UK nixes Specialized superbike

Specialized’s new Turbo pedalec will not be allowed for sale in the UK. 28 MPH maximum exceeds British 15 MPH speed limit for e-bikes.

The Turbo e-cycle’s US-based creator, Specialized, was all set to peddle its first battery-equipped bike in coming months across the EU. But with a top assisted speed of 28mph, it will not be permitted in the UK, it has emerged.

The Department of Transport today confirmed to Reg Hardware that “electric motors must not be able to propel [an electrically-assisted bicycle] when it is travelling at more than 15mph”.

More at The Register: UK government says no to turbo e-bike, which mentions that Germany now has a “superbike” category of ebikes that allows faster, more powerful e-bikes such as the Turbo onto German roads. The European Cycling Federation, however, opposes the liberalization of European e-bike limits, claiming increased danger for all road users from these faster “super” e-bikes.

In the United States, Federal law limits the sale of e-bikes to those with motors of under 750 watts (1 HP) and a governed speed of 20 MPH, though Federal law is perhaps undefined on the operation of e-bikes and kits on public roads. Various state laws further govern the sale and operation of e-bikes. A handful of states, for example, require licenses or impose age restrictions. Electric bicycles are often prohibited from bike paths or trails.

One comment

  • March 30, 2012 - 8:31 pm | Permalink

    E-bikes are just motor cycles in my mind. Having been riding near tourists without a clue speeding on heavy e-bikes, I’m not sure they answer any need as bicycles. Just call ‘em low power motorcycles, require a drivers license and be dome with it.

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