Electric BikesNewsUK Electric Bike Law

Full Throttle ebike legal again!

At last, after a long wait and loads of jumping through hoops we can legally offer full throttle bikes again!

Anyone can apply for the Type Approval certificate by filling in an online application and paying a fee of £55.00. They must then take the bike to a designated MoT centre for testing and approval.

We will offer this service for £199.00 RRP including VAT.

Please note: There may be a wait of up to 8 weeks until we have enough bikes sold with an open throttle to make the trip to Southampton worthwhile.

For those interested in the detail, everything can be found in the 200+ page Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) Inspection Manual Amendment 5 2019. And the new category L1e category 250W LPM

The Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval Scheme applies to: Mopeds Low powered moped (L1e)

· a 2, 3 or 4 wheeled moped with pedals
· with auxiliary propulsion not exceeding 1kW
· with a maximum design speed not exceeding 25km/h (16mph)
· includes sub-category 250W LPM (see definition below)

250W LPM 250 Watt Low Powered Moped.

This is a sub-group of Low Powered Moped that meets the criteria laid down in the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Regulations 1983 (SI 1983 No. 1168) as amended by SI 2015 No. 24. The requirements are that the vehicle:

· Be fitted with pedals by means of which it is capable of being propelled.
· Be fitted with no motor other than an electric motor, which has a maximum continuous rated power, which does not exceed 250 watts and cannot propel the vehicle when it is travelling at more than 15.5 mph. (Note: the official speed is 25 km/h, MSVA will accept declarations up to and including 16 mph as per low powered mopeds).

These vehicles will be required to meet the standards applied to Low Powered Mopeds except where specified.

To find all the allowances for 250W LPM you will need to trawl through all 200 pages of the above-mentioned document.

There you will find such information as below which applies to stands

Stands January 2019 1/1 1 Application 

This examination applies to all 2 wheeled vehicles. Requirements 2b, 2c and 3b do not apply to any vehicle which is designed in such a way that it cannot be propelled by its engine when the stand is extended i.e. an inhibitor (interlock) is fitted.

Requirements 2b, 2c and 4a and 4b do not apply to a 250W LPM with a mass in running order of less than 35 kg

2. Check that the prop stand;

b) is able to swing back automatically into the retracted or travelling position when the vehicle returns to its normal (vertical) position, or

c) is able to swing back automatically into the retracted or travelling position following the first contact with the ground when the vehicle moves forward as a deliberate action of the rider

4. Where required, check an inhibitor is; Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval Manual Stands January 2019, 1/2 1
a) fitted

So……, the above rules DO NOT apply to the new 250W LPM category.

It goes on and on like this!

IN SUMMARY

The DfT have kindly informed us through the BAGB that they have

**”Updated the Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval test to include a sub-category for “Twist and go” electric bikes, which require type approval before sale but which can otherwise be used like other ‘normal’ e-bikes.

Fewer modifications will now be needed for these machines to pass the test and gain type approval. The MSVA test costs £55 per individual vehicle.

It can be then used essentially as a normal bicycle (although the
rider must be aged 14 or over). But if such a bike has a motor which
can be operated without the rider pedalling, it has since Jan 2016
required type approval before sale (in accordance with EU regulation 168/2013) and is known as a Twist & Go (T&G) EAPC.”

FOR MORE DETAIL

See

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

http://tinyurl.com/ycl3zz4l

http://tinyurl.com/y94cpfo8

** Peter Elland BAGB

All the best, David

Any bike that has a throttle and is certified by an independent testing house can be Type Approved to have a full working throttle. The bigger questions are 1. Does the supplier want all the hassle of going through the TA process. 2. Will the bike work well with a full throttle?

Normally we void the warranty if the throttle is opened or if the bike is changed from factory settings. An open throttle puts a lot mots pressure on the wiring, connections and other electronic and mechanical parts.

We charge £199.00 plus the £55.00 test fee for an open throttle. This cover the changes we need to make to the programming, keep the Warranty at 2 years and do all the running around to get the bike Type Approved, this currently involves a member of staff taking each bike from Sevenoaks Kent down to Southampton for testing.

