E bikes regulations in Europe and elsewhere.

Given the ever-growing popularity of E bikes, this mean of transportation is under regulations. Let's see what those are, in France, Europe and in the world.

The norm for the use of electric bikes in France is the EN 15194, dating from june 2009. It states that:

-The assist must only be turned on when the cyclist is pedaling, and thus stopped when he doesn't.

-Nominal power of the motor must not exceed 250W.

-The electric assist must be turned off after the bike reaches 25 km/h

The norm also states that electrical components have to be recyclable and secure.

Conversely, if a bike with an electric assistance goes up to 45km/h, it's not considered as a bike anymore but as a moped. The owner must then register an insurance, a licence plate and must have a motorbike helmet to ride.

In the UK, the regulation is the same as in France, even though that may change once the Brexit is in effect (since the norm is European). Theoretically, in every member country of the EU, the norm is applicable, but there are some variations.

In Belgium, there are 3 categories of E bikes:

  • With a max power of 250W and a max speed of 25 km/h, without an age limit to ride.
  • A power of 1000W and a speed of 25km/h, from 16 years old and with a conformity certificate.
  • A power of 4000W and a speed of 45 km/h, which falls under the moped category (previous paragraph)

In Danemark, the government has approved bikes that can go up to 45 km/h on bike paths, the only condition being that you have to be older than 15 and you have to wear a helmet (no licence plate though)

Across the pond, in the USA, since the country is divided in federal states, each state has a different regulation for E bikes. For example, most of the speed limitations are higher than in Europe: between 33 and 48 km/h. As for max power, it's around 750W. In certain states, you have to be a certain age or even have a dedicated licence to ride an E bike.

Our friends in Québec have a max speed of 32 km/h and a nominal power of 500W. You have to be over 18 or have a licence if you're younger.

To use them safely, it's necessary to have regulation on electric bikes. Even though there are differences between countries, the goal is the same: limit the power and the speed at which the bicycle can go.

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