A UK vehicle standards authority had announced the country’s first successful prosecution of a company for illegally supplying high-powered electric assisted pedal cycles (EPACS) not approved for road use.
The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) took action against Monsterebikes Ltd for supplying Falcon-branded EAPCs fitted with motors powered up to 8,000 watts and capable of speeds over 70mph (112.65kmh) “without having type approval in place to ensure that the design and construction is suitable for riding at such speeds”.
The case, heard in Worcester Magistrate’s Court last month, was the first of its kind in the UK and was brought under The Motorcycles (Type-Approval) Regulations 2018.
In an article in Cycling Industry News, DVSA officer Sadie Clarke says the verdict “opens the way for DVSA to progress our work in ensuring the electric bicycle market is safe and compliant for everyone”.
“This is a landmark case. High-powered electric bikes that have not had their design and construction properly approved pose a danger to their riders, other road users and pedestrians,” she says.
UK laws stipulate S-pedelecs, which are legally classed as a moped, must:
- be registered with the DVLA
- display number plates
- require a licence
- be taxed and insured
- require a motorcycle helmet
- be ridden on roads and not cycle paths
The Cycling Industry News article also quotes DVSA’s Senior Market Surveillance Investigator, Emma-Jane Morris, who says: “Manufacturers, importers and retailers of EAPCs need to be aware of the legal requirements that affect their business. Buyers also need to be aware of the law affecting them.”