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UK Law Tried & Tested

Had a run-in with the law? Hear of some news regarding ebike legislation? Being sued by the oil companies for not using enough fossil fuels? Here's the place to talk about it.

UK Law Tried & Tested

Postby Waylander » Wed May 22, 2013 1:07 pm

Hi everyone, I'm creating this post as to establish the position of the law in the UK in regards to E-Bikes on U.K roads, simply put I have been pulled over three times in Manchester by the police and have been politely sent on my way each time.

At the minute the law is somewhat up in the air in regards to E-Bikes, I say this because I ride a Gio E-Bike with no pedals and though technically I am breaking the law as I do not meet requirement one of EAPC requirements 'the bike must have pedals that can be used to propel it I still ride my Gio as I have spoken to multiple sets of officers and have satisfied their concerns in regards to safety.

For example when I advised the officers the Gio meets all the EAPC criteria except it does not have pedals on it, the officers were satisfied I had put their concerns to rest as I simply explained the pedals got in the way a lot and the lack of them does not effect the E-Bike's top speed or performance in any other way...what so ever.

Its a grey area in the U.K law as the original e-bike law was created a hundred years ago when E-Bike technology was limited to needing pedals and even then the ministry of transport placed E-Bikes in to the EAPC section of law, rather than giving them a section of law of their own. The reason why this really matters is when you consider it there is no reasonable obligation for pedals, by putting both eapcs and ebikes in the same category of law they have insisted and I would say un-reasonably so, that I am obliged at some stage to pedal.

Where I would ask why would I want to pedal when I just want to use it as a clean form of transportation and not a form of exercise at all. This limits disabled people and puts people off buying a clean form of transport in the first place.

I sent this letter last year 2003 to the ministry of transport and they advised at the time e-bike law is currently in review. But looking at 2014's amendments it seems the ministry of transport are not willing to consider the removal of the pedal clause and pretty much ignored the email I actually sent them:

Thank you for your further email dated 22 July.

Any EAPC with a 250W motor regardless of whether it has pedals is classified as a road vehicle. Once an EAPC that has a 200W motor (or less) has had its pedals removed and no longer complies with the EAPC regulations then it is also classified as a road vehicle (a low powered moped). This vehicle would then have to meet the requirements for road vehicles (motorcycle IVA), be registered and the rider would need to have a valid licence, insurance and wear an approved helmet.
The Department is currently reviewing the EAPC legislation including considering whether the 200W limit should be changed to 250W but the removal of pedals has not been considered.

Yours sincerely
Mr Brown
Department for Transport

So I've replied and left them with:

Mr Brown thank you for the prompt reply, perhaps the department could consider some of the following points while investigating EAPC and E-Bike related regulation while it is being reviewed:

An EAPC with pedals removed, in definition is an Electric Bicycle: as it has two wheels and is powered by Electric.

Requiring an E-Bike to have pedals considering the new LiFePo4 batteries being installed in E-Bikes these days seems a remnant of mid twentieth century technological restraints and is off putting to many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, from purchasing a clean and environmentally friendly, form of transport.
(As to say without complete clarity of the law in the regards to an E-bike like a Gio 250w not needing to display pedals: then no one will buy one).

An EAPC with pedals on at present, is not allowed to identify itself as an EAPC or an E-Bike in the license plate area, and as such waists police time when the EAPC is pulled over due to it going 15mph and not showing a plate, not to mention it looks the spitting image of a 50cc petrol, 2 stroke moped or scooter. Will Chief Constables be consulted in regards to how their constables time is wasted and how would it be best for such EAPC's and E- Bikes to identify themselves?

Is it possible to provide different power to weight ratios as to cater for younger people and more senior people, as to say: could an increase in wattage and weight allowance for those over 17? or 19? be in order while maintaining the provisions for 14-16 year olds with a lower wattage alternative?
Will the department for transport be researching the matter in person and online, in forums where E-Bike enthusiasts visit as to listen to their opinions and input?

What started out as an inconvenience with being pulled over by two police offices for 30 minutes one day, who advised everything's fine and be on your way, then having it reoccur a second and a third time; suggests to me that the law is somewhat un-clear and perhaps even un-welcome as it stands.

Considering your confirmation Mr Brown of the law as it stands I will abstain from riding my Gio 250w restricted to 200w without the pedals attached, but It would be nice to be able to do the same journeys I would be doing regardless, whether the pedals are there or not, and without having to compensate in my day for a 20 minute discussion with police officers while they make a judgement on a somewhat, vague part of the law.

If I can be of assistance to the M of T while you carry out the review of EAPC or E-Bike law, please don't hesitate to contact me.


So summing up, even though the M of T are not willing to remove the clause if you keep to all the other requirements of EAPC law and go full rebel on requirement one and ditch the pedals then the police shouldn't really have a problem with you on UK roads.

