Electric bike law (UK)
Is an electronic sensor near the pedal that senses when the pedals are turning and allows use of the hand throttle or engages the motor when activated. When you stop pedalling the motor stops giving automatic assistance.
An e-bike has a throttle on the handlebars and when activated gives power to the motor. If the throttle is opened fully then full power is applied. If the throttle is partially opened then less power is used, (helping to conserve battery power and giving you choice as to how much assist you get). Motorisation and muscle power therefore work independently of one another, so if you don't want to pedal you don't have to (like an automatic moped). The throttle will automatically return to the off position when released.
The Law and Electric Bikes
According to EU regulations, pedelecs may have motor assistance of up to 250W & up to a maximum speed of 25km/h (UK: 200W, 15mph).
There is no requirement to wear a helmet but riders must be aged 14 years or over.
How do the United Kingdom regulations apply?
Despite attempts to harmonise rules throughout the EU, e-bike and pedelec legislation still varies from country to country within the EU. In the UK the EAPC Regulations 1983 (Statutory Instrument 1983 No 1168 ), permit both e-bikes and pedelecs - subject to a maximum motor-assisted speed of 15mph, maximum continuous power rating of 200W (250W for tandems and trikes) and maximum vehicle weight of 40kg including batteries (60kg for tandems and trikes).
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