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E-bike regulation and limitations

Published: 28 April 2011
Last updated: 06 March 2023

Regulation EPAC norm EN 15194

This is a brief summary of the electrically power assisted cycles (EPAC) regulations in Europe:

  • Maximum speed 25 km/h (15,6 mile/h) ± 10% (production conformity check).
  • Maximum power 250W ± 5% net to the driven wheel. Due to transmission losses, the motor power can be > 250W.
  • Maximum voltage 48VDC.
  • A brake lever cut off switch is not mandatory.
  • Assistance shall be provided only when pedaling forward. No pedal force is required.
  • Assistance shall be cut off when the cyclist stops pedaling forward such that the cut off distance does not exceed 5m with the use of brake lever cut off switch or 2m without the use of brake lever cut off switch. Without a brake lever cut off switch the cut off distance is shorter (2m) because the motor needs to be slowed down also by the brake. With a brake lever cut off switch the cut off distance is actually irrelevant.
  • The output or assistance shall be progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches the maximum assistance speed as designed. This is likely in practice always fulfilled.
  • The assistance shall be progressively and smoothly managed. A motor on / off switch is thus not allowed.
  • The EPAC can be equipped with a start up assistance mode up to 6 km/h without pedaling.

Annex D: Alternative method of maximum power measurement

Accelerate with maximum power from standstill. The total mass (m) = 150kg. Td is the time to travel 20 meters (D). Although this method is not accurate, it may be used legally.

P = m * 2 * D2 / Td3

Limitations by law in the Netherlands

  • Maximum width 75 cm


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