Can you ride electric scooters on sidewalks

E-Scooter: These rules apply to electric scooters

What are "small electric vehicles"?

The "small electric vehicles" defined in the ordinance have an electric drive motor and can travel at speeds of up to 20 kilometers per hour. "Small electric vehicles" include e-scooters, Segways, e-skateboards, hoverboards and e-wheels. Due to the recommendation of the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), the current Small Electric Vehicle Ordinance so far only includes small electric vehicles with steering or handrails, i.e. no e-skateboards, hoverboards and e-wheels. According to the decision of the Federal Council, this will remain so.

Since vehicles with an electric motor are considered to be motor vehicles, according to the previous plans, electric scooters should also be subject to a number of rules:

  • The battery-powered scooters are allowed to have a Total width of 70 centimeters
  • a Total height of 1.40 meters as
  • a Total length of 2.0 meters do not exceed.
  • In addition, the e-scooters are allowed without a driver no heavier than 55 kg be.

You can read all the planned requirements in the "Ordinance on the Participation of Small Electric Vehicles in Road Traffic". These regulations came into force on June 15th. The Ministry of Transport still had to implement some changes by the Federal Council before the e-scooters were allowed to drive. The e-scooters should now not be allowed to be driven on sidewalks and in pedestrian zones and a minimum age of 14 years applies.

Many e-scooters that are sold meet the requirements of the previous regulation Not and do not have a general operating permit (ABE). This means that according to the regulation, these cannot be driven legally. Therefore, when buying an e-scooter, you should make sure that it has an ABE mark.

Manufacturers can apply for this for their models at the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA).

Buying an e-scooter: what do I have to pay attention to?

When buying an e-scooter, you should first make sure that you have a general operating license (ABE), otherwise you are only allowed to drive on private property. Manufacturers can apply for this for their models at the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA).

What can you look out for when buying?

  • Type label: You can tell whether an e-scooter is approved for sale in Germany by looking at the so-called type plate. In order to obtain such a nameplate approval, manufacturers must have each vehicle model checked by the Federal Motor Vehicle Office. If the type plate is missing on the vehicle that you want to use in public transport, you should refrain from buying it. The nameplate means that the e-scooter has a general operating license and that the e-scooter meets all the criteria set out in the ordinance.
  • Power: Only a maximum of 500 watt scooters are allowed to drive on German roads. Vehicles with more power are not permitted. As a rule, scooters with 250 watts are sufficient for normal city trips.
  • Speed: An e-scooter can only get an ABE if it does not exceed a speed of 20 km / h. This means that e-scooters with a top speed of more than 20 kilometers per hour are not allowed in Germany.
  • Light: E-scooters are also subject to the traffic light regulation: They must therefore be equipped with a functioning light on both the front and the rear. Check these to avoid possible fines.
  • Replaceable battery: For the sake of the environment and the wallet and in order not to have to dispose of the e-scooter when the battery is broken, replaceable batteries are useful. So far, however, this has only been possible with a few models. In any case, find out about the service life of the battery. The Federal Environment Agency has published a guide to batteries and accumulators. There you will also find tips on how the life of batteries can be extended.
Do I have to wear a helmet on the e-scooter?

No. With the e-scooter you can reach speeds similar to those on a bicycle. You are therefore - just like on a bike - not required to wear a helmet. Nevertheless, it is still advisable to wear a helmet in traffic.

Do I have to insure my e-scooter?

Yes. According to the regulation for the "vehicle class of small electric vehicles", you are only allowed to use public roads if your vehicle has a valid insurance sticker - similar to a motorcycle. This applies to all electric scooters that can travel at least 6 kilometers per hour. However, insurance is only possible if the e-scooter has one General operating permit owns. That is why it is important to pay attention to it.

All owners must insure such e-scooters in order to be covered in the event of an accident. You will receive an insurance sticker from the insurance company that you have to attach to the scooter. You can then use this to prove that you have taken out liability insurance.

The insurance sticker is valid for 12 months, is paid for for one year and must be attached to the back of the e-scooter, if possible under the tail light.

You can find out here which insurance you need for your bike or motorcycle to get well protected on tours.

Why haven't e-scooters been used in Germany so far?

So far, e-scooters have not been approved for road use in Germany. That is why the electric scooters were not yet allowed to be used on public roads. Because in Germany this was only allowed for the vehicles described in the “Mobility Aid Ordinance” (MobHV). E-scooters are not included.

The “Small Electric Vehicle Ordinance” (eKFV) enables electric scooters to take part in public road traffic. However, the e-scooters must have a general operating permit from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). If this is not the case, you may only drive the e-scooter on private property.

Where and how fast can e-scooters go?

According to the “Ordinance on the Participation of Small Electric Vehicles in Road Traffic”, similar rules apply to e-scooters as to bicycles: You can use your e-scooter on cycle paths, cycle lanes and cycle streets. You can only use the road with the electric vehicles if these are missing.

Prerequisite: the electric scooters are allowed a maximum of 20 kilometers per hour to be fast. A minimum age of 14 years applies to all e-scooters.

Do I need a driver's license for the e-scooters?

No. Since you are allowed to drive a maximum of 20 kilometers per hour with the e-scooter, you do not need a driving license according to the "Ordinance on the participation of small electric vehicles in road traffic".