Electric personal transportation devices

Electric personal transportation devices

Electric personal transportation devices to assist or replace walking

Devices to assist walking refer to, for example, self-balancing personal transportation devices with a single or multiple wheels, including balance scooters (hoverboard/hoover), electric scooters and other similar devices with an electric motor.

While these devices are treated similarly to pedestrians on the road, their speed must be adjusted to the situation.

The maximum power of such devices is 1 kW and the maximum speed 15 km/h. 

At walking speed, these devices may be used on the footpath, and no detailed technical requirements relating to lights, reflectors or similar apply to them. The maximum speed of the device determines the area of the street in which it may be used. If the electric assistance of the device is not cut off at 15 km/h, it may not be used on the footpath even if its speed remains below 15 km/h.

The device may not have a seat unless it is self-balancing, intended for use in cross-country conditions and on unpaved roads, or exclusively designed for users with restricted mobility, for example.

Motor insurance need not and cannot be taken out for electric personal transportation devices that assist walking.

Light electric vehicles

Light electric vehicles include self-balancing ”Segway-type” personal transportation devices, electric scooters, three-wheel or four-wheel scooters exclusively intended for older persons or users with restricted mobility, electric rollators and other similar devices.

To larger electric vehicles with a maximum speed of 25 km/h and maximum power of 1 kW, the same rules of the road apply as to bicycles: they should mainly be used on cycle paths. When travelling at walking speed, however, self-balancing devices may also be used on the footpath.

A front light is mandatory, but a rear light is also advisable. Lights carried on the user's person are also permitted; for example, a head torch is perfectly acceptable for this purpose.  Light electric vehicles must have a sound signalling device and reflectors.

The device may not have a seat unless it is, for example, self-balancing, intended for use in cross-country conditions and on unpaved roads, or exclusively designed for users with restricted mobility.

Motor insurance need not and cannot be taken out for light electric vehicles.

Electrically assisted or motorised bicycles

The maximum power of an electrically assisted bicycle is 250 W; and the assistance must cut off when the speed reaches 25km/h, and the assistance may only work when the bicycle is being pedalled.

The maximum power of a motorised bicycle (L1e-a) is 1,000 W. The motor may work without pedalling but it must cut off when the speed reaches 25km/h.

To an electrically assisted bicycle, the same technical requirements apply as to a conventional bike, and no motor insurance need be taken out for it. On the other hand, a motorised bicycle that does not meet the conditions for an electrically assisted bike must have motor insurance.

Electrically assisted or motorised bicycles that reach speeds in excess of 25 km/h with the help of a motor are not roadworthy as bicycles. They must be registered as mopeds if this is possible considering the features of the vehicle. In practice, the vehicle must also have type-approval as a moped.

Read more about insurance on the website of the Finnish Motor Insurers’ Centre (External link)