You might have heard, that in Finland as well as in other EU countries there is a specific legislation for e-bikes that differs from, for example, the one in USA or UK. This law restricts e-bikes in terms of power, speed and way of control. In this article, we will explain the differences between e-bike classifications.
It’s obvious that 4 kW e-bike moving 50 km/h and capable of fast acceleration should not be allowed to use pedestrians pathways or even bike lanes because it has enormous kinetic energy and can injure people. There’ve been limitations not only in speed and power but also in the ways how you control power assist in your e-bike. Normally, you can divide e-bikes into pedelecs and throttle assist. In pedelecs motor works only while pedaling; meanwhile, in throttle-assist you control the amount of power by a throttle.
Important to mention that e-bikes are not only two-wheeled. Legal definitions here cover all vehicles, irrespective of their number of wheels. According to article 1 (h) of Directive 2002/24/EC (that is defining EU e-bike legislation), the Directive 2002/24/EC does not apply to “cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h, or sooner, if the cyclist stops pedalling”.
This means e-bikes with following features are classified as bicycles and don’t require any type-approval, driving license or insurance:
On January 1, 2016 there were changes to legislation regarding e-bikes that are more powerful than 250W.
Powered cycles (L1e-A):
To sum up, if you have 250W e-bike with 25 km/h speed limit and motor works only when pedaling - you should not worry about any registration, driving license or insurance. De jure, you have a bicycle. In case you want more powerful 1 kW engine and throttle control, you should get an insurance.
Here we prepared you a separate article on how to get an insurance. Make sure to check it!
To read more go to Trafi article.