Electric Bikes should not be classified differently to analog bikes - here's why

Sam Jones argues that a two-tier system adds unnecessary complications and could even discourage e-bike use

a professional businessman commutes to work on his electric battery powered ebike wearing casual business clothing and a helmet and backpack along a bike lane through the car traffic filled streets of San Diego, California, USA
(Image credit: Getty Images / Sterling Lorence Photo)

I believe the law should treat electric bikes and regular bikes no differently. The law determines where we can cycle legally, whether licensing is required, what safety equipment is required and whether regular maintenance is needed (though this is always advised). 

Of course, in sporting events or at point of purchase, where the consumer wants and needs to know what sort of bike they’re getting, there is a need to classify e-bikes differently to ‘analog’ or ‘acoustic’ bikes. But where you can cycle, whether you need a helmet, registration or insurance – for e-bikes the law should stay the same as your normal push bike.

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Sam Jones

Sam Jones has worked for nearly 10 years in cycling advocacy and communications. Formerly the Cape Wrath Fellowship custodian, he is a freelance commentator on cycling issues who works in the Surrey Hills on countryside access issues. A keen bikepacker he can be found riding what the UK would like to think is gravel but is actually mostly mud.