“Twist and Go” electric bikes from Axcess include the Hunter, Mustang, Shetland and Exmoor. With a maximum speed of 15mph these electric bikes take all of the work out of cycling and have given many city commuters and leisure cyclists the chance to get back on two wheels. More convenient, lighter and easier to handle than a moped, these electric bicycles have found a huge market with those who need an easier way to get to work or people who just enjoy using cycle paths for a leisurely ride at the weekend.
This new legislation threatens that freedom, and is particularly unfair on older and weaker riders and those with a minor incapacity such as a knee replacement. But you can beat the government deadline if you act fast and buy your bike before the New Year.
In the New Year, a bike purchased with a Twist and Go throttle will be reclassified by the DVLA as a scooter and will need Type Approval, meaning that bikes sold from this point are expected be banned from Cycle Paths and may even need a registration plate.
[bctt tweet=”Twist and Go #ElectricBikes Purchased now won’t be breaking any rules in the new year @axcesselectric ” via=”no”]
This change in the law brings the UK in line with European Union legislation. While manufacturers such as Axcess have sought assurance that there would be a way to type approve the throttle – which is the only thing that marks Twist and Go bicycles apart from normal electric cycles – and maintain the bike’s classification as a bicycle, that appeal has so far fallen on deaf ears.
This legislation has not yet been clarified, but there’s every chance it will be passed into law and it could prove a massive headache for those who need to replace their worn out electric bike and suddenly find they need to either to forego the benefits of a Twist and Go throttle or stay off cycle paths and take their chances in traffic.
Bikes bought before 1st Jan 2016, though, will not fall victim to these nonsensical changes in the law that can only be seen as counterproductive at a time when the government claims to be supporting electric bikes and other zero emissions initiatives to help get polluting cars and motorbikes off the road.
The legislation could be a potential minefield for electric bicycles in general as Twist and Go electric bikes will essentially be classified as mopeds under the European L1e-B rules. This means a Twist and Go bike will require a basic licence, which could even entail compulsory basic training, a licence, a helmet and registration. Not only will this add to the cost of ownership, it’s a mountain of paperwork and complications that might simply scare off many owners and manufacturers.
To be classified as an electric bike (EPAC), at speeds above 4 mph., the power must cut out when you cease to pedal. You will be able to use these on Cycle paths etc. as now.
The police, too, face an unenviable task of enforcing these regulations. Their task is complicated even further by the fact that the regulations will not be retroactively enforced and ‘grandfather rights’ apply, creating a window of opportunity that means anybody wanting to buy an electric bike, and take advantage of a Twist and Go throttle, should act now.
Essentially Axcess electric bikes will have to remove the feature, which we are rightly proud of, from the New Year and we encourage anybody who is thinking of owning an electric bike at any point in the near future to make the purchase before the 1st January to get the best electric bike that money, and the law, will allow.
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