UK cycling associations warn on ebike law proposal deadline

  • A proposal from the UK government to double the permissible ebike power to 500W, and remove the need for pedalling, is fast approaching a consultation deadline of the 25th of April.
  • Both the Bicycle Association and Association of Cycle Traders have brought the looming deadline to light, with both groups recommending the wider ebike industry to reject the recommendations.
  • The concern is that the upped power rules and lack of pedal effort required could change the image of ebikes, causing future increased legislation against ebikes despite these laws which, at first sight, appear laxer.

UK cycling bodies warn against more powerful ebike models

The two associations in question have given three reasons why they oppose these changes currently under consultation, the first being that they argue these changes would not significantly boost ebike demand in the country, with financial incentives and improved cycling infrastructure being a more attractive proposition. They also worry that the law change would result in people tampering with existing ebikes to boost power to 500W, or cause consumers to purchase untested ebikes online before larger brands would be able to hit the market with similar, safety-tested bikes. The two groups also urge that if these ebikes are to be introduced, they are given a separate vehicle categorisation, in order for current pedal-assist ebikes to remain largely regulation free and accessible.

Steve Garidis, Executive Director of the Bicycle Association, commented:

“These proposed changes may seem superficially appealing to some users, but everyone in the industry should realise that they fundamentally change the nature of the e-bike. And that puts at risk its status of being treated like a bicycle in law, rather than as a moped. We strongly urge everyone in the industry to respond to this consultation – and to urge e-bike end users and customers who love the freedom of using their e-bike just like a bicycle, to do so too.”

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