All the best, David
Apologies if this is a stupid question but I thought once you get type approval for a bike model, any bikes you sell of that model are automatically type approved?
Trouble is this method is not Type Approval, it's SVA, Single Vehicle Approval, each one tested and separately certified and documented.

But of course if it's a model they've certified previously, that should speed up the test.

Type Approval is only available to manufacturers and is a very expensive process, costing around £10,000 a model typically. And once type approved a powered bike becomes a motor vehicle in law, no longer a pedelec with all the regulations that entails
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Ideally, I'd like the option to use the throttle without having to pedal (even if I don't really use it).
If the bike has pedal rotation sensing the motor will give as much as it can (on a given power setting) as long as the pedals are going round. No need to put any pressure on them; if you are in a low enough gear the motor can pull the bike faster than your (very slow) pedalling. And if it can't pull you up the hill that way on full power, it won't be able to do it with the throttle either.

With torque sensing you do need to put some pedal power in; but on a typical bike the motor will give you 3 parts for every one part you put in.

Even so, it can be nice just to get pulled along without rotating the pedals at all.
Ahh, I assumed the certificate in the screenshot above was a type approval and not SVA.

So just to make things clear, if you get a type approval, it essentially registers the vehicle as a motorbike subjecting it to tax, registration and insurance requirements but if you do a single vehicle approval, it allows you to continue as if it were a regular pedelec but makes using a full twist and go throttle (without pedalling) legal?
That's it exactly, it's because the type approval regulations are motor vehicle law, with a specific exemption for compliant pedelecs.

This SVA arrangement to allow throttles is unique to Great Britain, the DfT allowing it here to meet this uniquely British demand. It doesn't seem to worry the continentals, probably because they never had them in the first instance.
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And just to clarify, even if you convert your regular bike to electric with a full throttle, you are required to obtain an SVA prior to it being road legal?
Yes, because the 6th April 2015 amendments to the 1983 EAPC regulations made fully acting throttles on pedelecs illegal to use unless the machine was type approved to L1e-A. This SVA permission by the DfT in lieu of type approval satisfies that requirement sufficiently.
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Yes, because the 6th April 2015 amendments to the 1983 EAPC regulations made fully acting throttles on pedelecs illegal to use unless the machine was type approved to L1e-A. This SVA permission by the DfT in lieu of type approval satisfies that requirement sufficiently.
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I'm pretty sure I have seen exactly the opposite statement from Woosh, based on grandfather rights.
Easiest option is to have a throttle that is activated by pedal first, as little as one crank rotation needed to jolly away with the throttle. Have the bike in low gear to to start with.
I'm pretty sure I have seen exactly the opposite statement from Woosh, based on grandfather rights.
Those rights only apply to machines created before 1st January 2016. Following that type approval/SVA is needed as I've posted.

This is made clear in the 6th April 2015 amendments to the 1983 EAPC regulations.
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Those rights only apply to machines created before 1st January 2016. Following that type approval/SVA is needed as I've posted.

This is made clear in the 6th April 2015 amendments to the 1983 EAPC regulations.
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Thanks. Just confirming ... The 'creation' is the creation of the original unpowered bike, and the date of conversion to electric is not relevant?
Whether or not a bike can be powered by throttle alone seems pretty irrelevant (in common sense, not in law which is completely different) as long as there is an appropriate speed restriction for unregistered ones. 15.5 mph seems a sensible speed restriction to me; but maybe that is just because it suits our way of riding.
Thanks. Just confirming ... The 'creation' is the creation of the original unpowered bike, and the date of conversion to electric is not relevant?
The creation is when the motor is added, making it into a pedelec. If that is after 31st December 2015, it needs an SVA to have a throttle since it has no grandfather rights before that date as a pedelec.
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And just to clarify, even if you convert your regular bike to electric with a full throttle, you are required to obtain an SVA prior to it being road legal?
Yes.
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When I lived in Belgium from 97 to 02 there were lots of bikes with petrol motors, I even bought one for my wife who wasn't a strong cyclist. These bikes did in fact have a throttle and people did not seem to pedal much, if at all. So I would have thought a throttle on an electric bike would have been popular, but apparently not.
These were very popular in the UK in the 1950s, reaching over one million on the roads. Since they needed a motor cycle licence, registration, road tax, insurance etc., the arrival of Vespa and Lambretta scooters in the mid 1950s killed them off.
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The creation is when the motor is added, making it into a pedelec. If that is after 31st December 2015, it needs an SVA to have a throttle since it has no grandfather rights before that date as a pedelec.
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Thank you very much, that makes a lot of sense and is the clearest statement on the matter I have seen.
In which case if your pre 2016 ebike had an issue and the motor needed replacing, it wouldn't need a new sva but if you moved the kit from your 2016 ebike to a brand new bike therefore converting it, it would need an SVA as that is when it was made into a pedelec.

