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Tag: electric bike regulations uk

eBikes in the city: Improve your commute

For some people, the worst part of the daily grind is the commute to and from work. Crammed into a sweaty tube carriage, they have to endure others sneezing in their face before being cattle-herded down crammed platforms – and they have to pay through the nose for the pleasure. Others, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoy their commutes. We might be biased, but these people most likely have a commuter eBike. Here’s why hopping on eBikes will turn your commute from the worst to the best part of your day. 

 

 

Improved Health 

It’s no secret that more exercise leads to better health, both physically and mentally. Cycling to work provides a low-impact form of aerobic exercise that improves cardiovascular health and can even reduce the risk of developing cancer. eBikes, in particular, offer a more accessible way to exercise – if you suffer from joint pain, for instance, the electric motor will give you a helping hand as well as ensure you don’t need to shower and change clothes once in the office. 

In terms of mental health, a study by the University of East Anglia has shown that cycling has significant benefits – in addition to having improved concentration, cyclists felt less under pressure than when they were driving a car to work.

 

 

Cost 

eBikes are generally more expensive than regular push bikes, owing to all the benefits brought by battery-powered assistance, but they still represent an economical alternative to other forms of transport. According to a report produced by TotalJobs, the average monthly amount spent on commuting within London comes to roughly £120 per month (as calculated by the average distance travelled, and average cost per mile). The cost of an eBike, such as FuroSystems’ eTura, is approximately £1449. When spread out over 12 months this is equivalent to tube prices – after just one year though, the eBike starts paying for itself! 

 

 

Time spent commuting 

Could riding a bike to work actually be faster than getting the tube? According to some research done by the London Cyclist, yes it could. On certain routes, pedalling through the streets is more efficient than shouldering your way onto the tube. A bike trip from Covent Garden to London Bridge, for example, took around 40% less time than it did on the underground. Furthermore, the time benefits of cycling are probably even more than the stats suggest as train times didn’t account for entering and exiting the stations. eBikes have also been shown to be on average 21% faster than push bikes. Had a hard day at work? Jump on an eBike and you’ll be back home before you know it! 

 

 

 

 

Environmental Impact 

Riding an eBike to work doesn’t just benefit your health and wallet, but also the environment. Among the numerous environmental benefits of eBikes is the fact that they emit far lower carbon emissions than other forms of transport. A report conducted by the European Cyclists’ Federation found that eBikes account for an equivalent of 22g of CO2 per person/km – significantly lower than public buses at 101g, and cars at 271g. It’s even lower than emissions from London Underground trains, which are 55g per person/km.

 

The daily commute into and around the city can be stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. Swapping the tube, bus, or car for an eBike – such as Furosystems’ eTura or Furo X – will save you money, improve your health, and make your commute much more enjoyable. 

 

FuroSystems design and produce electric bikes and scooters with aerospace-quality materials. Whether you’re looking to buy an eBike to improve your commute or an e-Scooter for some fun, check out our range of precision-designed electric models.

UK Law: Are electric bikes legal?

Are electric bikes legal? Do you need a licence to ride one? Do they need to be insured? Do ebikes get taxed? These are all valid and very common questions that we receive. Many people want to buy an electric bike, but they’re worried about the legality of them. Unfortunately, these aren’t simple “yes” or “no” questions, but in this article, we hope to clear up any uncertainty.

Most electric bikes, such as our eTura and Furo X, are officially classed as Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) in the eyes of the government. EAPCs are legal to ride in England, Wales, and Scotland for anybody over the age of 14. Of course, being legal to use in public isn’t the same as being legal to ride without a licence or insurance – cars are legal to use on public highways for those over 17 years old, but you must have a licence, pay road tax, and be insured. In the case of EAPCs, however, you do not need a licence, to pay tax, or be insured.

You can ride electric bikes anywhere you would ride a regular pedal bike. This means they can be ridden on public highways but not pavements and must follow driving customs and road signs at all times. Riders of EAPCs must also obey the highway code and use front and rear lights when riding between sunset and sunrise. Failure to follow these rules and customs can result in serious fines.

