E-bikes - too restrictive?

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.

How restrictive should e-bike legislation be?

Not at all - if it has 2 wheels and hasn't got an internal combustion engine, then it's a cycle
1
3%
A lot more lenient - somewhere between "More lenient" and "Not at all". Maybe allow 500W, or 25mph, for example.
2
7%
More lenient - legislation should aim for an overall result roughly in line with an unassisted cyclist (in terms of weight/speed/power), but it doesn't matter whether or not the rider is pedaling
9
30%
It's about right - legislation should aim for electric assist, but keeping the overall result roughly in line with an unassisted cyclist
15
50%
Stricter - somewhere between "It's about right" and "Strict". Maybe require a higher level of human input, or reduced power limits.
0
No votes
Strict - if it's got a motor, then it's a moped and should be licensed as such
3
10%
 
Total votes: 30

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Mick F
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby Mick F » 14 Nov 2017, 6:40am

kwackers wrote:
Mick F wrote:Airwheel?
I can't remember, but I seem to recall the word "flight" in it.
Googling images of Airwheel, it wasn't quite like that, though the principle is the same.450-3.jpgThe one I saw had the tyre more exposed and didn't look so sleek.

The point is though, why not make these things legal?
I know they can't be because the existing regs don't cover that sort of thing. If you can have a mobility scooter, why not other powered devices?

Once again: Brakes?

I doubt you'd ever get something without brakes accepted regardless of anything else.
Skateboards, roller skates.
Both are legal for use on the roads.

The issue is mechanically propelled vehicles needing type approval.
Bikes need brakes because they are classed as carriages.
Roller skates don't, because they aren't.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby kwackers » 14 Nov 2017, 7:16am

Mick F wrote:
kwackers wrote:
Mick F wrote:Airwheel?
I can't remember, but I seem to recall the word "flight" in it.
Googling images of Airwheel, it wasn't quite like that, though the principle is the same.450-3.jpgThe one I saw had the tyre more exposed and didn't look so sleek.

The point is though, why not make these things legal?
I know they can't be because the existing regs don't cover that sort of thing. If you can have a mobility scooter, why not other powered devices?

Once again: Brakes?

I doubt you'd ever get something without brakes accepted regardless of anything else.
Skateboards, roller skates.
Both are legal for use on the roads.

The issue is mechanically propelled vehicles needing type approval.
Bikes need brakes because they are classed as carriages.
Roller skates don't, because they aren't.

Well, yeah.

But it still comes down to brakes. Segways are vehicles, they can't be fitted with brakes therefore they'll never get type approval.

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Mick F
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby Mick F » 14 Nov 2017, 8:22am

Yep.
The law needs to be changed for specific vehicles, not generally across the board.

It can't be a safety issue to have brakes, as horses and horse and carts don't have them, joggers don't, roller skaters don't ............. it's only mechanically propelled vehicles and bikes, even though they may be much slower than horses, joggers, skaters .....................
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby kwackers » 14 Nov 2017, 9:19am

My basic problem is this:

I like the idea of electric vehicles. Not the Tesla's and defacto cars, more a variety of small vehicles especially ones that can be home constructed. Electric 'kits' are brilliant for this type of vehicle.

I love the idea of electric cargo bikes - in some ways they epitomise my view on electric vehicles.

But what I really hate is the red tape and restrictive legislation that strangles development of stuff like that. There are actually less restrictions on me building and operating an aircraft!

I'd love to see simple electric vehicles opened up with some extra classes of vehicles introduced but with a lot of the chaff removed.

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby meic » 14 Nov 2017, 9:29am

There are actually less restrictions on me building and operating an aircraft!

Is your aircraft claiming an exemption to the rules that disallow motors on shared use paths?
Or does it not have an engine and as such probably doesnt need any more regulations than an unassisted bike. Sounds reasonable to me.
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby kwackers » 14 Nov 2017, 9:33am

meic wrote:
There are actually less restrictions on me building and operating an aircraft!

Is your aircraft claiming an exemption to the rules that disallow motors on shared use paths?
Or does it not have an engine and as such probably doesnt need any more regulations than an unassisted bike. Sounds reasonable to me.

Sounds obtuse to me.

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Nov 2017, 9:34am

As an example of this, here's the CPS guidance on the Segway. See how many column inches it receives for something that turned out to be ephemeral (Thinks: perhaps it was the over-regulation that killed it off. :? )

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/road ... es/#segway

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby mjr » 14 Nov 2017, 11:06am

thirdcrank wrote:As an example of this, here's the CPS guidance on the Segway. See how many column inches it receives for something that turned out to be ephemeral (Thinks: perhaps it was the over-regulation that killed it off. :? )

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/road ... es/#segway

Ephemeral? Hoverboards, which are in the same category and seem like harder-to-control Segways without the handlebars, remain an occasional sight and no-one ever seems to bat an eyelid, possibly because most are skateboard size rather than looking big like Segways and their users seem pretty cautious, jumping off and picking up the board at the slightest sign of difficulty.

Anyone know if many hoverboarders have been punished?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby meic » 14 Nov 2017, 11:35am

kwackers wrote:
meic wrote:
There are actually less restrictions on me building and operating an aircraft!

Is your aircraft claiming an exemption to the rules that disallow motors on shared use paths?
Or does it not have an engine and as such probably doesnt need any more regulations than an unassisted bike. Sounds reasonable to me.

Sounds obtuse to me.


