Electric bikes (electrically-assisted pedal cycles)

Electric bikes are known as ‘electrically-assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs). You need a motorcycle licence to ride any electric bike in Northern Ireland, and the bike must be registered, taxed and insured. You must wear a crash helmet when riding one.

What counts as an electric bike (EAPC)

An electric bike (EAPC) must be fitted with pedals that can be used to drive it forward.

It must display one item from each of the following:

  • the power output or manufacturer of the motor
  • the battery’s voltage or maximum speed of the bike

Its electric motor:

  • must have a maximum power output of 250 watts
  • should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5 mph

An electric bike (EAPC) can have more than two wheels (for example, a tricycle).

Licensing, tax and insurance

You need a moped licence to ride an electric bike (EAPC) in Northern Ireland.

An EAPC user:

  • must be a minimum age of 16
  • must have a driving licence with the entitlement to ride vehicles which fall under category Q (this covers two or three-wheeled mopeds with a top speed of 25kmh)  

An EAPC user who has had a full driving licence for category AM (moped) or B (car) issued to them before January 2013 is entitled to have category Q shown on their driving licence.

An EAPC user who got a provisional licence after 21 February 2011 but does not have full category AM, A or B must successfully finish compulsory basic training (CBT).

You can find out more about moped licences on the information for moped riders page.

All electric bikes used in Northern Ireland also have to be registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Further information about the DVLA registration process can be found at this link: 

You must wear a crash helmet when riding an electric bike. There is useful information on the safety helmets and protective clothing for motorcyclists page.

Electric bikes you don't have to pedal

If the electric bike can be electrically driven forward without pedalling, known as a ‘twist and go EAPC’, it must also be ‘type approved’ to make sure it’s safe to use on the road.

A 'type approved' vehicle will have a plate showing its type approval number.

Guidance on type approval for a ‘twist and go EAPC’ can be found at this link:

If you need to type approve your ‘twist and go EAPC’, you should contact the Vehicle Certification Agency.

More details on type approval in general can be found at this link:

 

 

 

 

 

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