Thu, Jan 16, 2020 - Page 11 News List

Preview of e-scooter regulatory changes next week

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said that it would preview national standards for electric scooter battery charging and changing stations next week, before officially rolling out the new regulations on Jan. 1 next year.

While the content of the proposed changes remains largely unclear, the introduction of national standards would represent a shift in the industry’s regulatory oversight.

Under the current system, the ministry’s Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) sets e-scooter industry standards, which manufacturers must meet to apply for government incentives, including subsidies and tax cuts.

With the industry growing rapidly, the ministry said it would introduce national standards, expanding regulatory responsibility to the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI), which oversees product standardization and inspection.

BSMI Director Wang Chun-chao (王俊超) said that once the e-scooter market reaches a certain level of maturity, the IDB subsidies would be phased out, leaving the BSMI as the industry’s primary regulator.

Beginning next year, e-scooter manufacturers, including Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and SYM Motors Co (三陽工業), would require a BSMI certificate of inspection for all new e-scooter battery charging and changing stations, Wang said.

Existing stations that have already been certified safe by the IDB would not require any additional modifications under the new rules, he added.

However, it was not clear from his remarks if those stations would automatically receive BSMI certification, or would need to go through an application process.

In terms of content, the standards would be grouped into four categories — general regulations, battery charging stations, battery changing stations and communication protocols, he said.

After the announcement of the proposed changes next week, the ministry is to collect feedback from stakeholders and conduct a formal review, Wang said.

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