According to a recent study, two-thirds of us would consider buying e-bikes if they were helped by a subsidy program.
Bosch’s research comes ahead of a grant proposal for e-bikes, or pedelecs as they are sometimes called, by a third party. France is planning a similar program to boost e-bike sales.
The study surveyed more than 2,000 people across the country, including non-cyclists. Of those who had purchased an e-bike before, 81% felt it was a good investment.
Commenting on the new research, Tamara Winograd from Bosch said: “It is encouraging to see the rapid development of the e-bike as a sustainable and enjoyable travel option and these results confirm what we have seen over the past year. , as more and more people discover the benefits of electric mobility.
Electric bikes, speed pedelecs and the law
E-bikes, sometimes called pedelecs, must not provide power assistance above 15.5 mph (25 km/h) and a maximum continuous power rating of up to 250 W
If your bike has pedals that propel it and a 250 watt maximum electric motor that shuts off as soon as you go over 25 km/h (15.5 mph), then in the eyes of the law it it is an EAPC (electric assistance pedal cycle) sometimes called electric bicycle or VAE
This means you can ride it on the road or on any bike path – anywhere a conventional bike can be used. It also means that you will have no trouble getting insurance. For example, ETA charges no extra for e-bike insurance and includes third-party coverage and battery theft protection as standard. Oh, and if you break down, they’ll arrange for you and your e-bike to be taken to a repair shop, train station, or your home.
Who is allowed to ride an e-bike in the UK?
You don’t need a license, vehicle tax or insurance to ride an e-bike, but you must be over 14 years old.
Electric Bike Law in Northern Ireland
To legally drive an e-bike in Northern Ireland you will need to wear an approved motorcycle helmet, display the registration mark on the rear of the bike (DVLA will send this to you once the bike is registered) have insurance. ETA bike insurance will cover this.
Remember that in Northern Ireland you cannot ride your e-bike on cycle paths.
If your e-bike has a motor over 250W or assists you when riding over 25km/h, in the eyes of the law it is a motorcycle and therefore must be registered, insured and taxed. You will also need the appropriate driver’s license and an approved helmet for the use of the motorcycle. These so called speed pedelecs have been given their own type approval in Europe so they can be ridden like bicycles under certain conditions, but no such provision exists here in the UK.
These other types of bikes (also called speed pedelecs) cannot be driven on cycle paths and must be approved by the DVLA. So while it’s easy to unclamp an e-bike to get the motor to assist you at higher speeds, it’s not very wise to do so, both for regulatory and safety reasons.
My e-bike has a throttle – is it legal?
As of January 1, 2016, the only legal throttles on new bikes are those that provide starting assistance, ie. assist the cyclist without pedaling up to a maximum speed of 3.7 mph. At this speed, the accelerator cuts out. If the rider is pedaling at the same time, the throttle can still help up to the 15.5 mph limit.
Bikes sold before January 1, 2016 may have a full-speed throttle (you don’t need to pedal at all to hit the 15.5 mph limit) but are considered legal because they were sold before the law don’t change.
Ethical electric bike insurance
The ETA cycle policy covers e-bike insurance as standard – this means that you get all the usual benefits such as protection against theft and damage, no devaluation of your bike (regardless of its age), cover at the third party and the rescue of the bicycle. On top of all that, we’ll cover your bike’s battery against theft.
With ETA cycle insurance, regardless of the age of the bike, if it is stolen, you get enough to buy a new model. Plus, every bike insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer future of transport. No wonder the Good Shopping Guide rated us as the UK’s most ethical supplier.