What is the law around electric bicycles and are they mechanically propelled vehicles?

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Nearly all electric bicycles sold in Europe are “pedal assist” electric bicycles, also known as “pedelecs” (short for “pedal-electric”). The electric motor isn’t the means of propulsion. What it does is provide assistance to the cyclist.

More technically, under Article 1(h) of EU Directive 2002/24/EC, these bicycles are defined as “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”.

They are considered to be pedal cycles for the purposes of the law.

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