Petition to legalizing throttle only eBikes for the disabled

mike killay

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2011
2,660
1,323
How old is a ebike anyway?
If you put a new motor and throttle on a vintage bike does it age date from when it became an ebike, or is it deemed pre 2016 anyway?
As pointed out above, unlike no MOT cases in which the prosecution have to prove the age of the vehicle and do so by date of first registration, it would be very difficult to prove the age of an unregistered ebike.
My guess is that unless you incriminated yourself by stating the age , the CPS would reject the case.
Bear in mind that people caught in possession of illegal drugs might well admit that they are cannabis etc. but the prosecution still need an analysis to prove that they are indeed illegal.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,692
21,110
It's time the law caught up with the time and tech available.
The law has never been behind, so doesn't need to catch up:

1) The low powered moped class, also known as L1e-A, permits a bicycle with up to 1000 watts rating but restricted to 15.5 mph assist speed, so much more useful for any disability. They have to be registered and rear plated, but no CBT or driving licence is necessary.

2) In a legal concession a pedelec can be taken through type approval to allow it to have an entirely legal throttle. One company, Wisper, can supply a pedelec already type approved. If one wants to use shared paths etc, this is the best option.

But nationally the police take no notice of the law on throttles, so many just ride with them anyway. Quite a few of our police forces tried out e-bikes for police use, usually with throttles which were legal then but also with 250 watts rating when that was completely illegal.

None of them arrested themselves or their colleagues.
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Laser Man

Pedelecer
Jul 1, 2018
152
97
Michelmersh SO51
This is an extract from a DfT Information Sheet about EPACS dated November 2015. -
________

Power assistance - "Twist and Go"

Because of the particular benefits for elderly and disabled users
, pedal cycles providing electrical assistance without use of the pedals - usually called "Twist and Goes" - are included in the above GB classification provided they are capable of pedal operation and comply with the above restrictions on maximum motor power and assistance cut-off speed.

However, under European law5 new "Twist and Go" vehicles will, from January 2016, have to meet a range of technical requirements before they can be used on roads. This will normally be established by "type approval" at the manufacturing stage but importers and individuals will be able to seek an individual approval for vehicles that have not been type approved.
_________

From the above it is clear that the DfT had intended to make life easy for disabled users, but was then overruled by the EU-wide laws.
We are bound to EU laws for the rest of this year, but after that it may well be worthwhile to start a petition to allow twist-and-go throttles without all the "type approval" nonsense.
(It is not "type approval" if every individual bike has to be tested as in the case of the Wispers story last year)
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
13,306
10,468
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
as I understand, Wisper has applied for and obtained a type approval certificate for some of their bikes.
If you buy one of them, you get the cast iron compliance.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,692
21,110
We are bound to EU laws for the rest of this year, but after that it may well be worthwhile to start a petition to allow twist-and-go throttles without all the "type approval" nonsense.
(It is not "type approval" if every individual bike has to be tested as in the case of the Wispers story last year)
Yes it is not type approval but Single Vehicle Approval, which the DfT accepts as the equivalent for this purpose, as does the EU.

But we do not get rid of this law at the end of the year. Like all preceding accepted EU law, it has been written into UK law by the Great Repeal Bill. Parliament will have to amend that law to get rid of it for the UK only, or amend the current EAPC regulations to allow throttles here.
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,692
21,110
as I understand, Wisper has applied for and obtained a type approval certificate for some of their bikes.
If you buy one of them, you get the cast iron compliance.
Once you've paid the extra to get each one single vehicle approved. There is no block single vehicle approval.
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
653
Surrey
My 2011 Oxygen Emate City has an unrestricted throttle, and although I am not disabled I find it very useful. So to say ebike law has not changed at all cannot be true for my bike to have been produced with a legal unrestricted throttle in the relatively recent past and for throttles to now to be not legal. Why did they do that? So whenever it changed, which has to have been reasonably recently, perhaps they could change it back.

One much cheaper route might be to find one of these older bikes with a legal throttle, buy it cheaply and enjoy.

I bought a spar Emate city for £100 from the clasified section around a year ago that works beautifully and which I have ridden for over 600 miles using its original battery.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,692
21,110
My 2011 Oxygen Emate City has an unrestricted throttle, and although I am not disabled I find it very useful. So to say ebike law has not changed at all cannot be true for my bike to have been produced with a legal unrestricted throttle in the relatively recent past and for throttles to now to be not legal.
The law changed on 6th April 2015 with the amendments to the 1983 EAPC regulations, bringing in a ban on full acting throttles from 1st January 2016. Suppliers had a permitted period to sell off existing manufactured stock.

