EU agrees on heavier 4.25 ton e-vans with regular B license

The European Parliament has agreed on a new set of regulations concerning driver’s licenses. One of the plans is to increase the weight limit of electric light commercial vehicles to 4.25 tons to compensate for the loss of payload due to heavy battery packs. But new exam rules, digital licenses, and stricter rules for young drivers are also on the cards.

There has been a lot of debate concerning the maximum weight limit for electric vans, which some parties want to increase to 4.25 tons (instead of the traditional 3.5 tons) within the B license to keep the payload the same with the added weight of batteries. The Netherlands had a temporary allowance until July 2024, but now the European Parliament has agreed to make it a permanent rule.

The matter will now have to wait for the election of the new Parliament in June, after which it can be ratified. But it is not yet clear if and when it will become national law.

Dutch reach and 17-year-olds driving

Other rules were also agreed upon by the Parliament, including new standards for driving tests focusing on the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Drivers will, for example, have to perform the ‘Dutch reach’ when exiting their car on the road to face any oncoming traffic, notably approaching cyclists who may have been in the car’s blind spot.

Young drivers would also be subjected to a trial period of two years with stricter rules, such as a lower blood alcohol limit and higher penalties for traffic violations. 17-year-olds could also qualify for a driver’s license, but only when accompanied by an experienced driver.

Finally, a European digital driver’s license on your smartphone is also on the cards, similar to what France has just introduced nationwide.

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