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E-scooter industry regulatory changes to be previewed next week: MOEA

2020-01-16  English News
Photo courtesy of CNA
Photo courtesy of CNA

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Wednesday that it will 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, formally, at least, the introduction of national standards will represent a shift in the industry's regulatory oversight.

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

Given the scale of the industry's growth, however, the MOEA said Wednesday that it will introduce national standards, expanding regulatory responsibility to the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI), which oversees product standardization and inspection.

Explaining the changes, BSMI Director Wang Chun-chao said that once the e-scooter market reaches a certain level of maturity, the Industrial Development Bureau's subsidies will be phased out, leaving the BSMI as the industry's primary regulator.

Beginning next year, e-scooter manufacturers including Gogoro, Kymco and SYM Motors will require a BSMI certificate of inspection for all new e-scooter battery charging/changing stations, Wang said.

Previously-built stations, Wang added, have already been certified safe by the Bureau of Industrial Development, and will not require any additional modifications under the new rules.

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

In terms of content, Wang said, the standards will be grouped into four categories covering general regulations, battery charging stations, battery changing stations and communication protocols.

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