To the Ministry of Transport as you won't correspond in regards to this matter or make a serious review of the EAPC and E-Bike law then I can only say I've give up on you and your unenforceable law and not only are you wasting constables time and public resources from your slovenly attitude in reviewing this simple but important matter. I hope one day somebody sues your arse off for wasting everyone's time and not promoting green transportation.

I'm not bitter, i'm just sick of needing a million quid to lobby in this s0dding country to get a simple friggin thing like pedals removed from an otherwise reasonable law.
Last edited by Waylander on Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Don't quote me on this, but Yul Brenner in 'Westworld' was powered by 5 x 12v Lithium Ions in series
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Re: UK Law Tried & Tested

Postby Waylander » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:06 pm

Heres the link to the EAPC law: https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules

Heres a link to pedelecrs who are showing in their article how officers are viewing ebikes atm: http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/electric-bike ... -bike-law/

Admittedly it would be nice if it didn't look so much like a 50cc scooter with a missing license plate :-)
Last edited by Waylander on Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Don't quote me on this, but Yul Brenner in 'Westworld' was powered by 5 x 12v Lithium Ions in series
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Re: UK Law Tried & Tested

Postby mr-scooterboost » Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:12 am

Take all your body plastic off and call it a bicycle. It looks more bicycle like
ebiking is a form of protest
Get Weaponized at armadascooters.com
Electro Chemical Architecture Suitable for Interplanetary Missions
Lithium Artillery Systems Designed to Overcome Inhospitable Conditions
This is the Future of Electronic Warfare
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Re: UK Law Tried & Tested

Postby Waylander » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:15 pm

I'm tempted Mr Scooter but the kids...they steal a lot. I'd go in to ASDA come out and would be getting a taxi home ;)

Mr Scooter by any chance do you have any little plates we can glue on our Gio's describing the thing, perhaps something like

'48v Tandem E-Bike
250w NINGBO GIO'

It would be handy in pleasing the police when it comes to the law in the UK and imagine in other places around the world.

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 15mph
the bike (including its battery but not the rider) must not be heavier than 40 kilograms (kg) if it’s a bicycle, or 60kg if it’s a tandem or tricycle
the motor shouldn’t have a maximum power output of more than 200 watts if it’s a bicycle and 250 watts if it’s a tandem or tricycle
the bike must have a plate showing the manufacturer, the nominal voltage of the battery, and the motor’s power output
Don't quote me on this, but Yul Brenner in 'Westworld' was powered by 5 x 12v Lithium Ions in series
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Re: UK Law Tried & Tested

Postby Waylander » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:05 pm

Dear DVLA, its bin years of me harassing you do something about this pedal clause...its a good job im a good citizen or I would have sent you a poop though the post by now, incase you do ever think about the environment, or pehaps BP stops paying you off...perhaps you could take a look at this brief ode I made for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMUaq3o ... AASvnFgXhQ

thanks guys...your my heroes!
Don't quote me on this, but Yul Brenner in 'Westworld' was powered by 5 x 12v Lithium Ions in series
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Re: UK Law Tried & Tested

Postby Waylander » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:45 pm

Years later...

To: James Brown <James.Brown@dft.gsi.gov.uk>

Dear Mr Brown please forgive me for not thanking you for the generic answer you have provided, I was hoping by this point, considering the hypocrisy of enforcing pedals on to an e-bike, that your organisation would have considered and resolved this by now.

You will find the online community who own e-bikes (http://www.giobikes.org/forum/) find this UK Law clause just as silly as I do, no one can see how not having pedals on an e-bike can increases the risk of incident, I mean in effect according to the ebike law as it stands in the UK, as well as your own unconsidered answer provided, you cant even ride an e-bike legally on U.K. roads as you need pedals on it which instantly makes it an e.a.p.c.

Tbh this law and the M.O.T. is becoming a laughing stock as well as a significant hindrance to progress in reducing the carbon foot print of the U.K. as well as bringing cheap, green and SAFE transport to the poorer people of Britain.

That this law was not amended at the Millennium shows how pointless it is contacting your organisation in the modern day.

I'd say thanks for your time, but your response was pointless.

Paul James Hatton

On Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 3:15 PM, James Brown <James.Brown@dft.gsi.gov.uk> wrote:

Dear Sir

Thank you for your email dated 3 August to Gov. UK. Your correspondence has been passed to us in the Department for Transport and to International Vehicle Standards (IVS) as we have responsibility for vehicle safety.

E-bikes that do not have pedals are considered in UK law to be low powered mopeds and as such must comply with the laws for motor vehicles. They need to be registered, taxed and insured and the rider must have the appropriate license and wear an approved motor cycle helmet.

Yours sincerely
James Brown

Department for Transport
Don't quote me on this, but Yul Brenner in 'Westworld' was powered by 5 x 12v Lithium Ions in series
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