Regulations on DIY electric bikes

MikeB45

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 18, 2018
5
0
#1
What are are the regulations on DIY electric bikes (pedal assist under 15.5mph) in the UK - do you have to use approved DIY kits and if not and you can build it yourself, does it need to meet EN 15194.

Thanks

Mike
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
9,040
648
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
#2
do you have to use approved DIY kits and if not and you can build it yourself, does it need to meet EN 15194.
yes, you should use EN15194 compliant kits (250W motor, speed limited to 15.5mph).
 

MikeB45

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 18, 2018
5
0
#3
So does this mean it is not legal to do things yourself, like battery and controller?

Mike
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
6,395
207
55
West Sx RH
#4
You shouldn't, but Hmmm we do. It's human nature to push the boundaries.
Increase in controller rating and battery voltage to 48v give you more torque for inclines and quicker acceleration to 25km/h.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
8,382
175
#5
no kit you can buy is road legal as you are able to change the settings and increase the speed same as fitting a dongle tho this removes the speed limit but its the same thing at the end of the day.

so if you buy a 7kw hub motor and only run it at 250w it is not road legal same as if you bought a 150w hub motor and removed the speed limit and upped the amps and voltage.

the law states if any bike has a off road switch dongle or any way in the bikes settings to remove the 15mph limit its is not road legal.

police atm dont give a crap unless you kill someone on it so get the kit that you want the bike for and usage just dont be doing 120mph going past plod n you should be fine.
 

MikeB45

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 18, 2018
5
0
#6
In the document presto_fact_sheet_legislation_en.pdf I found this:

Most EU member states have not introduced a legal obligation to comply with EN 15194. In some member states however, such as UK and France, compliance with the standard is compulsory. Member states that do not impose compliance allow for self-certification

Does anyone know of a URL with the UK law that states this including stating what regulatory body tests that bikes meet EN 15194 which presumably could test DIY bikes (in the same way that the guy did at endless-sphere.com/forums for a 30mph bike)
 

anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
7,180
374
The European Union
#7
In the document presto_fact_sheet_legislation_en.pdf I found this:

Most EU member states have not introduced a legal obligation to comply with EN 15194. In some member states however, such as UK and France, compliance with the standard is compulsory. Member states that do not impose compliance allow for self-certification

Does anyone know of a URL with the UK law that states this including stating what regulatory body tests that bikes meet EN 15194 which presumably could test DIY bikes (in the same way that the guy did at endless-sphere.com/forums for a 30mph bike)
You don't need to have a pedelec tested. As stated above use a kit that is certified by the seller to be EN15194 compliant. Pose a sticker on the bike, I quote:

5 Marking, labelling
In addition to the requirements of EN 14764, the EPAC shall be visibly and durably marked according to EN15194 as follows:


EPAC
According to EN 15194
25 km/h
250 W

If you want to go the whole hog you can find a certificate on-line and make your own with you as constructor and including the words "self certified by the constructor"
 
Oct 25, 2006
40,744
1,081
#8
As Another Kiwi says. Testing only applies to manufactured pedelecs, there is no construction law for kit pedelecs so it's only necessary to comply with usage law, i.e. 250 watts maximum and no power assistance above 15.5 mph.

Below is the extract from UK law on labelling, two types according to the age of the pedelec. As you'll see it only applies to manufactured pedelecs, but labelling your kit bike as AK suggests above will help satisfy any inquiring police officer:

Information about the vehicle

The vehicle must be:

either

marked with the following information

the manufacturer;

the maximum speed at which the motor can propel the vehicle in m.p.h. or km/h;

the maximum continuous rated power of the motor.

(This mainly covers vehicles constructed to current European standards and leg islation).

or

fitted with a plate showing:

the manufacturer;

the nominal voltage of the battery;

the maximum continuous rated output of the motor

(This mainly covers vehicles in use prior to April 2015).
.
 

MikeB45

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 18, 2018
5
0
#9
But the fact sheet says "Member states that do not impose compliance allow for self-certification" which implies that the UK that does impose compliance does not allow for self-certification which would mean bikes produced by a seller or DIY would need to be certified by some external body.

However, I searched for "15194" in the UK EAPC (Amendment to 1983 Regulations) 2015 and also the UK EAPC Regulations 1983 and these docs do not mention EN 15194, so I am confused on the UK legal stance.

flecc - where is the UK law (which I guess you should be able to find at legislation.gov.uk) that you got your information about marking from?
 
Oct 25, 2006
40,744
1,081
#10
flecc - where is the UK law (which I guess you should be able to find at legislation.gov.uk) that you got your information about marking from?
I copied an explanatory PDF which was more detailed, but here are the rules:

https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules

As you'll see they are very simple since there is no law specifically for kit builds. Just do as that link shows and stop worrying. As said in that link, you are just riding a bicycle so you don't need to do anything else.
.
 

anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
7,180
374
The European Union
#11
But the fact sheet says "Member states that do not impose compliance allow for self-certification" which implies that the UK that does impose compliance does not allow for self-certification which would mean bikes produced by a seller or DIY would need to be certified by some external body.
It could also imply that as well as imposing compliance for manufactured pedelecs self-certification is imposed for kits...
 

