Pedelec Law - The Details

Michael Price

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2018
276
177
Well, l only use the lower assistance mode so to keep the mountain bike with its 2.8" off road tyres at those speeds takes about the same effort as riding my road bike which isn't an ebike.
2.8" inch off road tyres???

how are they on the bumps??


sorry - had to be done

I assume you mean 29inch

I also normally use the lowest assist mode - I don;t have a none assist bike but I do wonder how much more effort it would be
ALthough I do tend to go faster in Eco assists level than most other bike - except the lycra clad road bike people - so I assume the assist helps a fair bit
 

lightning

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 26, 2022
258
73
Sorry l meant the tyres are 2.8 inches wide! They are the "plus size" tyres which
seemed to be popular a couple of years ago.

The wheels are 27 1/2"
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
16,404
6,357
its down to the width and axle size to what tyre will fit the rear triangle, my tyres are 2.3 wide hansdampf on the rear and 142x 12 rear axle so boost size for mtb is the new normal size.

46344
 

Bonzo Banana

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2019
740
433
What is the legality of towing a petrol generator in a small trailer to charge a second battery that could be used to power the ebike later? Just curious. I have no plans to do so but just wondered about it. Could you effectively have a petrol powered ebike legally without registration and insurance. Where you cycle vast distances by just swapping batteries regularly. If you couldn't use it while mobile would it still be ok to stop to charge batteries before continuing, I assume so. Is there a maximum speed to use a generator while moving. I remember carnival floats would run generators to power all their lights which were running in a moving vehicle. Probably only 3mph though.
 

vidtek

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 29, 2015
412
228
73
Bournemouth BH12
Petrol generators are heavy. Then there's the cans of fuel to run it. Plus you (and others) will be breathing in all those pollutants.
Not really a practical proposition.
Maybe you could run a small dynamo from the drive train or even a small wind turbine while moving and a couple of solar panels to charge the spare battery, that might be a more practical solution.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,895
30,425
What is the legality of towing a petrol generator in a small trailer to charge a second battery that could be used to power the ebike later? Just curious. I have no plans to do so but just wondered about it. Could you effectively have a petrol powered ebike legally without registration and insurance. Where you cycle vast distances by just swapping batteries regularly. If you couldn't use it while mobile would it still be ok to stop to charge batteries before continuing, I assume so. Is there a maximum speed to use a generator while moving. I remember carnival floats would run generators to power all their lights which were running in a moving vehicle. Probably only 3mph though.
There is some obscure law forbidding manufacturing etc on the public highway so that could be breached. However, in the way you've descibed it as a range unlimited system, it would definitely be illegal since it would arguably be a petrol-electric drive, regardless of any delay in swapping the battery over. You'd definitely be using the petrol indirectly to propel the machine.

There are dispensations. For example very long ago there was one to permit readymix trucks to make concrete while driving on the road. I don't think ice cream vans ever had one though, but some of those do make the ice cream on the move.

Funfairs and circuses have a dispensation allowing towing more than one trailer, so they may have one for their mobile generators. That could suffice for carnivals.
.
 

Bonzo Banana

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2019
740
433
There is some obscure law forbidding manufacturing etc on the public highway so that could be breached. However, in the way you've descibed it as a range unlimited system, it would definitely be illegal since it would arguably be a petrol-electric drive, regardless of any delay in swapping the battery over. You'd definitely be using the petrol indirectly to propel the machine.

There are dispensations. For example very long ago there was one to permit readymix trucks to make concrete while driving on the road. I don't think ice cream vans ever had one though, but some of those do make the ice cream on the move.

Funfairs and circuses have a dispensation allowing towing more than one trailer, so they may have one for their mobile generators. That could suffice for carnivals.
.
I assume it would be legal to tow to a location and then charge the battery while stationary. I mean small petrol generators aren't too heavy and if you took it to a campsite to power devices as well as charge the ebike batteries. I was only curious about what law the police would get you on if the generator was active while riding. I have no plans to do this but it just crossed my mind that I wonder what laws would be broken.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,895
30,425
I assume it would be legal to tow to a location and then charge the battery while stationary. I mean small petrol generators aren't too heavy and if you took it to a campsite to power devices as well as charge the ebike batteries.
That is definitely legal, caravanners do similar all the time for all sorts of purposes, including charging e-bike batteries.

