UK e-bike laws

UK e-bike laws

E-bikes (also known as ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ or 'EAPCs') is becoming an increasingly more common in the UK as they are green and convenient, but what are the laws surrounding them? Whereas electric scooters are actually illegal to use on public roads and paths, the same does not apply to e-bikes!

Most e-bikes, such as those made by Himo or electrically assisted pedal bikes, sold in the UK meet all legal standards and are treated just as an ordinary pedal bike. There are some additional laws in place as detailed below:

  • Speed must be limited to 15.5mph

  • The electric bike must have pedals

  • Riders must be aged at least 14 years old

  • The motor on the e-bike cannot exceed 250W

You can legally use your e-bike in the UK if you are 14 years old or more and your e-bike meets the above criteria. Your e-bike can be ridden on UK roads and designated cycling paths as long as it meets the same regulations of ordinary cycles e.g. having front and rear brakes, reflectors and it is cycled with consideration for pedestrians and other road users!

Your e-bike specifications will easily found on a sticker or plate on the e-bike itself.  This will clearly state the power output, maximum speed along with other additional information to help you ensure it is legal.

It is possible to make your e-bike more powerful, but if it exceeds 250W power and 15.5mph speed, it will only be allowed to be ridden on private land and will be illegal on public roads. Making such changes will also normally mean that any manufacturer warranty will be invalidated.

An e-bike cannot have a throttle that allows it to go over 4mph without any pedal assistance (or 'walk assist') otherwise it would be classed as a motorbike.  If this is the case, it would require the user to have motor insurance, road tax and a driving licence to ride it. The rider will also have to wear a motorcycle helmet. If an e-bike has a throttle but was manufactured before January 1st 2016, it can legally be ridden on UK roads.  Those made afterwards can only be used legally off-road or on private land.

If you are thinking of starting your e-bike journey, there are a range of benefits from making your commute easier to benefitting your health.  At Himo, our mission is to make mobility as safe and easy as possible and we offer a range of e-bikes and e-scooters to help you find your most suited electric powered mode of travel!

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