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Are 250W electric bikes legal to use on the road?

By Sam 5 years ago

This is normally the first question we get asked as a manufacturer and retailer of electric bikes. In the past this has been a difficult question to give a definitive answer for due to an obvious disparity between local UK laws and EU norms. The more recent EU regulations have allowed the use of 250W electric assisted bicycles which was quickly adopted by the industry in the UK, despite older rules technically prohibiting motors on bicycles over 200W. Despite 250W bikes being prohibited by older laws, most retailers in the UK sold 250W electric bikes without hesitation and it was generally accepted that the laws were outdated and would be bought into line quite quickly (quickly, at least in terms of parliamentary process). It may seem quite reckless for retailers and manufacturers to have sold 250W electric bikes on the speculation that the laws would change, but as of this date there is no known cases of prosecution or so much as a single fine issued to someone using a 250W electric bike in the UK.

As of the 6th April 2015, ‘The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (Amendment) Regulations 2015’ was approved by both houses of parliament in the UK. This delightful and long-awaited piece of legislation brings the UK into line with the rest of the EU, by allowing the legal use of 250W “maximum continuous rated power” the likes of which have commonly been sold to the public over the last decade.

The only departure from the EU regulations is that for riders in the UK, there is a minimum age rule of 14 years old and also the provision for ‘twist and go’ throttles. The use of throttles on 250W electric bikes is the next bone of contention and sensibly, the new legislation permits the use of throttles in 2 cases. All electric bikes purchase prior to January 2016 will be exempt from the requirement of Type Approval. All electric bikes with a ‘twist and go’ throttle sold after this time will require Type Approval which is available individually or via the manufacturer. In Dillenger’s case this will be standard across the range.

To summarise, as of the 6th of April 2015, 250W electric bikes are legal to use in the UK and do not require registration, a licence, or insurance. They can be ridden wherever a normal pedal bicycle can be used and can obey the same rules.

It’s very positive news for the industry and clears up a lot of confusion.

UK electric bike law updates (link) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/24/pdfs/uksi_20150024_en.pdf

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