Electric bikes (electrically-assisted pedal cycles)

Some electric bikes are known as ‘electrically-assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs). An EAPC must be fitted with pedals that can be used to drive it forward, helped by an electric motor.

What counts as an electric bike (EAPC)

An electric bike (EAPC) motor:

  • must have a maximum power output of 250 watts

and

  • must not be able to propel the bike when it's travelling more than 15.5 mph (25kph)

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

Using an electric bike (EAPC)

An electric bike (EAPC) must display both:

  • the power output and manufacturer of the motor

and

  • the battery’s voltage or maximum speed of the bike

An EAPC user must be a minimum of 14 years of age.

EAPC owners/ riders should consider the need for insurance that covers areas such as damage, theft, personal injury and liability.

Since 13 May 2020, owners of EAPCs in Northern Ireland no longer need to:

  • register, license and insure EAPCs before use on public roads, cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed   

or

  • wear a motorcycle helmet or be required to hold a valid or full driving licence

Other kinds of electric bikes 

Any electric bike that does not meet the EAPC rules is classed as a motorcycle or moped and needs to be registered and taxed.

You’ll need a driving licence to ride one and you must wear a crash helmet.

Type approval

The bike must also be type approved if either:

  • it does not meet the EAPC rules
  • it is an EAPC that can be propelled without pedalling

This should have been done by the manufacturer or importer before you bought it.

If it’s been type approved, it will have a plate showing its type approval number.

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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