New EU rules let e-bike makers add more powerful motors to their machines

The latest ruling on e-bikes from the EU allows the sale of e-bikes with much more powerful electric motors. Under the previous legislation, e-bikes were limited to 250 watt motors and assistance had to cut out once the rider’s speed reached 25kph.

The 25kph limit stills stands, but the catchily named L1e-A classification now allows e-bikes to be powered by motors of up to 1000 watts. There’s no need for the rider to actually pedal either: power output can be regulated by a throttle.

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The rider needs to be licensed and the machine registered and insured, but unlike riders of motorcycles and mopeds, there’s no requirement to wear a helmet and the e-bikes can be used on a cycle path.

Power output on the RadWagon is controlled by a grip throttle as well as using pedal input

And the L2e category. which applies to three wheeled vehicles allows an even more powerful 4000 watt motor.

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The first company in Europe to launch e-bikes under these classifications is Rad Power Bikes, based in Utrecht. It’s specialising in more powerful e-bikes as it believes that the extra assistance, range and cargo capacity offered will make e-bikes a more viable alternative to conventional vehicles for commuters and businesses.



According to Arno Saladin, Rad Power Bikes’ European Business Director, who has previously worked in the automotive and powersports sectors: “We are excited to bring our next round of models to the European market, especially as fall and winter approach.

“The ebikes can handle changing weather conditions for riders who are getting across town, safely taking the kids to school, or going on weekend adventures.”

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Rad Power Bikes’ new RadWagon Electric Cargo Bike and RadRhino Electric Fat bike are powered by 750W hub motors and a 14Ah Samsung lithium battery pack, giving them a range of up to 75km per charge.

The Rad Wagon comes with an extra-long rear cargo deck, like that on the Kona Electric Ute e-bike, which we covered earlier this week. It can carry a payload of up to 158kg and is priced at €1,999.

RadRhino uses its more powerful motor to take you off road too

The second generation RadRhino, priced at €1,899 comes with 4 inch fat tyres for on and off road riding. It has a longer range, larger cargo capacity and is designed to be more comfortable than its predecessor.

Also in the works is a three wheeled electric cargo trike with a 1500W motor, which can carry a load of 315kg.

There’s more spec information on Rad Power Bikes’ website and the option to take a test ride at the company’s Utrecht showroom. The company sells direct to the consumer, with free shipping within the EU.