The purpose of the change was to align with the EU regulations, ironic since we voted to leave the EU the next year.

However, the change to throttle law was not the only change, the others were welcome. They were permitting 250 watts instead of the old 200 watts which made most of our e-bikes technically illegal, plus the removal of the unnecessary nuisance pedelec weight limits that we used to have.

What we need now is the throttle ban removed now we are leaving the EU, but I'm not holding my breath.
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
9,262
3,545
56
West Sx RH
A clarification Flecc if you don't mind as you are the knowledgable one in pedelec law and might help users out.
The throttle option active only after you pedal this is allowed as it is deemed not a twist and go form a standing start.
 

Falesh

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 15, 2019
7
2
I don't feel that there is any difference using my bike with a throttle or without, the pedals work as a throttle and it goes the same speed, you can leave it in 1st gear so you aren't actually putting any effort in so you may as well be using a throttle anyway.
One of the difficulties with my disability, ME, is that it is very hard for people to understand. What seams trivial to someone without it, like turning pedals for the length of a full journey, can actually be exhausting to someone with ME. That is why my twist and go has had such a positive impact on my life, it takes a small enough amount of energy that I can actually get out on my own a few times a month.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,692
21,110
A clarification Flecc if you don't mind as you are the knowledgable one in pedelec law and might help users out.
The throttle option active only after you pedal this is allowed as it is deemed not a twist and go form a standing start.
That is not the law though Neal, that is only an interpretation of what the DfT says about twist and go, and an incorrect one at that.

This is the law in this respect:

1) Only an e-bike which is exempted from type approval by the type approval regulations exemption sub section (h) from being a motor vehicle can qualify as a legal bureaucracy free pedelec.

2) And here is subsection (h):

(h) pedal cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of less than or equal to 250 W, where the output of the motor is cut off when the cyclist stops pedalling and is otherwise progressively reduced and finally cut off before the vehicle speed reaches 25 km/h.

Note: The exemption makes no mention of "Twist and Go" and insists power must stop when pedalling is stopped. That means the moment one pedals off to get a throttle active, it must become inactive again the moment pedalling stops. In other words, a throttle that can't be used without pedal input as well. With torque sensor bikes that also means pedal effort. You can see why either is useless to Falesh.

Now I know some suppliers are interpreting this in a rather looser way, but I wouldn't argue against the lawyers on this point. The spirit of the exemption is very clear, no pedal input, no power.

Of course in the UK it's probably academic, but don't try crossing the channel with a throttle, some Spanish and Southern French police will soon put you expensively straight. That's why none of the continentally manufactured pedelecs have throttles of course.
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Ja_T

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 24, 2018
6
1
I looked at mopeds and motorbikes as I have a full motorcycle license but there is a lot of extra expense, also security issues need to be considered, with a lightweight bike you can take it into your house or flat and with a pushbike you can still use cycle paths. The price of 28mph pedelecs is ridiculous atm, mopeds are cheaper. If I thought I could safely store it outside I would have seriously considered one of these https://www.green-mopeds.com/super-soco-cux-178-p.asp
I am competent with motorcycle and cycle mechanics so the ease of maintaining a cycle is also a plus point to having an electric bike rather than a moped. I opted for a Volt metro folding bike with front and rear discs which are needed on an Ebike with a hub motor, the rims wear out far to quickly with a rim brake version meaning respoking the wheel hub each time (experienced with Byocycle chameleon).
To sum up, it's obvious to us (users of Ebikes) that the laws are outdated and need changing maybe new classifications etc, this is a fast-growing industry and many more will be appearing on our streets which will have safety implications as there will be plenty of fools no doubt trying to ruin it for us all, I guess I'm just impatient for it to happen, then again we may like them even less when they do :D.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,692
21,110
To sum up, it's obvious to us (users of Ebikes) that the laws are outdated and need changing maybe new classifications etc, this is a fast-growing industry and many more will be appearing on our streets which will have safety implications as there will be plenty of fools no doubt trying to ruin it for us all, I guess I'm just impatient for it to happen, then again we may like them even less when they do :D.
The law was recently updated, but not in the way you want, nor is it ever likely to be. That's because pedelecs have to be safe for anyone and everyone untested for safety.

If you want more you can have it now. There's pedelecs with a legal full throttle from one supplier. There's the L1e-A class of e-bike having up to 1000 watts. There's the S class high speed e-bike with up to 500 watts rating and 28 mph assist.

