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Sähköpotkulautailija noudattaa liikenteessä pyöräiliijän liikennesääntöjä

Electric bicycle, electric scooter and other light electric vehicles

There are many different types of electric personal transportation devices. The traffic regulations to follow depend on the features of the device. For example, the same traffic and the rules on giving way apply to cyclists and those riding an electric scooter.

There are currently a lot of electric personal transportation devices in traffic. The characteristics of the device determine whether its user is considered a pedestrian, cyclist or motor vehicle driver. These features also affect, for example, whether the driver of the device is required to hold a driving licence or whether motor vehicle insurance is required.

For more information, see the Electric personal transportation devices guide (pdf) by the Finnish Road Safety Council Liikenneturva.

Electric scooters must comply with cycling regulations

Electric scooter riders must be able to anticipate and stick to moderate speed in a busy urban environment. Before using the device, the riders must get to know its operation and be aware of the traffic regulations required for its use, even if a driving licence is not required for riding an electric scooter. It is not a toy, it is a vehicle. The maximum structural speed of rental electric scooters is 25 km/h, and cycling regulations are observed for riding them. Riding an electric scooter on the pavement is unequivocally prohibited.

As with a bicycle, the electric scooter must also be used on the cycle track, if a cycle track is available. The right side of the cycle track is used, and those riding in front are bypassed in the middle of the track. If there is no cycle track, the electric scooter is used on the right side of the road or carriageway. Riding on a cycle lane is subject to the same regulations as driving on the carriageway.

Taking others into account is essential both when using a device for mobility and when parking it. So do not leave a scooter on a lane where people may trip on it or collide with it.

Electric bicycles

Thanks to the assistance, an electric bicycle is lighter to pedal than a normal bicycle, but riding an electric bicycle is also exercise. The light pedalling makes an electric bicycle an excellent tool for slightly longer journeys to the workplace, school or shops. Electric power also facilitates pedalling against the wind and uphill. Depending on the model, the operating radius of the batteries requires charging every 30 to 70 kilometres. After this, the cyclist is in charge of increasing the speed.

E-bicycling is an excellent way to exercise reasonably intensely. For example, commuting is possible without excessive sweating. E-bicycling improves the mobility potential for users of different ages, improves traffic flow and reduces emissions.

Electric bicycle in brief:

  • The engine operates when pedalling, and disengages at 25 km/h. If the speed is less than or equal to 6 km/h, the electric engine can operate without pedalling.
  • With the assistance, it is lighter to pedal than a normal bicycle; the increased power will help particularly on uphill slopes, as if someone was pushing from the back.
  • Along with its battery, it is currently 6 to 8 kg heavier than a normal bicycle — without assistance, it is thus slightly heavier to pedal than a normal bicycle.
  • The operating radius depends on the model: it should be charged approximately every 30 to 70 km
  • Almost all models allow the battery to be removed and charged indoors
  • The bicycles have a large price range: currently, the most common bicycles cost between EUR 1,000 and EUR 1,500.
  • In addition to the electric bicycle, there are motorised bicycles (more than 250 W engines, fully functional without pedalling) and conversion kits (electrical features installed on a conventional bicycle). The term ‘electric bicycle’ refers to all three: electric bicycles, motorised bicycles and bicycles converted into such bicycles.
    (Source: Finnish Transport Agency.)

Light electric vehicles

A self-balancing light electric vehicle which remains in balance even when the vehicle is not moving or has no driver may also be driven on the pavement. In such cases, the driver must provide unobstructed access to pedestrians.

Light electric vehicles must be equipped with a headlight and a red rear reflector and an audible warning device.

The use of the equipment does not require a driving licence, registration or inspection. In addition to bicycles, the provisions on drink-driving also cover motorised bicycles and light electric vehicles.

Assistive walking devices

Assistive walking devices or mobility devices are used on pedestrian routes according to traffic regulations for pedestrians. 

Assistive walking devices refer to devices such as balanced people movers with one or several wheels, such as

  • balance scooters and
  • other similar light vehicles equipped with an electric motor.