Legal compliance for electric assistance

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
E bike fan
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Joined: 31 Aug 2017, 8:54pm

Legal compliance for electric assistance

Postby E bike fan » 31 Aug 2017, 9:02pm

Can anyone clarify the position re new electric bike please. Assuming it meets criteria for max assist speed, only when pedalling, 250 watt motor and brake switches, does it have to be en 15194 certified?
I ask because if not how can conversion kits to ordinary bikes be legal.
It seems en 15194 is absent from many otherwise compliant bikes, but I would like to know where I stand legally. Thanks.

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gaz
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Re: E bikes

Postby gaz » 1 Sep 2017, 9:29am

Welcome to the forum.

Whilst this area of the forum is relatively new e-bikes have cropped up in previous discussions which I've followed. E-bikes are not my specialist chosen subject. Hopefully the following will help.

Standards, some are required at point of sale, some are required at point of use, some are voluntary.

In the UK, at point of sale compliance with General Product Safety Regualtions (2005) is required. Since their revision in 2010 The Pedal Bicycle Safety Regulations 1983 no longer require conformance to a specific standard, just GPSR.

Current EAPC regulations are covered here.

Bikes adapted by conversion kits would have to comply with the above or have individual "type approval". This is particularly relevant to "Twist and go" machines since January 2016. More here.
It's got nothing to do with vorsprung durch technic you know ...

E bike fan
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Re: E bikes

Postby E bike fan » 1 Sep 2017, 9:52am

Hi to the forum and thanks for the info.
If I could quickly relate my position.
I purchased a folding e bike from tesco about 4 years ago and have used it constantly since. Cannot fault it. Supplied with en 19154 confirmation label on chassis..
It will I'm sure be Chinese in origin - (most things are!)
So pleased I bought a chinese quasi mountain bike, which I thought would be road legal. 250 watt motor, brake trips, pedal to engage, good lights , horn and 15 mph cut out., largely because my main complaint is the poor road surfaces particularly in the gutter where we ride, and suspension seems very helpful in this respect.
I know the reputation, but with 2 discs, and a very high level of finish I was pleased.
BUT it also has twist and go, which if permitted I could easily remove.
So where am I ? If it's still a bicycle, which I think it is, then type approval seems not to apply. If sold and not legal, is there any way I can make it so?
Since after purchase a bicicle can be modified at home as the owner sees fit.
Any help much appreciated, as I will not ride illegally. Thanks , Robert.

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gaz
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Re: E bikes

Postby gaz » 1 Sep 2017, 1:12pm

The tightening of the "Twist and Go" regulations only applies to e-bikes first used after 1 January 2016, it is not retrospective.

Everything you have written suggests your e-bike was legal for road use* when sold and continues to be legal.

*In England, Scotland and Wales by a rider aged 14 years or over. Additional lighting regulations apply if used at night.

Edit: I missed that you are talking about two different bikes. The first is fine, I don't know how recently you bought the second.
Last edited by gaz on 1 Sep 2017, 2:50pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's got nothing to do with vorsprung durch technic you know ...

Ruadh495
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Re: E bikes

Postby Ruadh495 » 1 Sep 2017, 1:29pm

Hi Robert

Sounds like your bike is not strictly legal. It meets EAPC regulations which is all that is required to be treated as a bicycle under the Road Traffic Act; but under EU law it should have been "type approved" as it has "twist and go".

The DfT have stated that this does not apply to conversions of existing pedal cycles, since these would have to undergo Single Vehicle Approval and there is no SVA group to approve them into. It does apply to manufactured E-bikes and so would cover Chinese market bikes being sold into the UK, which I suspect is the case here.

All that is required to make it legal is to disconnect the "throttle". Then, as power is cut off when the rider stops pedaling, it will be type approval exempt. You did mention "pedal to activate". If this means the "throttle" only provides power when the pedals are being turned it is legal anyway. There is no problem with a full range "throttle" so long as it can not be used without pedaling.

As Gaz mentioned, "throttles" were legal before 2016 and bikes already in use by Jan '16 remain legal. I think this applies to your old bike, not the new one though.

E bike fan
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Re: E bikes

Postby E bike fan » 1 Sep 2017, 7:15pm

Thank you all for you help. Good to hear that without throttle it appears legal, so I shall remove it forthwith! Sorry I didn't really make it clear 2 bikes were mentioned, one from 4 yrs ago (without twist grip as new) and not a problem, and my recent purchase which was supplied with twist grip and the subject of my investigations.
Thanks again, Robert.

E bike fan
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Re: Legal compliance for electric assistance

Postby E bike fan » 4 Sep 2017, 8:46am

Following testing, with the system switched on, it appears that without a throttle, pedal assist operates continuously unless pedalling stops or brakes applied , and up to c 15 mph.
So no in between levels available.
How then to make the throttle operation subject to pedal operation? Any help much appreciated. Might be daunting/impossible if controller programming required! Signal wire from throttle enabled by crank sensor motion might be favourite.
Perhaps removing throttle and immediately retro fitting it would suffice. Seems odd that such a loophole exists for home conversions.

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yakdiver
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Re: Legal compliance for electric assistance

Postby yakdiver » 4 Sep 2017, 9:26am

As Gaz mentioned, "throttles" were legal before 2016 and bikes already in use by Jan '16 remain legal. I think this applies to your old bike, not the new one though.

Unless there is a “date stamped” on said conversion parts and it's on a pre 2016 bike who's to know unless you tell plod
Alias Numbnuts

E bike fan
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Re: Legal compliance for electric assistance

Postby E bike fan » 4 Sep 2017, 10:28am

Well thanks - no dates anywhere as far as I can see. Perhaps plod's got better things to do!
E bikes are the way for me, need a bit of help pedalling - a few health issues at present .
Thanks for help.Robert.