E-bikes have become extremely popular nowadays. The practicality and the convenience they provide for the city commute as well as the health benefits have put electric bicycles the most demanded vehicle. Moreover, with the appearance of the pandemic and the restrictions that required social distancing, many people saw the this device as a wonderful opportunity to make some significant changes in the way they used to travel to work. The health and the physical activity came first, and the e-bike was all about that – providing convenience and a much healthier option for all different age groups.
Riding an electric bike is truly a fantastic and unique experience. Generally speaking, an e-bike is a bit different from a regular bike because of the modes it has. The rider can enjoy the ride as a regular bike, by physically moving the pedals. The other great thing is the motor-assisted mode, which means that the e-bike is powered by a motor and battery while you pedalling. This is especially convenient when it comes to climbing a hill or if some rough terrain requires some physical strength.
However, riding an e-bike does require a few rules and regulations. Electric bikes are part of transportation and should be ridden in the lanes provided by bikes. Riders must wear helmets, and there are many other things that need to be followed to ensure the safety of riders and other traffic participants. In the UK, there are laws and regulations that apply to e-bikes.
Is it legal to ride an E-bike in the UK?
Most E-bikes (known also as EAPCs – electrically assisted pedal bikes) are legal for use in the UK. They are also treated as ordinary push bikes. However, there are some regulations and stipulations that must be followed such as:
- The rider of the E-bike in the UK must be over the age of 14;
- The electric bike in question must have pedals;
- The motor of the electric bicycle must not exceed 250W;
- The e-bike itself must not go faster than 15.5mph which is equal to 25km per hour.
What about E-bikes that are not EAPCs?
According to the UK government, any e-bike that does not meet the above specifications and exceeds 25 km/h (15.5 mph) is classified as a moped or motorcycle. That means that it must be registered, insured, taxed and the rider must carry a driving license. Additionally, riders are legally obligated to wear helmets when driving on public roads.
In cases when the motor of the electric bike can be activated without pedaling, then it also fails to meet the EAPC standards. For example, an electric scooter is classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEV). As such, it is illegal to use it on public highways and pavements in the UK.
Who can ride an E-bike?
Here are more details on who is allowed to ride an E-bike in the UK:
- Those who live in Scotland, England, or Wales, must be over 14 years old to ride an e-bike;
- These same countries do not require taxation, registration, or insurance of the electric bike;
- The same countries do not require a license to ride an E-bike.
- Those who live in Northern Ireland must have a moped license to ride an ebike;
- Those who live in Northern Ireland must have their E-bike registered, taxed, and insured.
So, if the bike and the E-bike riders meet this criterion, then, they fall and can be held accountable for the same rules that apply to the traditional bike. The following regulations that apply are:
- Cycling at night must be done with a working front white light and a rear red light. The bike should also have reflectors fitted to the e-bike;
- Both the brakes (front and the rear) must be working and in good condition;
- E-bikes must not be ridden under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- The e-bike must be ridden carefully and safely, taking into consideration all the other road users;
- The electric bikes should be ridden on the designated cycling path/road, followed by the regular road rules as well as traffic lights;
- No passengers are allowed on an electric bicycle unless the e-bike has been adapted for it;
- Holding onto a moving motor vehicle or trailer with your e-bike is forbidden.
Are throttles on E-bike Legal?
The "twist and go" throttle is not considered legal in the UK. It is a part that allows the bike to go more than the walking pace (4mph) without pedal assistance. In such cases, the vehicle is classified as a motorbike and must be registered with the DVLA, and be taxed and insured like the other vehicles.
Starting from January 1, 2016, the only throttles that have been legal within the UK’s EAPC legislation are the ones that assist the rider without pedaling up to a speed of 6 km/h which equals 3.7 mph. If the rider here is rolling, and not pedaling, but going over 6 km/h, the throttle cuts off. If the rider pedals at the same time, the throttle can assist up to 25 km/h or 15.5 mph.
The bikes sold before January 1, 2016, are still considered to be EAPC certified. That means that they do not require registration or taxation.
What about Honbike UK?
Honbike has always been actively expanding the global market, the company has incorporated the legality of electric bicycles into product design from the beginning of its entry into the European market. Therefore, ChainFree One is not equipped with high-power motors and throttles, while you will enjoy an easy and safe riding experience with the brand's patented shaft drive and smart drive technology. In addition, Honbike ChainFree One comes with only 57 parts and features foldable design, which is easy to carry and easy to assembly.
In general, the UK does not have strict rules when it comes to riding an e-bike. It is treated similarly to the regular bike. In those terms, getting an electric bicycle is one of the best investments that you can do for yourself. If you are looking for a high-quality electric bikes, look no further than Honbike. The brand offers quality chainless & folding e-bikes, all produced in strict accordance with the European power and speed which is in full regulation with the European requirements in this area.
Get your E-bike today, and get out on the streets of the UK! Drive safely and enjoy the ride with Honbike!