UK Electric Bike Law 2015 - E-bike Legislation
New E-bike legislation 7th April 2016 update - no more grey areas.
April 7, 2016
New e-bike legislation came into force on April 6th 2016 across the EU - removing any grey areas relating to high-powered electric bikes.
All Silver E Riders e-bikes, including off-road e-bike mountain bikes are fully compliant with the current law enforced in the UK by the Department For Transport. So please ride your electric bike within the rules and regulations laid down by law and enjoy riding your new bike.
Hopefully, below your questions will be answered.
Is an e-bike like a normal pedal bicycle?
For an electric bike to be treated in law as an ordinary pedal cycle and therefore enjoy the same rights, it must;
• Have working pedals.
• Not exceed 250 Watts.
• Electrical assistance must stop when the cycle reaches 15.5mph.
When's an e-bike classed as a moped?
If an electric bike has over 250W motor power and is ridden on the road in the UK (no matter how briefly it's ridden on the road) the classification changes to a moped / motorcycle.
• Be 'type approved' (this also includes 'twist and go' throttle bikes that operate without pedaling)
• Registered for use on the road
• Have an MOT.
• The rider must have the appropriate license / training.
• The rider must wear a motorcycle helmet, not a cycle helmet.
What if the bike will only be ridden off road?
Electric bikes over 250W motor power, ridden off-road in the UK must comply with the same rules that apply to off-road motorcycles.
• Riders are barred from using public roads.
• Riders are barred from using common land, paths or tracks intended for cyclists.
• Riders must be registered on the FIM competition list (an agreed list for off-road competition bikes).
• Bikes can only be ridden where regular motor cross bikes can be legally ridden.
What if I can switch the power to a lower setting?
The rules still apply to e-bikes with the option to switch between lower and higher power. The higher power rating is the rating by which the e-bike must be classified. With no exceptions.
Who is responsible for complying with the legislation?
Responsibility for complying with the legislation is on the owner - just like owning a car or motorbike. You dealer must explain the consequences of riding a higher-powered e-bike.
How does this affect the range of Silver E Riders e-bikes?
All Silver E Riders e-bikes (road, city and mountain bikes) are fully compliant with the new legislation and are clearly labeled as such on the frame - so you can own and operate your e-bike with complete confidence.
Every e-bike sold by Silver E Riders is legally limited by the manufacturer to 250W of motor power and to a maximum speed of 15.5mph.
Torque is not covered under any legislation, as it does not directly affect the maximum speed. The torque is the amount of power the motor will produce to propel the e-bike to its maximum speed of 15.5mph. The more torque, the more power for those hills. E-bikes with Bosch mid drive motors range from 48 to 75 Nm of torque. Yamaha motors tend to be slightly more powerful with a maximum of 80Nm of torque. Both Bosch and Yamaha do not condone the use of ‘Dongles’ to increase speed to around 30mph, if you convert your e-bike then the warranty will be void, not only for the motor but for all 3rd party equipment, i.e. brakes, wheels, gears etc.
UK Electric Bike Law 2015 - E-bike Legislation on Electric Bike Throttles
Throttles - Buy NOW!
The new throttle regulations are getting close to being implimented. My advise to you is if you want or need a throttle on an electric bike then you must order one now. I have no way of knowing stock levels of e-bikes from my suppliers. If your thinking of buying then BUY NOW. This is not a sales ploy to get you to buy a bike. It is intended to ensure if you want a bike with a throttle then you must order one NOW whist stocks last, otherwise you may be disapointed.
There has been a lot of discussion about the use of throttles on electric bikes over the years in the press and now I would like to keep you up to date with the situation as we see it today. Legislation in PDF format. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/24/pdfs/uksi_20150024_en.pdf
We have known for some time that aligning with the EU Law would mean that throttle regulations would change. The Law was changed in April 2015 with regards to increasing the motor size from 200 Watt continuous output to 250 Watts. The maximum speed was also increased to 15.5 mph, however no decision at that time was taken on the fitted throttle. All the information we had from the relevant agencies was that there would be a way of Type Approving an electric bike that had a throttle but otherwise complied with EN15194. This Type Approval would then allow it still to be classified as a bicycle within the UK.
It appears now that this will NOT be the case. There is currently no way to type approve and still retain bicycle classification. Bicycles type approved using L1e-B Mopeds will be classified as a Moped and riders will have to adhere to those regulations. i.e. Crash helmet, driving license, registration, MOT etc. and they will NOT be allowed on cycle paths.
This currently means that after 1st January 2016 assistance over 4mph / 6kph must cut out with you stop pedaling. The walk assist button or easy start function that can take the bike to 4 mph is part of EN15194 regs. And will still be allowable. Above 4mph the pedals MUST be turning for the power to work.
These regulations are NOT retrospective and what is known as ‘Grandfather Rights’ apply, so that if you already have an electric bike fitted with a throttle that otherwise meets EN15194. There will be NO issue. Now in plain English. If you buy an electric bike manufactured before 1st January 2016 with a throttle it WILL be legal in 2016. I have a few electric bikes with throttles in my shop at the moment, all of which will be legal in 2016.
There is still a lot of ‘wooliness’ in the wording from official sources, a reference to existing models may mean that for electric bikes currently being produced, the throttle could be sold up to the 1st January 2017, but at the time of writing we do not have a definitive answer to this question. All we do know is that after 1st January 2016 and electric bikes manufactured MUST comply with the new regulations.
It is important to me at Silver E Riders that ALL electric bikes and electric trikes conform to the current regulations and to that end all electric bike Models Launched AFTER 1st January will NOT have a twist and go throttle.
I would therefore advise my customers that if you wish to buy an electric bike with a throttle then you should purchase one sooner rather than later.
Information courtesy of Batribike.