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Author Topic: Law relating electric bikes + 3 wheelers  (Read 3416 times)

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Law relating electric bikes + 3 wheelers
« on: 24, February, 2015 - 08:09:25 »
hi just found this post about the law regarding electric bikes and 3 wheelers and quads not sure if we are included in it .

UK Electric Bike Law


In general

The EU-directive regulating pedelecs states that pedelecs that have powered assistance to a maximum of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) using a motor of no more than 250 Watts rated output are considered bicycles. Therefore type approval is not required. pedelecs can be used legally without registration, road tax, a driving licence, insurance or the use of a crash helmet. They can be cycled on a cycle path and the rider must obey the laws appertaining to a standard pedal driven bicycle.

In most European countries there is no lower age limit so anyone can legally ride a pedelec on public roads or where the public have access. In the UK a rider must be 14 years or older. UK law does not coincide with European law in several other areas. In Europe 250W (rated) motors are permitted whereas in the UK we are currently restricted to 200W although this is a very grey area.

I understand that the Police will not be targeting people riding pedelecs that have motors of not more than 250W rated power. I also understand that no prosecutions have taken place of anyone riding a 250W motored electric bike in the UK due to the motor size.

A 250W rated motor, is a motor that will run most efficiently at 250W. Such a motor will often be able to run at a higher maximum power for short periods. The Department for Transport has announced that the UK will eventually align with European law and will also permit 250W motors. This is not likely to happen until
2016. Nearly all electric bicycles sold in the UK have 250W (Rated) motors and conform to EU regulations.

Some electric bikes are currently sold in the UK with motors that are rated at more than 250W. These bikes do not comply with either the EU or UK law appertaining to EAPCs and need type approval. They are considered motor vehicles under law. All electric bikes with motors more powerful than 250W rated are required to display
a tax disc, insurance is mandatory, the vehicle must be registered display number plates and carry an MOT certificate. Any rider of such a vehicle must hold a current driving licence and keep to the laws appertaining to mopeds. Anyone found riding an electric bike with a motor larger than 250W rated power without the correct documentation is liable to be prosecuted by the police. The rider will be open for prosecution for driving without a licence, driving without insurance, driving an unlicensed vehicle etc. If the person riding such a vehicle has a current driving licence and is prosecuted, they will receive penalty points and may even be banned from driving any motor vehicle.

The official standard for pedelecs is now in force across Europe and will eventually be mandatory in the UK too. Pedelecs complying with EN15194 are deemed to be safe and fit for purpose. All bikes that have passed the EN15195 testing will be issued with a certificate of compliance from the testing house.


To remain exempt from motor vehicle legislation, an electric bicycle must comply with the following:

Power and Speed

Maximum rated motor power 250W (200W in the UK)

Maximum speed with power assistance 25kph (15.5mph in the UK)


In most of Europe the motor can only legally work when the pedals are turning forward, in the UK this is not the case and the throttle can work independently. If the UK laws change and outlaw independent throttle control, the new law will NOT be backdated so any bikes bought prior to new legislation will not be affected.

Throttle control

Throttles operating independently of the pedals, enabling a bike to be ridden on power only are legal in the UK under the 1982 EAPC regulations. They are illegal under European regulations if they enable the bike to be propelled at more than 6kph (4mph) without the pedals turning forward.

Throttles operating under pedelec control, only permitting regulation of power whilst the bicycle is beeing pedaled forward are legal everywhere in Europe and the UK.


Maximum Weight 40kg or 60kg for a Tandem or Tricycle. (UK)

Cycle standards

All pedelecs must comply with existing pedal cycle standards.

Legal age

A rider must be 14 years old to ride an electric bike. (UK)


The power to the motor must be cut automatically when the brakes are applied if the bike is fitted with an independent throttle.

Accuracy of interpretation: We endeavor to ensure that our interpretation of the law is up to date and accurate. However we cannot accept liability for any information that may be inaccurate.

David Miall, FreeGo Wisper Group.

* Editor’s note: 4th November 2014 – the Department for Transport is currently consulting on changes to the current law to bring it into line with the EU. Further information here: DFT Consults on EAPCs. *
Bye Chas

Offline PLOD11

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Offline KarlG

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Re: Law relating electric bikes + 3 wheelers
« Reply #2 on: 28, February, 2015 - 10:40:17 »
Hi Plod,

the description given in your link is not complete, the underlined section is missing.

Charter I/Article 1/1/

cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an
auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous
rated power of 0,25 kW, of which the output is
progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle
reaches a speed of 25 km/h,
or sooner, if the cyclist stops

nor to the components or technical units thereof unless they
are intended to be fitted to vehicles covered by this Directive.

It does not apply to the approval of single vehicles except that
Member States granting such approvals shall accept any
type-approval of components and separate technical units
granted under this Directive instead of under the relevant
national requirement.

I've modded mine so the motor only cuts in if I peddle, but doesn't cut out at 25kmh. I'm in the middle of re-modding the system so it does cut at 25kmh, but I'm not going to be able to comply with the progressive depletion of power assistance. Just hope that the cops here are not too clued-up, but there's still a problem if he's not. If the cop is unsure he can give me a ticket to report to the TÜV (MoT) testing centre, in which case I could be in for the high jump.

The  European  Commission  is  reviewing  Directive  2002/24/EC.  In  that  framework,  the  European  Twowheel  Retailers’  Association  (ETRA)  has  submitted  a  proposal  aimed  at  improving  the  legislation  related  to  electric  cycles.  For  cycles  with  pedal  assistance  excluded  from  the  Directive,  ETRA  proposes  to  increase  the  motor  output  from  0.25  kW  to  0.50  kW.    The  current  limit  proves  to  be  insufficient  for  instance  for  electric  cycles  used  in  hilly  areas,  for  obese  people,  for  three-wheelers,  cargo  bikes,  etc.  The  proposed  increase  is  to  ensure  that  the  cycles  perform  at  the  required  level  in  all  circumstances  so  that  the  cyclist  enjoys  optimum  safety  and  comfort.  The  full  text  of  the  proposal  is  published  at  http://www.etra-
« Last Edit: 28, February, 2015 - 10:59:39 by KarlG »