Are you motivated by numerous subsidies and bonuses and are planning to buy an electric two-wheeler? Before you get started, check out the different vehicle categories and required permits to avoid any nasty surprises.
For getting around in traffic, there is nothing more practical than an electric or thermal scooter, especially since the choice of trendy two-wheelers is only increasing. However, like their thermal counterparts, electric scooters and motorcycles are highly regulated, and some require special rights to drive.
Before you let yourself be seduced by such a car, it’s important to determine if your current license allows you to drive or if you’ll have to take a course before driving one. So, let’s take a look at the main categories on the market and the licenses required to drive them.
The information below is valid for European permits regardless of the country in which they were issued. It is advisable in any case to check your license, because certain categories could be assigned to you by equivalence.
50cc Electric Two Wheelers (Category L1e)
Scooters described as 50cc equivalents, sometimes referred to as mopeds, are often referred to as city scooters because they must not exceed the fatal thresholds of 45km/h and 4kW of power. It may seem limited, but they are more than enough to get around the city and, above all, they are very affordable.
Among them we mention, for example, Niu NQi Sport 50, Piaggio One, Rider 3000 or Super Soco CU-X, as well as motorcycles such as Super Soco Wanderer.
Source: Anthony Wonner – Frandroid
What is the license to drive a 50cc electric scooter or motorcycle?
Unlike most other motorcycles and scooters, 50cc equivalents do not require a license. They are available from the age of 14 with the European AM category which replaces the BSR. It just requires 7 hours of training and is exempt from the demerit point system.
Rest assured, who can do more can do less: higher licenses, namely A1, A2, A and B, will of course allow you to drive the 50cc equivalent.
125cc Electric Two Wheelers (Category L3e-A1) – Three Wheelers (Category L5e)
Sometimes referred to as light motorcycles, scooters and motorcycles in this category can range from 51cc to 125cc. cm, a maximum power of 11 kW and a power to empty weight ratio of not more than 0.1 kW / kg. In the vast majority of cases, electric scooters and motorcycles in this category will be referred to as 125cc equivalents.
Thus, their main advantage is that they offer power and top speeds higher than those of the L1e category, with top speeds often between 90 and 110 km/h. They also remain available because, as we will see below, they do not systematically require special permission.
Range of 125cc electric two-wheelers Sport. There are also motorcycles in this category such as the Super Soco TC Max and Horwin CR6.
Three-wheeled scooters, officially called “motorcycles”, also fall into this category, with the difference that their displacement can exceed 51 cubic meters. cm without upper limit if their weight does not exceed 1000 kg. There are more references in this segment, some examples are sold as Rider 3RS and Eccity Model 3.
What is the license to drive a 125cc electric scooter or motorcycle?
Vehicles of categories L3e-A1 and L5e remain easily accessible and may sometimes not require an additional permit.
- license A1 : available from 16 years old, A1 license can be issued from 20 hours of training;
- Resolution B :
- If you did not drive two or three wheels prior to 2011, you will have to complete the mandatory 7-hour training available from the two-year B license. At the end of this training, the card will validate the follow-up. this and your driver’s license. However, please be aware that while this is equivalent to category A1 in France, it is not valid in the rest of the world. So your training will not allow you to drive a 125cc scooter. see elsewhere in Europe.
- If you have already driven a two- or three-wheeler prior to 2011, your B license will be sufficient to allow you to drive a vehicle of categories L3e-A1 and L5e, provided you can prove that you have driven a light motorcycle or three-wheeler . scooter between 2006 and 2011, thanks in part to an insurance certificate.
- A2 and A permits: A2 and A permits allow you to drive all vehicles of categories L3e-A1 and L5e.
Electric two-wheelers ≤ 35 kW (category L3e-A2)
Whether we are talking about a motorcycle or a maxi scooter, cars in this category are often more powerful and exceed 125cc. However, they must have a power of less than 45 kW and a power-to-weight ratio of not more than 0.2 kW/kg. Although they are powerful and fast, these cars require a special license and are not available for simple training. These include the BMW CE04 in its unrestrained version, equivalent to 400 cc.
What are the rights to drive an L3e-A2 two-wheeler?
- License A2 : available from 18 years old and requires 20 hours of training. It is often considered the gateway to an A license, requiring only 7 hours of training and two additional years of driving;
- License A : This is a higher category license that also allows you to drive category L3e-A1 vehicles.