Electric bikes: the rules
In Great Britain, if you’re 14 or over you don’t need a licence to ride electric bikes that meet certain requirements, and they don’t need to be registered, taxed or insured.
Electric bikes meeting the requirements are called ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs). They can have two or more wheels (for example, bicycles or tricycles).
The requirements are:
- the bike must have pedals that can be used to propel it
- the electric motor shouldn’t be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph
- the motor shouldn’t have a maximum power output of more than 250 watts
It must also display one item from each of the following:
- the power output or manufacturer of the motor
- the battery’s voltage or maximum speed of the bike
Where you can ride an EAPC
If a bike meets the EAPC requirements it’s classed as a normal pedal bike. This means you can ride it on cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed.
Other kinds of electric bike
Any electric bike that doesn’t meet the EAPC rules needs to be registered and taxed. You’ll need a driving licence to ride one and you must wear a crash helmet.
The vehicle will also need to be ‘type approved’ to make sure it’s safe to use on the road.