Modern ebikes, especially those produced in series with the latest motors, are very safe vehicles for the end consumer. Almost all Electronic Control Units are set to work at 36V, a voltage which does not cause any problem even in the (rare) case of somebody touching exposed cables. For the disappointment of DIY-enthusiasts, we’re going towards a market made of integrated solutions, in which the user can’t basically do anything in case of a (very rare) problem.
Ebikes sold in Europe have to comply to the EN15194 safety standard. However, we now live in a globalized world, in which standards applied to single geographical areas are not enough anymore. That’s why world producers of ebikes are slowly coming to an agreement on a world safety standard for ebikes, called ISO 4210-10, which is still in development. A few weeks ago there was a four-day conference in Shanghai to go ahead in the process of approval of this standard. These are very complicated technical matters, in which undoubtedly commercial strategies have a big influence; that is why it won’t be likely to see the new standard approved before 2-3 years.
The ISO 4210-10 is a subsection of the ISO 4210 standard, which is for bicycles in general. The numbers after the – indicate the various subsection.
These safety standard are also about electromagnetic compatibility. In a world full of electronic gadgets, it is imperative that the electromagnetic fields generated by ebikes don’t have a negative impact on other important devices, for instance pacemakers.
The development of world standards, as for instance that relative to the ECU-battery-motor interface, is part of the process of development of these products. If we think about products like computers, smartphones or even cars, standards (safety standards, but not only them) are much stronger, allowing for a real world market. Whether we like it or not, the future of ebikes goes through these standards.