A Powered Cycles category has been introduced by European Union legislation.
So called L1e-A electric bikes can have motors rated at 1000W continuous power output, four times the current limit for the EU.
These could prove useful lifting extra heavy loads and passengers.
The disadvantage is that, legally speaking, they loose their status as unregulated, bureaucracy-free bikes and the rider needs to be licensed and the machine registered and insured, but unlike riders of motorcycles and mopeds, there’s no requirement to wear a helmet and the e-bikes can be used on a cycle path.
Powered Cycles can be operated by the throttle alone – the pedals don’t have to be turning.
Also in European category L1e (L1e-B in fact) are so-called speed pedelecs, capable of top assisted speeds of 45kmh and with motor ratings of up to 4kW, some sixteen times the power output of humble pedelecs.
Again, these power and speed advantages come with regulatory burdens.In some European countries such as the UK they remain classed as mopeds and as such must comply with similar rules, meaning a driving licence, registration (including a very large registration plate!), tax, insurance, and a motorbike helmet and no riding on bike paths. No wonder they are struggling to take off there.
Thanks to Pete at Ebike Report… a great source of global e-bike facts and news.