New ECE Regulation on Electric Vehicles of Category L Adopted
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Regulation on the construction and functional safety of battery electric vehicles, ECE Regulation No. 100, was first published in 1997 and covered all M and N category vehicles, i.e. passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, vans, trucks and buses. In 2011, an 01 series of amendments to this Regulation was published which significantly updated its requirements and extended its scope to include all M and N category vehicles with an electric powertrain, e.g. hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, etc. In 2013, an 02 series of amendments to the Regulation was published which introduced specific requirements on rechargeable energy storage systems (REESS) such as batteries.
Once work on drafting of the 02 series of amendments to ECE 100 was completed, the need to implement equivalent requirements for L category vehicles, i.e. motorcycles, motor tricycles and quadricycles, was recognised. Initially, extending the scope of ECE 100.02 to included L category vehicles was considered, but due to the differences in both the construction and use between L category vehicle and those of M and N category, it was decided that the requirements for L category vehicles should be specified in a separate, dedicated Regulation.
Work on drafting the new ECE Regulation on electric vehicles of Category L began in 2012 and continued through until the end of 2014. The draft Regulation that was developed, followed the same format as ECE 100.02 and contained similar requirements to those of ECE 100.02, including requirements on protection against electrical shock, isolation resistance, functional safety, hydrogen emissions and specific requirements on rechargeable energy storage systems (REESS) covering vibration resistance, thermal shock and cycling, mechanical shock, fire resistance, short circuit protection, overcharge protection, over discharge protection and over temperature protection. In the majority of cases the requirements of the draft Regulation were identical to those specified by ECE 100.02. However, in certain instances, the requirements were tailored to specifically suit the design, construction and use of L category vehicles.
The draft Regulation was submitted to the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) at its 166th session in June 2015, where it was formally adopted. It has now been provisionally given the Regulation no. 136, and has been allocated a provisional entry into force date of 20th January 2016. Official publication of the final version of ECE 136 is expected in early 2016.