MikeB45

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 18, 2018
5
0
#12
Thanks for all the replies. I only started cycling again last year, after 10 years of not cycling (or doing any exercise at all, other than an occasional walk) and after a few months of cycling twice a week I was able, on a £200 2nd hand aluminium bike to average 16mph over 20 miles which including hills of 10% where I would be doing 5mph and where I could sustain a 20mph average on the flat for several miles and sprint at 25mph over a short distance.
I am looking at jobs which are 20 miles away and thinking of cycling, but an EAPC would probably be slower as with an extra 7kg of weight I probably wouldn't be able to sustain doing more than 15mph on the flat and so my average speed would be less than 15mph.
One possibility would be to cycle as fast as I could for a short period where maybe I could reach 20mph (bearing in mind extra 7kg) and then rest, pedalling gently where the electric motor keeps me at 15mph, and then repeat process which MAY make me slightly quicker and this would effectively be "High Intensity Training" which is not a bad fitness technique.
But if I am doing 20mph on the flat (and maybe I can get to 25mph) for short periods, then what is the difference in doing 20 - 25mph all the time using electrical assistance - the answer is absolutely nothing from a safety point of view (for me and others), the only difference being I would be breaking a farcical legal rule.

So I am thinking I may make a 250w DIY bike (if I get a job I can cycle to) because I can potentially make it lighter and I have the option of exceeding the 15mph cut-out if my HIT method doesn't work out. I would not set a limit as high as 30mph as I feel vulnerable going down hill at 30mph, so I would not want to be doing 30mph for extended periods, but a limit of 20-25mph, I feel is safe and in the spirit of the law and a perfectly reasonably speed for a normal cyclist.

I like most motorist break the speed limit in a car, but not excessively and if I drive past a load of kids coming out of school where I could legally do 30mph, I will probably be doing less than 30mph, as for me driving and cycling speeds are about common sense and I don't feel guilty about exceeding the laws by a small amount and realistically as with speeding in a car, you rarely get caught as long as you not excessively over the speed limit.

Even by 6 year old daughter can cycle sprint at 12mph on the flat and do more than 15mph down hill, so hopefully the UK law will change some time soon - maybe Brexit will help !
 
Oct 25, 2006
40,744
1,081
#13
hopefully the UK law will change some time soon - maybe Brexit will help !
No chance of that Mike, the UK is far stricter than the EU. IT was EU law that forced the assist limit up twice, the original UK assist limit speed was 12 mph!

Similarly the DfT have been strongly opposed to the introduction of the bureaucracy free S class high speed pedelecs that are allowed in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. We can have them but only if registered as mopeds with all the motorcycle rules that apply.

Re: your thought of using a higher assist limit. Although your chances of being caught are small, if you are it can cost you points on your driving licence since you will be riding an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle.
.
 

anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
7,180
374
The European Union
#14
Thanks for all the replies. I only started cycling again last year, after 10 years of not cycling (or doing any exercise at all, other than an occasional walk) and after a few months of cycling twice a week I was able, on a £200 2nd hand aluminium bike to average 16mph over 20 miles which including hills of 10% where I would be doing 5mph and where I could sustain a 20mph average on the flat for several miles and sprint at 25mph over a short distance.
I am looking at jobs which are 20 miles away and thinking of cycling, but an EAPC would probably be slower as with an extra 7kg of weight I probably wouldn't be able to sustain doing more than 15mph on the flat and so my average speed would be less than 15mph.
One possibility would be to cycle as fast as I could for a short period where maybe I could reach 20mph (bearing in mind extra 7kg) and then rest, pedalling gently where the electric motor keeps me at 15mph, and then repeat process which MAY make me slightly quicker and this would effectively be "High Intensity Training" which is not a bad fitness technique.
But if I am doing 20mph on the flat (and maybe I can get to 25mph) for short periods, then what is the difference in doing 20 - 25mph all the time using electrical assistance - the answer is absolutely nothing from a safety point of view (for me and others), the only difference being I would be breaking a farcical legal rule.

So I am thinking I may make a 250w DIY bike (if I get a job I can cycle to) because I can potentially make it lighter and I have the option of exceeding the 15mph cut-out if my HIT method doesn't work out. I would not set a limit as high as 30mph as I feel vulnerable going down hill at 30mph, so I would not want to be doing 30mph for extended periods, but a limit of 20-25mph, I feel is safe and in the spirit of the law and a perfectly reasonably speed for a normal cyclist.

I like most motorist break the speed limit in a car, but not excessively and if I drive past a load of kids coming out of school where I could legally do 30mph, I will probably be doing less than 30mph, as for me driving and cycling speeds are about common sense and I don't feel guilty about exceeding the laws by a small amount and realistically as with speeding in a car, you rarely get caught as long as you not excessively over the speed limit.

Even by 6 year old daughter can cycle sprint at 12mph on the flat and do more than 15mph down hill, so hopefully the UK law will change some time soon - maybe Brexit will help !
You will find that most 250 W geared hub kits top out at around 32-33 km/h (20 ish mph). A 250 W mid drive motor with external controller can be encouraged to reach 45 km/h (28 mph). At that speed motorists don't quite understand that you are going so fast (there you are in your street clothes and all...) and will behave badly. These days I stick to the legal assist speed because I am generally well above it at all times except up steep hills.
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
6,395
207
55
West Sx RH
#15
Going down hill won't matter gravity takes over so you will easily hit over 30mph, depending on the hub kit 20/22mph is possibly @36v or a bit more @48v.
 
Jul 27, 2016
174
10
South Yorkshire; S11
#16
[QUOTE="
So I am thinking I may make a 250w DIY bike (if I get a job I can cycle to) because I can potentially make it lighter and I have the option of exceeding the 15mph cut-out if my HIT method doesn't work out. I would not set a limit as high as 30mph as I feel vulnerable going down hill at 30mph, so I would not want to be doing 30mph for extended periods, but a limit of 20-25mph, I feel is safe and in the spirit of the law and a perfectly reasonably speed for a normal cyclist.
[/QUOTE]
I regularly go well over 30mph downhill on my road-legal eMTB!
It does get scary when the person in front of you brakes hard or somebody pulls out on you. It's very easy though to exceed the assist limit on many pedelecs without breaking the law. It's also easy to average close to 15mph on fairly steep inclines too...