Electric bikes: Is it Legal in the UK?
Are Electric bikes Legal in the UK?
E-bikes sales are growing rapidly across the UK and it is estimated this will continue to rise and triple in the next five years. As more and more people are going electric, it is important to be clear how they are classified.
To begin with you can ride an electric bike only if you’re 14 years or over, as long as it meets certain requirements.
These electric bikes are known as ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs). You do not need a license to ride one and it does not need to be registered, taxed or insured. However, remember an EAPC must have pedals that can be used to propel it.
EAPC approved E-bikes must show either:
· The power output
· The manufacturer of the motor
· It must also show either:
· The battery’s voltage
· The maximum speed of the bike
· Its electric motor: must have a maximum power output of 250 watts and should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph
· Furthermore, an EAPC can have more than 2 wheels (for example, a tricycle).
Where can I ride an ebike?
If a bike meets the EAPC requirements it is classed as a normal pedal bike. This means you can ride it on cycle paths, roads, bike paths and other places where bicycles are allowed under GB law and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed.
E-bikes are classed as regular non-assisted bicycles in Great Britain but if it supplies electrical assistance when travelling at more than 25kph (15.5mph), and has a motor which generates more than 250 Watts of power or motor assistance can be provided without the bike’s pedals being in motion, it will be legally classed as a moped or motorcycle. Hence, it will be subject to a legal requirement.
So, in other words any electric bike that does not meet the EAPC rules is classed as a motorcycle /moped and will need to be registered, taxed and even insured (for your safety) You’ll need a driving license to ride one and most certainly you must wear a crash helmet and safety gears.
How would I know if it is not EAPC APPROVED?
An electric bike must be type approved if either:
· It can be propelled without pedaling (a ‘twist and go’ EAPC)
· It does not meet the EAPC rules
Are ebikes illegal if it is not EAPC APPROVED?
It is not illegal to own an e-bike with a power output exceeding 250 Watts, or where the electrical assistance doesn’t cut off at 25kph. However, it is illegal to ride it as you would a standard bike without it being registered and insured like a moped. Think of it as you can own a car it is legal but to drive it you would need insurance, driving license, MOT and Tax.