The restrictions that you are complaining about are in order to use something on the public highways, if you choose to use your aircraft in the same places it would be subject to them too and if you could use the cycle, ebike or moped in the same places as the aircraft (like a private airfield) it would be exempt from those restrictions too.

The aircraft may or may not have an engine depending on that it would be subject to rather different restrictions, just like for cycles depending on whether or not they have an engine.
Yma o Hyd

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby Mick F » 14 Nov 2017, 11:44am

kwackers wrote:But what I really hate is the red tape and restrictive legislation that strangles development of stuff like that. There are actually less restrictions on me building and operating an aircraft!

I'd love to see simple electric vehicles opened up with some extra classes of vehicles introduced but with a lot of the chaff removed.

Mick F wrote:The law needs to be changed for specific vehicles, not generally across the board.
We're in agreement here. :D
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby kwackers » 14 Nov 2017, 11:58am

meic wrote:The restrictions that you are complaining about are in order to use something on the public highways, if you choose to use your aircraft in the same places it would be subject to them too and if you could use the cycle, ebike or moped in the same places as the aircraft (like a private airfield) it would be exempt from those restrictions too.

The aircraft may or may not have an engine depending on that it would be subject to rather different restrictions, just like for cycles depending on whether or not they have an engine.

I wish I knew what your point is.

I'm talking about making it easier for people to build and test low power electric vehicles without the huge amount of fuss that accompanies them these days. We've done it before, why is it frowned on now?

Current regulations are an irrelevance, my argument is that they exist.
My aircraft point is I can build one to my own design and fly it over your house with less fuss than it would take me to get approval for a 1kw motor powered cargo bike that could take me and a decent amount of stuff around the neighbourhood at sub 30mph speeds.

(It's at this point I add I'm talking about new classes of vehicles, not a 1kw truck blasting around bike paths etc before we get into goldwing territory.)

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby meic » 14 Nov 2017, 12:22pm

I'm talking about making it easier for people to build and test low power electric vehicles without the huge amount of fuss that accompanies them these days. We've done it before, why is it frowned on now?


You can still do that, somewhere not on the public roads, like an airfield for example.

It is frowned on now because it is no longer considered acceptable to subject other road users to the risk from unreliable motor vehicles.

If the aircraft were to get more popular and fall down and kill a few folk, they too would start to feel the long arm of regulation. As it is the aircraft industry seem to stick to much higher standards than road users would, I dont know to what extent that is voluntary. There does seem on face value to be a good intrinsic incentive for them to keep their vehicles to a high standard regardless of any extrinsic legal requirements, not so true for potential makers of electric powered cargobikes.
Yma o Hyd

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby Ruadh495 » 14 Nov 2017, 12:33pm

kwackers wrote:
meic wrote:The restrictions that you are complaining about are in order to use something on the public highways, if you choose to use your aircraft in the same places it would be subject to them too and if you could use the cycle, ebike or moped in the same places as the aircraft (like a private airfield) it would be exempt from those restrictions too.

The aircraft may or may not have an engine depending on that it would be subject to rather different restrictions, just like for cycles depending on whether or not they have an engine.

I wish I knew what your point is.

I'm talking about making it easier for people to build and test low power electric vehicles without the huge amount of fuss that accompanies them these days. We've done it before, why is it frowned on now?

Current regulations are an irrelevance, my argument is that they exist.
My aircraft point is I can build one to my own design and fly it over your house with less fuss than it would take me to get approval for a 1kw motor powered cargo bike that could take me and a decent amount of stuff around the neighbourhood at sub 30mph speeds.

(It's at this point I add I'm talking about new classes of vehicles, not a 1kw truck blasting around bike paths etc before we get into goldwing territory.)


A 1Kw cargo trike shouldn't be that difficult. It's a low power motorcycle and should be SVAed, registered, insured, MOTed etc as such. Since it's got three wheels you won't need a h*lm*t. People build special motorcycles and get them through SVA all the time and I can't imagine that's more difficult than obtaining an air worthiness certificate for a home-built aircraft.

That's the same as building your own electric car or motorcycle has been for years, though the SVA requirements may be a little tighter. Easiest route to an electric moped is probably to convert an existing IC moped, that way it comes with moped rated brakes, tyres, etc.

If starting with a bicycle it's best to stick below 250W and 15.5Mph. There is very little red tape and the components can cope.

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby kwackers » 14 Nov 2017, 12:36pm

meic wrote:It is frowned on now because it is no longer considered acceptable to subject other road users to the risk from unreliable motor vehicles.

What risk?

I've seen nothing that suggests someone testing home made vehicles kill folk. There are lots on the road, just that the amount of paperwork required only makes it worthwhile for car sized / cost vehicles and not a simple box bike and motor.
meic wrote:If the aircraft were to get more popular and fall down and kill a few folk, they too would start to feel the long arm of regulation. As it is the aircraft industry seem to stick to much higher standards than road users would, I dont know to what extent that is voluntary. There does seem on face value to be a good intrinsic incentive for them to keep their vehicles to a high standard regardless of any extrinsic legal requirements, not so true for potential makers of electric powered cargobikes.

I agree. But that argument simply takes me back to my first point. What risk?

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby meic » 14 Nov 2017, 12:43pm

For on the roads: The risk posed by all motor vehicles, of which they are a part.
Why we have speed limits, insurance, MOT tests, construction and use regulations etc.

around 1700 killed and 22,000 seriously injured each year.

For in the sky: The risk seems to be well controlled, so the restrictions haven't been imposed.
Yma o Hyd