Yesterday, the DfT said it wants a review of the European safety regulations for these vehicles now that they're becoming more popular. The original standards were set up at a time when no one thought that vehicles that fit the technical definitions of a quadricycle, like the REVA G-Wiz EV (pictured), would be used much. Now that this is coming to pass, DfT says it's time to take another look.
in response, GoinGreen, the UK importer and retailer of the G-Wiz, released a statement today saying the G-Wiz "has an exemplary safety record" and "no reported serious injuries." But, if you must test, then "we welcome any informed debate or Government initiatives to make quadricycles an even safer means of urban transport."
Official statements from both organizations are after the break.
[Source: Department for Transport, GoinGreen Ltd.]
Safety regulation of quadricycles
London, 8 May/GNN/ --
DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (043) issued by The Government News Network on 8 May 2007 The Government is seeking a review of the European regulations for quadricycles after initial tests of their safety performance, following their growth in popularity as a more environmentally friendly alternative to cars.
Current safety standards, set at European level, were established at a time when it was never envisaged that this type of product would be used as a mainstream road vehicle.
The Department for Transport began simulated impact tests once this growth in popularity had been determined. The vehicle tested passed all the European requirements applicable to quadricyles, but when it was subjected to the same impact test expected of normal cars serious safety concerns were highlighted.
Roads Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman said:
"The safety regulations that govern this type of vehicle were designed at a time when it was thought they would cover four-wheeled motorcycles and some small, specialised commercial vehicles. Not city run-abouts that resemble small cars.
"But, given increasing environmental concerns, new vehicles that qualify as quadricycles have come to the market and are becoming more popular for urban use. Therefore it is right that we reconsider the regulations for this type of vehicle and whether safety regulations should be made more stringent.
"Now we have the initial findings of our tests we will be taking this up with the European Commission and manufacturers, and will publish more information when the full programme of tests is complete".
The Department for Transport will carry out further tests on another make of quadricycle to help its discussions with the European Commission, and is now in urgent contact with the relevant manufacturers. Once the full analysis is complete further information will be made available.
1. A "quadricycle" is a vehicle with four wheels whose unladen mass is not more than 400kg (excluding batteries if it is an electric vehicle) and whose maximum continuous rated power does not exceed 15 kW.
2. The occupant protection is assessed by a frontal impact test where the vehicle is propelled into a deformable barrier (to simulate striking another vehicle) at a velocity of 56 kmh (~35 mph). The impact takes place at a 40% overlap with the barrier and is concentrated on the driver's side of the vehicle. The Department is scheduled to test two quadricycles. The first test, which involved a REVA G-Wiz electric vehicle, has taken place.
3. Construction standards for quadricycles are harmonised at European level, the main instrument being European Parliament and Council Directive 2002/24/EC
- the Framework Directive. This Directive requires compliance with a number of individual Directives that set out requirements for particular vehicle systems; brakes, lighting, wheels, etc.
These harmonised requirements are recognised by all 27 Member States of the European Community and once the vehicle is approved to the standards of the Directive by any member state the manufacturer has access to all 27 markets.
For quadricycles, as opposed to passenger cars, there are no requirements for occupant protection tests.
Source: Department for Transport
GoinGreen Statement Regarding Government Review of European Regulations for Quadricycles
LONDON, May 9/PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Transport announced yesterday that the Government is seeking a review of the European regulations for quadricycles with regards to their safety performance. This is in response to the growing popularity of quadricycles as a more environmentally friendly alternative to cars.
The G-Wiz has an exemplary safety record with over 20 million miles driven in London and worldwide and over 4,000 years of ownership, with no reported serious injuries.
As the health and safety of our customers is paramount we welcome any informed debate or Government initiatives to make quadricycles an even safer means of urban transport.
The G-Wiz is designed and used as a low-speed urban commuter vehicle. It meets all regulatory requirements and has received Full EU Type Approval. Actual data from the 750 G-Wiz already on London's roads show that the average speed driven is 10mph.
GoinGreen is the UK importer and retailer of the electric Reva G-Wiz - the first quadricyle to be tested by the Department of Transport - and the creator and market leader of this new emission-free automotive sector, focused on environmentally and socially responsible motoring.
The manufacturer of the G-Wiz, the Reva Electric Car Company (RECC), like all vehicle manufacturers, is constantly reviewing safety features and innovation relative to usage and has advised GoinGreen that it would be pleased to collaborate with the authorities in such a review.
For more information on safety visit the GoinGreen website (www.goingreen.co.uk) and look at sections FAQ/faq and About/safe driving tips.
Source: GoinGreen Ltd