Despite the more recent EU directive and standard, the UK’s Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Regulations 1983 (SI 1983/1168) have not been rescinded and still apply. These require that the motor has an average power output limited to 200 W (250 W for tricycles and tandems), weight limited to 40 kg (60 kg for tricycles and tandems), and a maximum speed when power-assisted of 15 mph. For electric cycles meeting these requirements, the vehicle does not require registration or periodic road worthiness assessment, and operators do not require a licence or insurance. (Operators must be at least 14 years of age.) However, since 2006, when Statutory Instrument 2935 brought EU Directive 2002/24/EC into UK law, vehicles that don't meet the EU definition of an electric cycle have required type approval. This overlap of requirements has certain effects, as described below.
The following features of a EU-definition electric cycle are not legally available in the UK:
upper power outputs between 201 W and 250 W on bicycles
maximum speeds between 15.01 mph and 15.53 mph
weights above 40 kg for bicycles and 60 kg for tricycles and tandems
The following features of a UK-definition electric cycle make a vehicle subject to type approval:
the application of motor power without use of the pedals
the application of motor power without progressive reduction to zero at 15.53 mph (meaning that at the maximum UK speed of 15 mph some residual supply of power is permitted)
There are no known cases of enforcement of the requirement for type approval. This could be because compliance with type approval is declared when a vehicle is first registered for use on the road, and UK-definition electric cycles are exempt from such registration by the 1983 UK regulations.
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