To ask Her Majesty's Government what are determines whether a vehicle is an electric bicycle or an electric motorbike for the purposes of (1) sales of such vehicles, and (2) whether they can be ridden on public roads; and what are the penalties for retailers who provide inaccurate descriptions of the legal status of the bikes they sell.
The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983, amended in 2015, set out the requirements that electric bicycles or e-cycles must satisfy if they are not to be treated as motor vehicles when used on cycle paths and public roads in Great Britain. Electric bikes which do not meet these requirements are treated as motor vehicles, and where this is the case, manufacturers must ensure that their vehicles are type approved; importers and retailers must ensure that type approval has been obtained; riders must hold a licence and wear an approved motorcycle helmet; and the vehicle must be registered, taxed, and insured.
Retailers must not sell high-powered electric bikes which are not type-approved. Those that do so can be subject to prosecution and criminal conviction in court, or can face a civil penalty issued by DVSA of up to £50,000 per offence, as set out in The Motorcycles (Type Approval) Regulations 2018.