Because of the motor on an electric bike, there are laws in place to ensure they’re safely used on the UK’s roads and cycle paths. We’ve put together everything you need to know about electric bike laws in the UK before purchasing your first eBike.

Electric bicycle laws and regulations in the United Kingdom

Most people think of an e-bike as just a regular bike with an electric motor. Seems simple, doesn’t it? However, there are actually some very important definitions and rules that go along with it — covering everything from maximum power and speed limits to whether a driver’s license is required. If you want to ride an e-bike in the UK, you should be aware of the different laws and regulations.

In Raleigh, we are passionate about e-bike riding and we are always keen to encourage any potential e-bike rider. So we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the laws and regulations on electric bikes in the UK for you to ride.

What are the rules, laws and regulations for electric bikes in the UK?

If you want to ride an e-bike in the UK, you need to be over the age of 14. However, you do not need a permit and your e-bike does not need to be registered, taxed or insured. These rules (known as the EAPC rules) apply to England, Scotland, Wales and – from 2020 – Northern Ireland.

What is EAPC?

In short, EAPC is another word for electric bike. EAPC is an acronym for “Assisted Pedal Cycles”. All Raleigh electric bikes meet EAPC requirements. This means they are classified as normal carts rather than a motor vehicle. You can treat your e-bike like a regular bike! You can ride on bike lanes, roads, and any other places where regular bikes are allowed. So grab some e-bike accessories and get ready to hit the bike lane.

EAPC requirements

To be classified as an electric bike, a bicycle must meet certain legal and regulatory requirements. It must have pedals that can be used to propel it, and pedals must be used to provide electrical assistance. The top speed of the bike must be 25 km/h (15.5 MPH) when using an electric motor for pedal assist. Similarly, the power of the motor (maximum continuous rated power output) cannot exceed 250 watts. On the body of the e-bike itself, it must display the power output or electric motor to the manufacturer. In addition, it must display the battery voltage or the bike’s maximum speed.

What if my e-bike doesn’t meet the regulations?

If a bike does not comply with these e-bike laws (if the powerful motor power exceeds 250 watts, or if it offers a speed limit of more than 25 km/h), then it has a similar legal status as a road vehicle. Technically, it would be classified as a motor vehicle – such as an electric motorcycle or electric mopeds – that needs to be properly registered and taxed. The bikes are also known as speed electric bikes. If your bike meets these criteria, you will not be able to ride on UK cycle paths, and you will need a driving licence, crash helmet and DVLA approval.

How about an electric bike with a throttle?

As of 1 January 2016, UK e-bike law states that a top speed of 6km/h (3.7mph) can only be achieved with a throttle that provides assistance without pedaling. Essentially, this means that only throttle assist is allowed to start. Therefore, in order to classify it as an electric pedal bike, the throttle must be cut when the bike is moving (without pedaling) at more than 6 km/h. However, if the rider presses the pedal, the accelerator can provide an electric boost of up to 25 km/h. However, these restrictions mainly apply to new bikes. If you bought an e-bike with a so-called “full throttle” before 2016, EAPC law considers it legal, so you don’t have to pay taxes or register it as a motor vehicle.

Is it legal to convert my bike into an electric bike?

Cyclists who already own road, mountain, or other “regular” bikes can consider using a modification kit that allows them to ride an e-bike at higher speeds without buying a new model. Kits can help modify the motor for your bike. Many e-bike modification kits are legal, but it can be difficult to know how to ensure that any engine or parts you install comply with laws and regulations for electric power pedal cycling.

While you can actually make your own e-bike using a modification kit, it is generally not recommended to do so – buying an “off the shelf” e-bike is often faster, easier and more efficient, and you can ensure it complies with UK laws on pedal assist, maximum speed and battery power.

Are there different e-bike rules in Northern Ireland?

Under Northern Ireland’s E-bike law, e-powered bikes are classified in the same way as in Wales, Scotland and England. This means that to qualify as an electric pedal bike and comply with EAPC rules, the bike must have a maximum power output of 250 watts and cannot use an electric motor to propel itself at a maximum speed of more than 25 km/h. Hours (15.1 MPH). Although different laws have existed in the past, as of May 2020, e-bike owners in Northern Ireland no longer need a licence, registration and insurance to ride on cycle lanes, public roads and other places where bicycles are permitted.

Post time: Aug-19-2022