It can therefore be inferred that if either the bike or the motor were manufactured post 2016 in a conversion scenario, it would need an SVA.
Indeed. This brings up the proposition that one can completely renew an e-bike by replacing parts as repairs over time, eventually even the frame if and when it breaks!

Trigger's broom, if you remember "Only Fools and Horses".
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let's first confirm that we are talking about the twist and go throttle here.
if one applies for an SVA for a factory built bike because of the addition of the twist and go throttle, granting is automatic after paying the £55 fees*, as long as the bike has not been further altered and a certificate of conformity is shown to the examiner.

One could argue that the examiner grants the SVA certificate purely on the basis of CoC.

Let's also imagine for a moment that another person added the same throttle to the same factory built without applying for the SVA and subsequently had an accident.

What makes the second bike less legal than the first one?
The SVA certificate?

*Low power moped (a moped with pedals, with auxiliary propulsion not exceeding 1kW and a maximum design speed not exceeding 25 km/h(16mph)
Well done to Wisper for keeping on top of the regulatory changes.

But it's worth pointing out that throttles - for many users - are not the benefit they think they are going to be.

Legal ebikes are not powerful enough to work very well on a throttle, and it's wearing - and deathly boring - sitting on a bike holding one open.

Pedalling helps control and balance and is not a hardship for most riders.
I take issue with the comment 'it's wearing - and deathly boring - sitting on a bike holding one open' since with full throttles at least, it is easy to just very gently pull the throttle sideways with thumb round the fixed part. This holds it in any position you want without that 'wearing bit'. And why this near universal belief that bikes with throttles are not peddled!! I never stop peddling when using my throttle on hills and against headwinds.
No, this is a measure the DfT are allowing for mainland UK pedelecs that meet the necessary standards, without that additional bureaucracy.

Such a throttle equipped bike cannot be legally taken into the mainland EU or Northern Ireland as a pedelec.
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Just as well I have added a proper EU legal MTB to my collection then since I am off to mainland Europe with it in July!!
I think most 36v 250w motors would struggle to pull people up any steep hills on throttle alone.
Depends on the motor, controller amperage and battery capability get them right and no problems.
I've got my 250w 36v bafang set to 20 amps but it would only pull me up a hill slowly in a low gear.
Is that in PAS 5 ?
Also motor winding will dictate how well it will pull.
If one uses a pre-2016 bike having provision for wide open throttle and permissable prior to the 2016 ‘grandfather’ clause how could that use be classed as illegal.......IT CAN’T.

Jim
I take your point Bag, maybe my e-bike a Batribike Quartz is unique as it came to me complete with paperwork giving its date of manufacture as 2011..... It may well be that some manufacturers / retailers were reluctant to supply such details although I can’t think why....and which would supply the necessary ‘loophole’ available to ‘distort the truth’ or plainly to tell LIES!

For one to do that one needs a bloody good memory or to be used to deception, gladly I don’t match either case, life is complicated enough.

Jim
Therefore what is the difference between one of these EBikes and a normal moped which would easily cost much less 2nd hand? Surely the only difference is that one is noisy and one is quiet!!!!
What a faff!
Most seeking this option do pedal but want to be able to rest occasionally, sometimes through some disability or lack of endurance due to age. It's also handy with hub motors if one's chain breaks!

