The growing market of E-bikes has attracted a huge population as consumers from all around the globe. E-bikes make our rides more flexible and less exhaustive. An E-bike is similar to a mechanical bike, with the addition of a battery-driven motor engine.
E-Bikes can be used anywhere that you are already able to ride a Regular Bike but If you want to ride your E-Bike in the UK then there are certain laws regarding this, that you must follow. Although riding an E-bike is neither restricted to a minimum age limit(in most of the countries) nor requires any kind of license, but still, there are few regulations imposed by the UK government which you must keep in mind before purchasing an E-Bike. These regulations are assembled by Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations declared in 2015 and all those bikes who satisfy these regulations are called Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles.
E-Bike laws in the UK
- Your E-bikes must consist of pedals
If your bike doesn’t consist of pedals, then it cannot be regarded as an E-bike according to the EU law for pedelecs, EN15194.
- The maximum power of the motor cannot exceed 250 watts
According to the UK government, the power rating of the motor in your e-bike must not exceed 250 watts. Any e-bike whose ‘continuos rated power’ exceeds this limit, will be dropped out EAPC( Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles) category. Then your bike needs to get registered with a valid registration number. You will also require proper insurance and will have to pay all the taxes. You will need to put on a proper motorcycle helmet and gear as well as get yourself a driving license issued.
- The maximum assisted speed of you e-bike must not exceed 15.5 mph
The electric motor is there to give you some help in the form of a boost but this electrical assistance must be discontinued when the speed of the vehicle reaches 15.5 mph. That is effectually similar to the European Union law, which states that the electrical assistance speed of an e-bike must be 25km/h at utmost. But we do favor our imperial measurements. We never had a bike from a major e-bike fabricator that doesn’t fall in with here, although some take minimal independence with that upper limit in the higher assistance modes.
Those bikes whose assistance speed exceeds the maximum speed and accelerates up to 20 mph-25 mph are classified under the L1e category and require a number plate and risk insurance. Even if getting an e-bike de-restricted is quite easy, but still, it is highly recommended not to do so for your convenience.
- The minimum age to drive an e-bike in the UK is 14 years
Although in most other European Union countries there’s no minimum age for the use of an electric bike the UK government limits the minimum age to 14 years.
- Twist and go: allowed, with caveats
This is an area where the EAPC legislation varies from the European Union rules. “Pedal cycles providing electrical assistance without use of the pedals are usually called “Twist and Goes” – are classed in the above GB classification mentioned that they are capable of pedal operation and satisfy with the above limitations on maximum motor power and assistance cut-off speed”, is mentioned in the government sheets. Therefore, you are allowed to accelerate a throttle as long as you also have a pedal-assist mode. In the rest of the European Union countries, the same doesn’t apply, except for speeds up to 6km/h.
- A detailed manufacturer’s plate
In the UK, your e-bike must have a manufacturer’s plate on the rear end of your bike, properly detailed with power output and the manufacturer of the motor. An E-Bike plate must display the power output of the motor and the details about the manufacturer. It should also display the battery’s input voltage and the maximum assistance speed of the bike. Pedals must also be fitted to move the bike forward; this avoids the motor vehicle legislation.
- Some other major rules
An e-bike that satisfies the above-mentioned restrictions can be classified as an e-bike under law, and that means that it’s subject to the other norms that apply to e-bikes at the time of purchase. Like any normal bike, an e-bike must be fitted with front and rear reflectors, pedal reflectors between the time of sunset and sunrise, and lights that match up to the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations for bicycles. The brakes “must suffice with paragraph 4.6.8 of British / European / International standard BS EN ISO 4210-2:20148, or any equivalent European standard, and be maintained in efficient working order”.
These were the same major regulations applicable on an electric bike or e-bike in the UK and if you have decided to purchase an e-bike that breaks the UK regulations for an EAPC bike then you must never forget that you will have to get involved in the paperwork of getting the license, registration and the insurance.
Your bike may also be prohibited to be ridden on a private land depending upon some local rules and regulations of your area. Never consider the speed of an e-bike as a primary factor while purchasing. While buying the bike speed should not be considered as a purchasing factor when there is already a norm set on the maximum speed of your e-bike. Just make sure to check if the e-bike you are buying confirms all the imposed regulations.