I was only curious about what law the police would get you on if the generator was active while riding. I have no plans to do this but it just crossed my mind that I wonder what laws would be broken.
It might well invite a stop, since the sound of an i.c. engine when an unregistered vehicle was moving would excite curiosity, but I don't know what laws might be broken. Pollution laws could be for example, since i.c vehicles are subject to pollution limits, even when stationary and the engine not driving the vehicle.

However, some flout the laws anyway and mostly get away with it. The bike below has a Panasonic crank drive motor powered from the battery rear of seat post and/or a Heinzmann front hub motor powered by the generator on the carrier, so it breaks all sorts of laws, two 250 watt motors making it a 500 watt bike for starters:

 

afzal

Pedelecer
Mar 26, 2023
43
18
Kerala, India
Hi flecc,

Resurrecting an old thread,

1983 EAPC law, only now valid combined with amendments from the 2015 law below

6th April 2015 revisions to EAPC law
Isn't the 2015 amendment to EAPC ?

IIUC the 2015 amendment you mentioned is the one for The Pedal Cycles (Construction and Use) - it doesn't mention 250W replacing 200W for two wheeled and removing the 1983 law applicability only on bicycles & tricycles.

Regards
Afzal
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,895
30,425
IIUC the 2015 amendment you mentioned is the one for The Pedal Cycles (Construction and Use) - it doesn't mention 250W replacing 200W for two wheeled and removing the 1983 law applicability only on bicycles & tricycles.

Regards
Afzal
It didn't even need to mention the 250 watts issue since that hadn't been illegal for 12 years and a ministerial order acknowledging that was issued on 13th April 2013.

It's a mess as usual Afzal. The link you give covers the 250 watt aspect but makes no mention of the plating lable requirements or spelling out the detail of the removal of weight limits, only going on to give the authorisation by Claire Perry.

The link I gave covers the labelling and other legal aspects and is also authorised by Perry.

Why they couldn't do it neatly in one document I can guess at, to avoid acknowledging why we got into this mess.
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afzal

Pedelecer
Mar 26, 2023
43
18
Kerala, India
Thanks @flecc for the details and the very informative OP

Actually the reason I looked into EAPC legalese was due to a VESC development discord discussion w.r.t legality of four wheeled pedelec. I was under the impression that EAPC is applicable only for 2 & 3 wheeled ones (IIUC, which 1983 law does state), then I was pointed out that it is not the case with a mention of https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/24/introduction/made, which states
(b)for “bicycles and tricycles”, substitute “pedal cycles with two or more wheels”
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,895
30,425
Thanks @flecc for the details and the very informative OP

Actually the reason I looked into EAPC legalese was due to a VESC development discord discussion w.r.t legality of four wheeled pedelec. I was under the impression that EAPC is applicable only for 2 & 3 wheeled ones (IIUC, which 1983 law does state), then I was pointed out that it is not the case with a mention of https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/24/introduction/made, which states
Indeed, as I said the way they've covered all the aspects of the change in separate documents is a mess. For example covering the major change of removing all weight limits by just saying "remove article 4" without any mention of weight. Unless someone is really diligent that is easily missed, so we still get people posting under the impression that the old weight limits still apply.

It all comes down to the mess they made on 10th November 2003 when they failed to implement the original change as legally instructed by the EU, by cancelling the old 1983 law and replacing it with the new. Ever since then they've tried to conceal that big mistake, even to the extent of once telling a police force they could prosecute for 250 watts. Until we intervened and stopped that.
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soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
16,404
6,357
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lightning

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 26, 2022
258
73
These electric motorcycles are a far cry from any pedelec, l've seen them around here. Typically the motor is upwards of 1600w with a top speed of 70mph or more.

They are readily available online so hardly surprising the local scallys are razzing around on them.

Also they are pretty much impossible to catch, hence them regularly being ridden on the main roads and around the local park.

And they are so easy to ride, no gears to learn or engine to start. No need to buy fuel or anything else.
And (it appears) often no need for a helmet
 

lenny

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 3, 2023
1,101
353
And (it appears) often no need for a helmet
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