Are Electric Bikes Legal?

In short, yes, they are. E-bikes, as sold by Energise E-bikes, or other reputable dealers, are legally classed as bicycles – specifically Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles. Electric bikes are allowed to be used wherever bicycles are allowed.

This is the great thing about electric bikes; they go where cars are not allowed, where walking would take too long, and where conventional bikes would struggle. No licenses are required, although you do have to be above the age of 14 to ride them.

If you’re shopping for a legal electric bike, ask:
- Is the motor limited to 15.5mph?
- Does the rider need to pedal to activate the motor?
- Does the motor power output stay below 250watts?

You want the answers to these questions to be YES.

What is not legal?

E-scooters, on the other hand, are illegal except when part of an official hire scheme.

Electric bikes which have motors that operate above speeds of 15.5mph are illegal unless registered as a moped. Otherwise, e-bikes may only go above 15.5mph on pedal power alone.

For an e-bike to be legal, the motor can ONLY activate when the rider is pedalling.

Electric bikes with full speed throttles (and where you don’t need to pedal for power) are also illegal unless officially registered as a motor vehicle.

Electric bikes with a motor that exceeds 250 watts are also illegal unless officially registered as a motor vehicle.


Can I get a legal electric bike with a full-speed throttle?

Yes, if it will need to go through the process of 'type approval' to become registered as a moped. If that is something you are interested, you can look at the Wisper range of e-bikes for which this is an option, although please get in touch if this is something you'd like.