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  • Writer's pictureNicolas

What exists between a bike 🚲 and a car 🚙 ?

Many vehicles are sometimes called ZELPV (zero emission light-powered vehicles) or "véhicules intermédiaires" in French or even the "L-category".

Vehicles are sorted into different categories: "M" for passengers 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 (M1 up to 9, M2 and M3 above depending on the weight ), "N" for goods 📦 (N1 up to 3,5 tons, N2 up to 12 and N3 above).

In the "L" category, you will find all vehicles whose unladen mass is not more than ⚖ 400 kg (550 kg for vehicles intended for carrying goods), not including the mass of batteries in the case of electric vehicles and whose maximum continuous rated power does not exceed 15 kW.

Category L7 and more specifically the L7e-C is according to me the one we should look at. Those vehicles can carry 4 persons up to 90 km/h.

Vehicle classification according to Regulation (EU) 168/2013
source: ATIC-TS

Some examples are RenaultTwizzy (the new version is the Mobilize Duo), XBus from ElectricBrands AG, La Bagnole from kilow, Microlino, Goupil, etc.

XBus from ElectricBrands (credit: ElectricBrands)
XBus from ElectricBrands (credit: ElectricBrands)

La Bagnole from Kilow (credit: Kilow)
La Bagnole from Kilow (credit: Kilow)

In category L6, you will find quads and the so-called "light quadricycles" such as the Citroën AMI or some Ligier Automotive and Aixam Mega limited at 45 km/h for max 2 persons. You do not need a "B" driver's licence to drive those vehicles.

Categories from L1 to L5 are well known (e-bikes, mopped, motorcycles, sidecars and tricycles).

The environmental impact of such vehicles is much lower than a car. Indeed lower weight means lower consumption which means lower battery needs.

Impact carbone sur l'ensemble du cycle de vie
credit: BonPote (

Because those vehicles are smaller and lighter, they reduce also other externalities.

Of course, this remains in the "Improve" part of the "ASI" (Avoid-Shift-Improve) approach. The impact is positive only if it replaces a bigger vehicle.

And you, do you see a future for such vehicles?

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