 

 

What qualifies as an EAPC?

In order for an electric bike to qualify as an EAPC, it must meet certain criteria. Unsurprisingly, it must have pedals and the pedals must be in use for the electric motor to activate and provide assistance. If the electric motor can be activated without pedalling, for example with a throttle or switch (often called “twist & go”), then the vehicle is not an EAPC.

EAPCs must clearly display either the maximum speed of the vehicle or the battery’s voltage, and they must also display either the power output or the manufacturer of the motor. The power output of the motor cannot exceed 250 watts, and must not provide assistance when the bike is travelling at more than 25kpm (15.5mph). EAPCs may have two or more wheels, so it’s possible to have an electronically-assisted tricycle. If an electric bike does not fit these criteria, then different rules may apply to it.

 

furo x EAPC bike

 

 

Electric Bikes that are not EAPCs

An electric bike that is faster than the above specifications, i.e. it provides assistance when travelling faster than 25kph (15.5mph) then it is classed as a moped or motorcycle in the eyes on the UK government. This means it must be registered, taxed, insured, and you must have a driving licence to ride one. You’re also legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet when riding one on public roads.

If the electric bike’s motor can be activated without pedalling, it also fails to meet the EAPC standard. For instance, an electric scooter is classed as a Personal Light Electric Vehicle (PLEV) and is therefore illegal for use on public highways and pavements in the UK. PLEVs are, however, legal in many other countries in Europe and some states in America (hence their popularity in Paris, Madrid, and San Francisco).

 

 

Exceptions to the rule

There are some bikes with a “twist & go” throttle that are exceptions to this rule. Some electric bikes, including our entire range, have a throttle that is limited to speeds of 6kph (3.7mph); the reason for this throttle is to help those who struggle to begin cycling – it helps them get going. Once 6kph is reached, the throttle will cut out unless the rider starts pedalling. These vehicles are classed as EAPCs and are fully legal to ride without a licence, tax, and insurance.

The laws surrounding personal transport can be confusing and are often changed to meet new demands and cater to new transport trends. We hope that the UK follows other countries around the world and legalises the use of PLEVs so that our electric scooter – the Fuze – can be enjoyed beyond just private land. The good news is that all of our electric bikes – the eTura, the Furo X, and the Sierra – are legal to use in the UK and Europe as if they were normal pedal bikes. Our electric bikes are capable of reaching higher speeds than the legal limit for public roads and can be modified if you wish to ride on private land or in countries with more liberal restrictions.

How to change the speed limit on your Furo X

As you know, when shipped to you, your Furo X‘s top speed is electronically limited to 25kph due to EU legal requirements for the bike to be road legal. Once the FX goes over 25kph, the motor automatically cuts off. However, you might want a different speed limit if you are using your bike in an area with different restrictions (e.g. USA 32kph), or in the case where you don’t use your FX on public roads (e.g. on private property). This guide will quickly show you how to change the speed limit on the KD21C key-disp display which equips the Furo X.

 

 

 

1 – Switch on the battery and press and hold the mode button to switch on your screen.
Switch on your ebike display
2 – Once your screen is on, press and hold both the “+” and “-“ buttons to access the general settings.
Enter the general settings
3 – Press and hold the “M” and “-“ button to access the system settings
Enter the system's settings
4 – Once in the system settings, tap “M” to scroll through the different settings. The speed limit setting is marked “LS”.
Access the speed limit setting
5 – Use the “+” and “-“ to adjust the speed limit which can be seen in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Adjust the speed limit
6 – Once you have selected a new setting, press and hold “M” to save and return to the starting screen.
Save and return to the starting screenLegal notice: You must comply with your local regulations to ride your e-bike on public roads, increasing the speed limit over 25kph in the EU will make your e-bike illegal to ride on roads without a license and registration. The limit should only be increased over 25kph for off-road use or in the case where your local regulations allow it.

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