What are electric bikes?

Electric bikes have an electric motor and battery attached. The motor reduces the effort it takes to cycle – perfect for long distances or hilly rides, or when a strong wind is against you.  Some people find riding an electric bike is easier than a normal pedal cycle as they age or recover from illness or injury.  Above all, you still need to pedal and it’s not cheating!

You will need to charge the batteries from time to time – this is done from a household 3-pin socket.

Electric bikes can be comfortably used for journeys up to 10 miles and 77% of car journeys are less than this distance.

You can find out more about electric bikes with the electric bike buyers guide or AtoB magazine’s review of electric bikes.  We also have a leaflet that can be downloaded about electric bikes.

For journeys longer than 20 miles, electric mopeds may be a better option.  West Swindon based J&M Electrobikes have a good range of electric mopeds.

Both electric bikes and electric mopeds are far cheaper than running a car and they also help to reduce air pollution and congestion in our towns. There are no parking charges for electric bikes or scooters in Wiltshire. Electric bikes help you to get some exercise, but mopeds don’t unless you choose to park further out and walk for a bit.

Where can I buy an electric bike or moped?

We have a list of local bike shops on the cycle shop page.   Most sell electric cycles, with E-motion EVC specialising in a wide range of electric bikes.

What does the law say?

Electrically assisted bicycles are treated in law as bicycles. An electric bike must have functioning pedals and conform to normal bicycle construction. The maximum power output is 200 watts, the maximum speed is 15mph and the bike must not weigh more than 40kg. The rider must be over 14 years.  You can ride electrically assisted bikes anywhere that you can ride a normal pedal cycle.

Bikes outside this specification are defined as powered two-wheelers (electric scooters, mopeds or motorbikes) which requires the rider to hold an appropriate licence, wear a safety helmet, and ensure that the vehicle is taxed and has an MOT certificate. These powered two-wheelers must not be ridden on cycle paths or other routes where motorised vehicles are prohibited


Help your friends travel simpler