Throttled By Red Tape

imagesLast week there was an announcement from the Government of changes to the EAPC regulations which affect all electric bikes, including ours. There is a very good and full explanation HERE

The main changes affect the higher rated 250 watt motor which we anticipated with the Model 15. They also removed the weight restriction on EAPC bikes which will be helpful in terms of future development.

However the change which will affect us adversely comes in from Jan 2016 and says that bikes with a twist and go throttle will need vehicle type approval. This is an expensive and bureaucratic box ticking exercise involving massive red tape and, because it involves factory audits and a Certificate of Conformity, it is an expensive process. We will take a view on whether to apply for EWVTA for the E Rider nearer the time (as it will increase the cost of the bike considerably) however the point I would like to make here is that, once again, we are the victims of unnecessary regulation that MAKES NO SENSE.

Electric bikes with twist and go throttles are much easier to control and therefore MUCH SAFER than a standard pedelec machine. So what is the logic in making them jump through this unnecessary hoop to get them on the road? The regulations also discriminate against elderly and disabled people- those who have difficulty in continuing to turn the pedals throughout their journey.

Customers need not worry as existing bikes, and those purchased before the end of this year, remain completely legal as the legislation does not apply retrospectively. Indeed the message is that there may never be a better time to buy a quality twist and go throttle electric bike.

Of course I would say that!!!!

UPDATE 

Since writing this post, the Department for Transport have updated their advice on the EAPC regulations and there is no mention of a prohibition on the use of throttles. So it seems all is well.