What is an electric bike? | E-Bike Guide

What is an electric bike?

An electric bike, or e-bike, is a regular bicycle with the addition of an electric motor. It is considered a hybrid transport as the power to move the bike comes from both the rider and the motor. The motor will help power the e-bike whilst the cyclist pedals and uses a throttle.
Electric bikes are also called ‘Pedelecs’. This is an e-bike where the power is activated by pedalling instead of by throttle. This mechanism helps differentiate the electric bicycles from mopeds and motorbikes.

The two wheeled technology is a superb ‘green’ green transport option. Yes, of course bikes are already green you’re thinking. However, the e-bikes are powered by a rechargeable batteries that can travel at up to 28mph. Therefore more commuters and travellers may consider switching their cars, motorbikes and less eco-friendly means of transport for an e-bike. There are many benefits of electric bikes, but first learn more about them below.

How fast are e-bikes?

Electrically assisted pedal cycles (EAPC) cannot legally move at more than 25 km/h or 15.5mph in the UK. Power can also not exceed 250 watts. You may find off-road bikes that can go faster than 15.5 mph by flicking a switch, but for UK law these are not compliant with EAPC regulations for on-road use. Some e-bikes can travel at 28mph.

In the UK you must be over 14 years old to ride an electric bike but you don’t need a licence, nor do you need to register it or pay vehicle tax.

Electric Bike Girl Cyclist

Types of Electric Bikes

There are many types of electric bikes, such as: hybrid ebikes, off-roade bikes, e-cargo bikes, speed pedelecs and folding ebikes.

These variations are then categorised into three types of electric bike classes:

Class 1 Electric Bike

Class 1 electric bikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph.

Class 2 Electric Bike

Class 2 e-bikes are limited to a top speed of 20mph. Most class 2 two-wheelers have electrically assisted pedaling and also a throttle.

Class 3 Speed Pedelecs

Speed Pedelec is a term for electric bikes that provide motor assistance when the rider turns the pedals, it’s an abbreviation for “pedal electric cycle”. All Class 3 e-bikes are pedelecs, meaning that you need to pedal to activate the motor, which will provide assistance up to 28mph (45km/h).

Coast to Coast Packhorse cyclists can take part in the E-Cycling Experience between 29th March 2020 and 17th October 2020.


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