

E-vehicles without a handlebar, i.e. hoverboards and unicycles, should also receive an exception regulation; and that until mid-2019. If the Federal Council waves through the approval of such vehicles on German roads, this year there could be a real hype about this type of transport. The fact that not only the considerations of the minister and the ministry but also the economy are behind the coming legalization becomes clear when you look at the market for e-scooter rentals. The Handelsblatt reports on this as well.

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E-scooters and other e-vehicles in Germany - this must be taken into account

In addition to extensive mobility and saving on fuel costs, there are many other advantages of e-scooters, hoverboards and electric unicycles. In the coming regulation, it should be regulated that no license plates are required for the vehicles. One or two points that are supposed to prevent wild traffic chaos have already become public, others are still questionable. Here are the most important points on the subject for me from EUC drivers (EUC = Electric Unicycle):

  • You don't need a license plate on the vehicle
  • There is compulsory insurance; the insurance sticker must be attached to the device
  • There is no obligation to wear a helmet (but I will still wear one)
  • In the first drafts, the moped driving license was mentioned as a requirement, currently it is said that you will not need a driving license
  • The maximum speed for the vehicles has not yet been set; technically, some electric unicycles already drive over 50 km / h - even if I don't want to try that out in real life

What do you think about the topic? Feel free to leave a comment;)

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9 comments

  1. Big bang says:

    Hi. I wanted to ask if there are muers for driving EUCs in road traffic. East has it become something of the enactments targeted for 2019 in this regard? I am quite new to the topic, but I am very sure that I would like to test at least one entry-level model for my work journey of about 12km.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello big bang! So to the best of my knowledge there has been a change regarding the e-scooter, but that was a shot in the oven. Only applies to devices with brakes and a bell on the handlebar. This means that EUCs are out of the question, as they have no brakes in this regard and also no handlebars with a bell. This means that you are currently driving illegally through the area and will be punished or not - depending on the state of mind of the police officers. So it remains a risk. However, I see the biggest problem in the lack of insurance. If you cause an accident with an EUC in traffic, you have to pay for any damage yourself, as no insurance will pay. For this reason, you tend to find me on dirt roads or in the forest.

      • sid240179 says:

        That's correct. Unfortunately, the legal situation is still behind the technology here. To change that, you can, for example, take part in the Free Hands Ride again soon:

        https://electricempire.de/free-hands-rides-2021/

        20 km on small electric vehicles with a police escort through Berlin legally. Last year there were around 400 participants. The more we become, the sooner politics must finally take us seriously. Incidentally, such demos are also available in other cities, or they can also be organized in other cities.

  2. Big bang says:

    It is such a missed opportunity to leave this type of private transport out in the rain ... And if nothing happens at the federal level, how should individual federal states or municipalities set up rules there that might later have to be withdrawn as illegal ... I am happy anyway on my EUC and despite the adversity I will try to use it twice a week to make my way to work of about 2km. You can only wish yourself luck for the next few years that you won't be stopped ...

    Good luck with the freehandsriders2021!

    • Alex says:

      Unfortunately I was stopped by the cops at walking speed, fined 150€ for driving without insurance!

      • Jen Kleinholz says:

        Ok, that's interesting because there are actually insurance companies that will give you a contract and a sticker. Whether they pay in the event of an accident is another matter, but that might have invalidated the police's argument.

        • Alex says:

          I haven't found any insurance that insures my kingsong ks 18!
          Which insurance would that be?

          • Jen Kleinholz says:

            Hi Alex! I got the tip from a dealer who sells unicycles and has ridden a few himself. He said Allianz had insured his unicycle and that gave him a moped license plate. Mounting on the unicycle is of course anything but nice, but ok. I guess that's the price. 😊

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