There you are, three choices, but each comes with a bit of extra cost and some bureaucracy for safety reasons.

And the availablity of these is why the government won't change pedelec law, because it's unnecessary.
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PeterPi

Pedelecer
Oct 1, 2019
58
34
How old is a ebike anyway?
If you put a new motor and throttle on a vintage bike does it age date from when it became an ebike, or is it deemed pre 2016 anyway?
As pointed out above, unlike no MOT cases in which the prosecution have to prove the age of the vehicle and do so by date of first registration, it would be very difficult to prove the age of an unregistered ebike.
My guess is that unless you incriminated yourself by stating the age , the CPS would reject the case.
Bear in mind that people caught in possession of illegal drugs might well admit that they are cannabis etc. but the prosecution still need an analysis to prove that they are indeed illegal.
What about an increase in power but maintaining the 15.5 MPH speed limit? If you are from Killay Mike, you know what the hills are like in the city and Gower. What is suitable for Norfolk is not suitable for south Wales. I can't climb 350 ft in just over a mile unassisted any more, so a bit more grunt would make it easier. If you are limited to 15.5 what difference does the power make? No matter if you have a 70 bhp hatch back or a 500 bhp muscle car, you still have to observe a 70 mph speed limit.

I can't see how the authorities can check the power at the wheel without a dynamometer anyhow, where as the speed is easily checked.
 
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mike killay

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2011
2,660
1,323
What about an increase in power but maintaining the 15.5 MPH speed limit? If you are from Killay Mike, you know what the hills are like in the city and Gower. What is suitable for Norfolk is not suitable for south Wales. I can't climb 350 ft in just over a mile unassisted any more, so a bit more grunt would make it easier. If you are limited to 15.5 what difference does the power make? No matter if you have a 70 bhp hatch back or a 500 bhp muscle car, you still have to observe a 70 mph speed limit.

I can't see how the authorities can check the power at the wheel without a dynamometer anyhow, where as the speed is easily checked.
I agree, the limiting factor is the battery maximum output, but now that batteries are getting more amp hours in the same space, a 500 watt motor would be ideal.
On my Tonaro crank driver, I can get up most hills including the very steep one from Mumbles pier to the apple kiosk.
However, my hub drive Woosh Gale folder, even though it only has 20 inch wheels will not go up that hill.
But Welsh hills are nothing compared with Devon.
In Wales we take the easiest meandering path whereas in Devon they go straight up regardless.
I was defeated by Sinai Hill in Lynton. It was raining at the time and when the bike stalled, the hill was that steep that the bike began to slide backwards.
 
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Jimo

Pedelecer
Nov 15, 2018
247
92
82
Fakenham, Norfolk
we discussed this subject a few times.
Basically, the law stops manufacturers (and importers) like myself to sell pedelecs that have twist and go throttle, unless it is limited to 6kph.
Lots of people don't pay attention to the details.
1. the new regulation applies only to manufacturers. If you fit a throttle after you bought your bike, the regulation does not apply to you. That's why the police are not interested in the throttle and those who convert their bikes using a kit with a throttle has nothing to fear because it does not apply to them.
2. if your throttle requires you to pedal a turn before becoming operative, then it's not a twist and go. From standstill, if you push on the throttle and the bike does not zoom off, then the regulation does not apply to your bike.

Let us know if your bike has a twist and go throttle.
My bike was produced in 2011 and is a Batribike Quartz with a t&g throttle, at moment I’ve not used it because of a possible balance problem connected with previous heart attacks - but I’ve had Jimmy re-cell it’s battery case, a very nice job done and I look after it, but I understand that it comes under the Grandfather clause because of its age....? That being the case it becomes FAR TOO VALUABLE to part with (until I’m under the ground or wherever).

Jim
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,692
21,110
My bike was produced in 2011 and is a Batribike Quartz with a t&g throttle, at moment I’ve not used it because of a possible balance problem connected with previous heart attacks - but I’ve had Jimmy re-cell it’s battery case, a very nice job done and I look after it, but I understand that it comes under the Grandfather clause because of its age....? That being the case it becomes FAR TOO VALUABLE to part with (until I’m under the ground or wherever).

Jim
True, and remember it's possible to renew every part of the bike as it wears out, even the frame!

Trigger's Broom video
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
991
554
Is a bell enough to claim grandfather rights?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,692
21,110
Is a bell enough to claim grandfather rights?
Yes, if it's the one that the dealer was compelled by law to give with the bike when he sold it to you (which hardly any of them do give of course since the law doesn't require that it be fitted onto the bike!)
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