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hi just found this post about the law regarding electric bikes and 3 wheelers and quads not sure if we are included in it .

UK Electric Bike Law


In general

The EU-directive regulating pedelecs states that pedelecs that have powered assistance to a maximum of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) using a motor of no more than 250 Watts rated output are considered bicycles. Therefore type approval is not required. pedelecs can be used legally without registration, road tax, a driving licence, insurance or the use of a crash helmet. They can be cycled on a cycle path and the rider must obey the laws appertaining to a standard pedal driven bicycle.

In most European countries there is no lower age limit so anyone can legally ride a pedelec on public roads or where the public have access. In the UK a rider must be 14 years or older. UK law does not coincide with European law in several other areas. In Europe 250W (rated) motors are permitted whereas in the UK we are currently restricted to 200W although this is a very grey area.

I understand that the Police will not be targeting people riding pedelecs that have motors of not more than 250W rated power. I also understand that no prosecutions have taken place of anyone riding a 250W motored electric bike in the UK due to the motor size.

A 250W rated motor, is a motor that will run most efficiently at 250W. Such a motor will often be able to run at a higher maximum power for short periods. The Department for Transport has announced that the UK will eventually align with European law and will also permit 250W motors. This is not likely to happen until
2016. Nearly all electric bicycles sold in the UK have 250W (Rated) motors and conform to EU regulations.

Some electric bikes are currently sold in the UK with motors that are rated at more than 250W. These bikes do not comply with either the EU or UK law appertaining to EAPCs and need type approval. They are considered motor vehicles under law. All electric bikes with motors more powerful than 250W rated are required to display
a tax disc, insurance is mandatory, the vehicle must be registered display number plates and carry an MOT certificate. Any rider of such a vehicle must hold a current driving licence and keep to the laws appertaining to mopeds. Anyone found riding an electric bike with a motor larger than 250W rated power without the correct documentation is liable to be prosecuted by the police. The rider will be open for prosecution for driving without a licence, driving without insurance, driving an unlicensed vehicle etc. If the person riding such a vehicle has a current driving licence and is prosecuted, they will receive penalty points and may even be banned from driving any motor vehicle.

The official standard for pedelecs is now in force across Europe and will eventually be mandatory in the UK too. Pedelecs complying with EN15194 are deemed to be safe and fit for purpose. All bikes that have passed the EN15195 testing will be issued with a certificate of compliance from the testing house.


To remain exempt from motor vehicle legislation, an electric bicycle must comply with the following:

Power and Speed

Maximum rated motor power 250W (200W in the UK)

Maximum speed with power assistance 25kph (15.5mph in the UK)


In most of Europe the motor can only legally work when the pedals are turning forward, in the UK this is not the case and the throttle can work independently. If the UK laws change and outlaw independent throttle control, the new law will NOT be backdated so any bikes bought prior to new legislation will not be affected.

Throttle control

Throttles operating independently of the pedals, enabling a bike to be ridden on power only are legal in the UK under the 1982 EAPC regulations. They are illegal under European regulations if they enable the bike to be propelled at more than 6kph (4mph) without the pedals turning forward.

Throttles operating under pedelec control, only permitting regulation of power whilst the bicycle is beeing pedaled forward are legal everywhere in Europe and the UK.


Maximum Weight 40kg or 60kg for a Tandem or Tricycle. (UK)

Cycle standards

All pedelecs must comply with existing pedal cycle standards.

Legal age

A rider must be 14 years old to ride an electric bike. (UK)


The power to the motor must be cut automatically when the brakes are applied if the bike is fitted with an independent throttle.

Accuracy of interpretation: We endeavor to ensure that our interpretation of the law is up to date and accurate. However we cannot accept liability for any information that may be inaccurate.

David Miall, FreeGo Wisper Group.

* Editor’s note: 4th November 2014 – the Department for Transport is currently consulting on changes to the current law to bring it into line with the EU. Further information here: DFT Consults on EAPCs. *
Bye Chas
posted on: 23/02/2015 15:28:24

Area51 posted:

Very helpful Chas
posted on: 23/02/2015 17:58:14


Hi not sure as there is to much for me to digest will read it all later when I have time
Bye Chas
posted on: 23/02/2015 18:04:32

Area51 posted:

Ok thanks Chas
posted on: 23/02/2015 18:09:51

jockywilson11 posted:

The C5 has the 250w rated motor as at the time of Production that was the legal maximum for a Tricycle. There were no Pedelec laws back then, but the C5 was built to comply with the 1983 regulations. A standard powered 12V C5 is therfore still road legal.

If you up the voltage to 24V (Or More) you are strictly speaking breaking the law if you take it on a public road as your top speed is over 15mph, and you are effectively doubling the power rating of the motor. It then breaks the Electric Assisted Pedal Cycle rules (EAPC). Strictly speaking it becomes a motor vehicle and will need type approval to be on the road, and will need tax, mot, and insurance

If you have a 24V machine tread carefully using it on the road!

My 12V beast is lucky if it does 14mph with me on it, so I'm not doing any mods to the motor or speed.
posted on: 24/02/2015 12:45:12

Dan posted:

I've never had a problem with the C5 in a bike lane or on the road. The police have stopped me twice and they are happy with it
posted on: 24/02/2015 13:44:20

jockywilson11 posted:

Probably more curious about it than anything else :-)
posted on: 24/02/2015 13:55:35

Area51 posted:

Keep the c5 road legal people
posted on: 24/02/2015 17:58:11

mr-c5 posted:

Presumably you can make your c5 switchable between 12v and 24v and only use 24v off the public highway. If someone under 14 rides one what happens?!?! Can a 7 year old be prosecuted!?!? Would it be illegal for someone under 14 to pedal one only I wonder!?!?
posted on: 25/02/2015 00:16:51

Karl posted:

Can a 7 year old be prosecuted!?!? Would it be illegal for someone under 14 to pedal one only I wonder!?!?
If no battery is fitted then there's no problem, it's just a trike. If a battery is fitted and the cop says he was driving it, you stand no chance.

I don't know about prosecution, but for what I've seen on TV it appears they can (Juvenile Court). Here in Germany, up to the age of 14, the parents would be held responsible.
posted on: 25/02/2015 13:41:30

Andyc5 posted:

I have been using my 24v for the last few weeks here in Holland. The police have seen me but I always pedal when I see them.
Fingers crossed.
posted on: 26/04/2015 14:23:42

Karl posted:

Hi Andy,

I'm doing the same here in Germany, that is with 12v. But, I'm finding it hard to press the button with my fingers crossed.

I'm looking into converting the C5 to pedelec, and a way to use the C5 CB and pod configuration in both 12 & 24v switchable modes.

Have you removed the CB and pod?
posted on: 26/04/2015 18:45:48

Andyc5 posted:

Hi Karl
Yes I have the pod and old control box removed. I am using a Porter 10 controller with a twist grip throttle.
And the wiring is all self made.
Currently using it for work, nearly a 40km a day.
So far so good.
posted on: 29/04/2015 15:17:39