EV Bikes

What different types of certifications are there for e-bikes?

How are they judged?

Certification is assessed by accredited laboratories that have been confirmed by bodies such as UL to be able to carry out the relevant tests. Even if a manufacturer has all the necessary testing equipment to ensure that their e-bike passes the tests required for certification, the manufacturer must send the e-bike to an accredited laboratory for testing.

What to look for

When it comes to e-bikes, the certifications that govern their manufacturing standards come from just a few places. There is the already mentioned UL, but also IP, ISO, EN and EFBE. Here are the standards to look for when checking an e-bike manufacturer’s website:

IP ratings

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The most basic standards we see in e-bikes are IP ratings. IP stands for “Ingress Protection”, i.e. the degree of protection against the penetration of dust and water into the electronics. The IP protection classes were set by the International Electrotechnical Commission and consist of two numbers.

The first digit refers to solids, generally dust and dirt. This scale ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (dustproof). For e-bikes we typically see a rating of 4 (protected from 1mm or larger solids), 5 (dust protected) or 6.

The second digit refers to water (or any other liquid). This scale ranges from 0 (no protection) to 9 (protection against high-pressure and high-temperature water jets). For e-bikes we usually see a rating of 4 (protected against splash water), 5 (protected against water jets) or 6 (protected against strong water jets).

Providing a rating system to classify the level of protection provides consumers with helpful information. A cyclist who lives near the beach might be concerned about dust protection from blowing sand and might choose an e-bike with a solids IP rating of 5, while a daily commuter who never rides in the rain might choose his E However, if you wash your bike with a spray bottle, you may want an IP water protection rating of 6. Such an e-bike would have an IP protection rating of 56.

UL 2271

UL publishes two different standards that apply to e-bikes. UL 2271 sets standards for battery quality. It is not important to know everything that goes into the test. Rather, it is enough for us to see the UL logo and the statement that the battery is certified according to UL 2271. A consumer can have a high level of confidence that an undamaged lithium-ion battery with the UL mark will not cause them any problems.

UL 2849

Manufacturers that produce a complete e-bike system including motor, battery, controller, charger, wiring, sensor and display, such as: Some manufacturers, such as Bosch, Brose and Shimano, can send this system to a UL accredited laboratory for certification to UL 2849. The standard verifies that all of these components work well together. It is a much stricter standard than 2271 and is intended to give consumers an even higher level of confidence in the safety of their e-bike. This is an expensive investment for manufacturers; If you change even one component in the system (e.g. the display or battery size), this represents a different system and must be submitted separately for testing.

ISO 4210

One of the world’s largest manufacturing standards bodies is ISO – the International Standards Organization. They set manufacturing standards across all industries. The ISO standard 4210 covers bicycle manufacturing and therefore applies to both e-bikes and regular bicycles. It sets standards for material strength as well as performance parameters for components such as brakes. With the advent of e-bikes, they have added additional standards that address manufacturing requirements and testing methods for e-bike motors, batteries, electrical systems and chargers.

EN 15194

Because the European Union looked at e-bikes before they began to take hold in the US, EN 15194, the EU counterpart to UL, includes all of the tests contained in ISO 4210, but also includes additional testing of E’s performance parameters -Bikes. These include dimensions such as power support levels, range estimation and speed limitation. The EN 15194 standard is a voluntary standard, meaning e-bikes are not required to carry this certification, except in the UK and France where certification is required.

EFBE Tri-Test

This standard comes from Germany and is aimed at cargo bikes, both with and without a motor. The Tri-Test performs a series of stress, maximum load and overload tests. Certification according to EFBE’s Tri-Test is a sign that a cargo e-bike can actually carry the load specified by the manufacturer. Buyers are most likely to find cargo e-bikes that are EFBE Tri-Test certified from manufacturers that produce multiple cargo e-bike models.

Tested vs. compliant vs. certified

When you look at an e-bike manufacturer’s website, they may see different terms used, and although they seem similar, they do not mean the same thing, either from a legal perspective or from a consumer safety perspective. There are three words used in reference to UL or EN standards and they all mean something different. We will address these in ascending order of consumer safety.


This means that a manufacturer has tested its product in its own testing laboratory at its factory against the criteria set forth in a standard such as UL 2271 for batteries. Manufacturers will do this before shipping their products for testing – there is no point in testing a product that has not passed the factory test. The use of the term “tested until” means that the product has been tested, nothing more. This is not a claim that it passed the test, just that it was tested. This is the least helpful statement made by a manufacturer regarding consumer safety. It suggests a safe product, although the opposite could be true.


This also means that a manufacturer has tested their product in their own testing laboratory at their factory, using the criteria of a standard such as UL 2271 for batteries. The difference is that it states that the product has passed all the tests required for certification. A product that has been tested and passed in an internal testing laboratory can be said to be “compliant,” which is why the use of the term “tested” raises concerns. Such testing is intended as a stepping stone to sending a product for certification, not as a replacement for it. Stating that a product is “compliant” suggests that the manufacturer simply does not want to bear the cost of certification.


A UL certified product will have the UL logo on its labeling. This mark means that the manufacturer has paid either UL or one of its accredited third-party laboratories to test the product and the product has passed all required tests. However, that’s not all. In order for a product to be certified, the manufacturer must also agree to regular audits to maintain this certification.

What should a buyer do if their e-bike does not have UL certification?

We are seeing more and more manufacturers getting UL certification for their e-bikes, but certification takes time. It’s not as quick as ordering something from Amazon. There are many high-quality e-bikes that do not yet have UL certification.

E-bikes that do not carry UL certification include many e-bikes equipped with Shimano motors and electronics. While we expect Shimano to announce UL certification for its systems in 2024, it’s not that far yet. However, Shimano has secured EN 15194 for its systems. Although EN 15194 is not the same as UL 2284, it covers the same area and then some. It is important to remember that both the UK and France require that all e-bikes sold to their residents carry this certification.

An e-bike sold in the USA that does not have UL certification but does have EN 15194 certification can be trusted. And it will likely introduce UL certification next year, because no manufacturer wants to be left out of the valuable New York market.

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