And note what one member above posted about just wanting the option:

"Ideally, I'd like the option to use the throttle without having to pedal (even if I don't really use it). "
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I think no one should feel guilty about using a twist and go throttle. It does not make your bike go any faster, it just lets you use your bike the way you like.
After all, the police are not interested in you having a throttle like they would if you fit an illegal kit or derestrict your bike.
Let's remind ourselves that all the legal kits can have throttle.
Still ...by the time you MoT it road insure and tax it, buy it............and pedal and rest if needs be (as above), I really can't see the point in electric bikes.
Mopeds are exactly the same even down to pedalling them BUT they have a range of hundreds of miles and are much faster if needed. Most importantly they are much cheaper 2nd hand too.
why do you have to MoT it and insure it? You can fill in an SVA form, pay £55 fees, no need for MoT, insurance.
The only requirement is to have a legal bike before adding a throttle.
Still ...by the time you MoT it road insure and tax it, buy it............and pedal and rest if needs be (as above), I really can't see the point in electric bikes.
Pedelecs don't have to be MOT'd, there's no VED (road tax) and no insurance necessary. That's a lot of difference from mopeds.

For most the point of electric bikes is being able to cycle or continue cycling, getting as much exercise as they need while getting help with hills and strong headwinds. Some like me have also used them to help with hauling large trailer loads:

Information link

Post crossed with Woosh's post.
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My conversion has a throttle, I rarely use it, but the option is there. Where I do use it is for hill starts, to cover that second or two before the pas kicks in. The other circumstance is for a fast get away from a busy junction, not often here 'cos I live in the country. The third is if I've stopped in the wrong gear - that's the advantage of having a hub motor.
You're making the assumption that folk only want a throttle so they don't have to peddle, this is not the case. There are those, with lung capacity issues or stamina problems etc. , who can use the throttle and not peddle.

As to legality - any bike manufactured before Jan 1st 2016 can have a full acting throttle in the UK.
There is no prohibition on throttles on kits (in the UK), this is because the legielation omits to mention them. So, any self converted bike can have a throttle. Any manufactured bike cannot be supplied with a throttle fitted but the rider can fit one themselves as this technically turns it into a self made bike.
Messy ain't it? This is what happens when politicians get involved in something they have no practical experience of.

As far as I can see the OP had to go through the type approval procedure because they are a manufacturer. I don't know what that means that the item for sale is actually classed as.
Who knows? Who gives a ****? I just want to ride my bike, in peace, with a bit of help for my ageing carcass.
:D
I'm confused now:
Posts 13 and 17 talk about MoT's?? Is this not the case, then>?
The MoT mentioned in those posts refer to the Ministry of Transport inspection centre to get the type approval, not an MOT test. Annual MOT tests only apply to motor vehicles, pedelecs are classified as bicycles.

Post 62 - I was under the impression that these (throttle EBikes, for want of a better description), are popular because you don't need to cycle??? So what are you saying?
That's just one of many reasons, the others are as we've given.
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Let's remind ourselves that all the legal kits can have throttle.
There is no prohibition on throttles on kits (in the UK), this is because the legielation omits to mention them. So, any self converted bike can have a throttle. Any manufactured bike cannot be supplied with a throttle fitted but the rider can fit one themselves as this technically turns it into a self made bike.
I've never agreed with these interpretations, this is what the DfT have published on the subject in their Information Sheet on EAPCs:

"However, under European law 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."

The last sentence makes the position clear that there is no exemption for new kits or new conversions created after 31st December 2015. They need the individual SVA as well to be used on the roads.
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Hi David, Good news and well done, perhaps they could be now be included by the government as part of the mobility allowance scheme as they are now classified as motor vehicles and the extra purchasing charge be able to be recovered by disadvantaged users under the scheme.
Good idea.
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    I agree it would be a good idea, it would be even better if the government actually got behind ebikes in general and offered subsidies to all ebike purchases!
I agree it would be a good idea, it would be even better if the government actually got behind ebikes in general and offered subsidies to all ebike purchases!
It's all down to the money.
£55 buys you the right to a throttle -
so does £110 buy the right to a throttle and 500W and £165 to a throttle, 500W and 20+mph?
Unfortunately no.

The £55 SVA throttle is only for Great Britain, but the other items are for the S class pedelecs which we can't have in Great Britain. They only exist in three EU countries and Switzerland and they can't have throttles.
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