The California e-scooter provider Lime is withdrawing from 12 cities worldwide (out of 120) and is therefore dismissing around 100 employees. In Europe, the withdrawal only affects Linz in Austria. Lime cites lack of profitability as the reason. The company wants to be the first scooter operator to actually make money in 2020. Part of this hope stems from another hope, namely that lime rollers will last 14 months instead of 6 before they are ready for scrap. Lime is not the first manufacturer to withdraw from cities.
I am not surprised. I am rather surprised that they survive so long with their egg yolk from investor money. I think the e-scooters are a fashion that will be forgotten as quickly as it was hyped. In Germany, in addition to the scrap mountains, the Scooter Spackeria leaves us with an artifact that should serve as a memorial for dealing with US hypes: the Small Electric Vehicle Ordinance (eKFV).
Finally make up for the bike regulation!
The eKFV does what the bureaucracy has fortunately not yet been able to do with bicycles: such overregulation that potential customers prefer to walk. A small electric vehicle (also PLEV for "personal light electric vehicle") must meet all the requirements for bicycles:
- two brakes
- side reflectors
- Front light and reflector
- Rear light and reflector in the back
For pedelecs, there are also gently:
- CE conformity (manufacturer checks / confirms himself, but is also liable for it)
- maximum 250 watts of continuous motor power
- Support up to 25 km / h
- Starting aid without pedaling up to 6 km / h
One could have changed the StVG Section 1, Paragraph 3 again and integrated the small cattle there, as happened to the bicycle with an auxiliary motor. Instead, a new regulation came along, which in addition to the bicycle requirements:
- Insurance license plate with lighting
- Type approval or individual approval
- Carrying the registration papers, because they have to be shown to the police
- maximum 20 instead of 25 km / h, so that it does not become too harmonious on the bike path
- Cycle path mandatory even without signage
- maximum 500 watts of continuous power
- but up to 560 watts of continuous drive power for self-balancers (rounding errors?)
- Handlebar or handrail with minimum lengths
- maximum dimensions
- maximum mass
- Minimum age 14 years
- Minimum values for the braking power
- Parking brake for three or four-wheel vehicles
- Various safety regulations, partly overlapping with DIN EN 15194 as with the CE requirements for pedelecs
Because the electric scooter or the hoverboard is not a bicycle and should not be treated like one, or even more: one cannot get rid of the feeling that the German bureaucracy wanted to make up for everything that was too laissez-faire for the EU-regulated bicycle appeared. An Elektrodings is a motor vehicle, it has to endure the full force of regulation.
We are already making exceptions! No high beam! As with all bureaucracy, each individual measure is coherent and understandable. Then you take a step back and see: Oh God, we created a monster! Or, when you're in Germany, you don't take a step back, but say goodbye. If every detail on the Homer car is correct, it can only be correct as a whole, can it? Why does that always happen to us?
Whoever says "digitization" has an agenda instead of a premonition
The most likely cause of eKFV is everyone's desire for a simple magic pill for every complex problem. Overweight? This simple trick helps! Depression? My cousin's grandson, on the paternal side, made chia spirulina smoothie enemas from a rancid permanent dent in the couch to the breakfast radio host. Burnout? Integrate a few hours of yoga into your full 168-hour calendar, it works wonders! Mobility turnaround? If we make new laws, everything will be fine!
In addition, Germany, in its constant fear of being left behind technologically, is frighteningly vulnerable to consultant bullshit. The gel-coated man in a suit only has to call the magic word "digitization", and the German business aristocracy jumps onto the dance board and pulls politics along. "Digitization" has completely abandoned its old job as a technical descriptive word to look for happiness on the adviser line, where it satisfies the bullshit needs of every running customer – for a price.
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