Plan to double power of e-bikes presents ‘huge safety risk’, charity says

Safety fears have been raised over Government plans to permit electric bikes to become twice as powerful.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is consulting on doubling the maximum power of the devices in Britain from 250 watts to 500 watts.

There is also a proposal to remove the requirement for e-bike motors to only provide assistance when the user is pedalling.

“The dramatically increased power would mean faster acceleration and much heavier bikes, which we’re really concerned about.

“E-cycles with no pedal requirement would also reduce the health benefits of e-cycling – in essence, they would blur the line between e-bikes and electric motorbikes.”

Under the plans, e-bike motors would still cut out once a speed of 15.5mph is reached.

But the consultation document acknowledges that increasing the maximum power would result in e-bikes that have been “tampered with” – enabling their motors to continue running – to reach higher speeds.

The proposal is aimed at increasing usage of e-bikes as part of Government efforts to promote active travel.

Ms McMonagle added: “The Government has stated that the proposed changes would make e-cycles more attractive, yet the most commonly cited reason for people not cycling is that they don’t feel safe.

“E-cycles are also prohibitively expensive for many people.

“We fully agree with the Government’s goal to get more people to enjoy the benefits of e-cycles, but believe the way to do that effectively is to invest in high-quality infrastructure and provide financial assistance for those who need it.”

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –