Northern Ireland Law is different to the rest of the UK
We have recently become aware that the “EAPC” (Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle) regulations which exempt electric bikes from being treated as motorbikes in most of the UK do not apply in Northern Ireland.
Definitive Information Obtained
Through our membership of the Bicycle Association (BAGB) we have now obtained definitive information on this matter from the relevant officials both at the Department for Transport in London and at the Department of Infrastructure in Belfast.
The familiar EAPC rules (including 250W, 25 km/h cut-off limits) allowing use of e-bikes without motorbike requirements DO NOT apply in Northern Ireland. Transport law is a devolved matter, and the EAPC regulations were not carried over into Northern Ireland law. So what is an electric bike in the rest of the UK is still treated as a motorbike when used in Northern Ireland.
So to use EAPC-type e-bikes legally in NI, users must register their e-bikes (with the DVLA), tax, insure, have a driving licence, and use an approved motorbike helmet. No type approval is required however.
Officials in Northern Ireland are now keenly aware of the issue (especially as promoting e-bikes is part of their recently published Cycling Strategy!) and they are right now drafting the legislation which would bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK. However, the current political impasse means that nothing can be implemented until a new Assembly is in place, and this will be several months away at least. They do say that “Sellers can advise customers that the Department is working to resolve this issue and will implement legislation to exempt EAPCs from registration and licensing requirements when the NI Assembly has reconvened.”
NI Department for Infrastructure Consultation
The Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland has issued a Consultation Document which can be viewed on their official website:- motoring-consultation-EAPC.pdf Please note that this is for info only as the consultation closed in 2016.
DfT Website Updated
The UK’s DfT have also updated the “E-bikes – the rules” web page to clarify to consumers that NI is not included in EAPC rules: https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules
For the rest of the UK, i.e. Great Britain, the rules have not changed and you can see a summary on our Electric Bikes and the Law page
Electric Bikes and the Law in the UK
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