What are electric bikes?
Electric bikes are bikes powered by electric motors instead of the usual internal combustion engines. Power is stored in batteries, and they can generally be charged from a standard household socket. Electric bikes are better for the environment, because they don't emit any toxic gasses and they're also cheaper to fill up.
Currently electric bikes are still in their infancy, so they're very heavy because of all the batteries, and the range is much lower than petrol bikes. Another current draw back for electric bikes is their charge times. You can completely fill a bike up from empty in a few minutes, but with an electric bike this can take up to several hours.
Do you need insurance for an electric bike?
An electric motorcycle is still a motorcycle, so if you plan to ride it on the road you'll need the correct licence and you'll also need insurance. If you have an electric bike that you only use on private land, then insurance is not required.
Who can ride an electric bike?
This depends on the power output of the bike. Some electric bikes can be ridden on L-plates by 16-year-olds because they're restricted to 30mph, but other electric bikes can require full motorcycle licences because of their power out put. Electric motorcycles are not to be confused with electric bicycles, which can be ridden by anyone with no licence requirement. All electric motorbikes require the same licence as petrol bikes.
How much is electric bike insurance?
Insuring an electric bike can be difficult, because many insurers still see them as quite a niche bike. Electric motorbike insurance can be expensive because all of the value is in the batteries, which could easily be damaged in an accident. Electric bikes are also considered high risk because they're silent , which means pedestrians may not hear you coming. Electric bikes are mostly used in urban areas, which means they're often more at risk of theft and accidents with other road users.
Popular electric bikes
Electric bikes are still in a very early stage, and it may be a few years before you regularly see them on the road. Zero Motorcycles, an American electric motorcycle manufacturer, are the largest maker of electric motorcycles., and have a range that includes several models.
Some larger manufacturers also have electric bikes, such as BMW, who have the C Evolution scooter as the only electric bike in their range.
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