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As fuel prices continue to rise and insurance premiums don’t show any sign of dropping anytime soon, many commuters and young motorists as well are turning to alternative modes of transportation, such as electric bikes. So what exactly is an electric bike (e-bike) and are they subject to the same rules as petrol-powered bikes?

Electric bikes are basically the same as their petrol counterparts, but are powered by an electric motor that has a rechargeable battery. They are ridden pretty much the same way as a motorbike. A rider needs to wear a helmet, and most importantly, they need to be covered by an Electric Bike insurance policy.

In addition anyone who rides an electric bike will have to have a provisional or full driving licence. If you have obtained your licence after February 1, 2001, you will need to complete a compulsory basic training course.

Why buy an electric motorbike?

Why buy an electric bike is a key question. The big advantage of riding an e- bike is that you eliminate fuel and road tax costs. Also, E-Bike Insurance premiums are typically very cheap. Making them a very economical vehicle to keep on the road.

They’re great for getting around town. They are lighter than their petrol cousins, and are easy to manoeuvre through traffic. However, E-Bikes usually have only a top speed of about 40mph, and typically a range of 30-40 miles. They’re not really suitable for long commutes.

The best reason to get an e-bike is that they are environmentally friendly and emit absolutely zero harmful emissions. 

Battery life is very good. There are silicon batteries which have a charge life of about 9,000 miles, and there are the lithium phosphate ones that last for give or take, 55,000 miles. It usually takes about six to eight hours to fully charge a battery.

Types of Cover Available on an E-Bike Insurance policy

Cyclists these days are becoming more and more aware of the need to have liability cover. Just in case you cause an accident or do any damage to a third party while you are on your e-bike.

  • Third Party: You can ride with confidence knowing that you are covered for any third party costs that are incurred because of an accident. This might be damage to someone else’s property or maybe a collision with a pedestrian or a fellow cyclist
  • Road side Assistance & Recovery : E- Bikes enable more people to get out there and enjoy cycling. However, as equipment gets more complicated, it is becoming more difficult to repair. Should you have a mechanical problem and you can’t get home, Breakdown Service will come and pick up anywhere in the UK.
  • World Cover :  Many folks are buying e-bikes to take abroad and ride while on holiday. World-wide cover is available. This type of E-Bike insurance will provide cover for theft from your holiday home or hotel, from a locked hire car, and can even cover any damages to your e-bike bike should you fall abroad. Cover is available for your bike while it is in transit on an airline. If your bike should arrive damaged, or it’s delayed, this type of insurance will cover the cost of hiring a replacement.
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    World Wide Cover : Cycling is no doubt a social activity. E-Bike insurance can allow you to have cover for each insured e-bike regardless of which member of your family is riding them.

Playing it safe … Locking Your Electronic Bicycle

You may own the “Gold Standard” of a lock. However, if you do not know how to secure your e-bike the correct way, it’s pretty much pointless. It is crucial that you know how to use it properly. It’s not going to be much of a deterrent to a thief if you use it incorrectly. Right now you may be thinking – “How hard can it be to lock up a bike?” You might be surprised at just how many people get it wrong. There are a few basic principles to follow, and yes, we are going to explain them right here, right now.

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    Never lock your bike on a darkly lit road. You are just inviting a thief to take it. Always secure it in a well-lit area and If possible in an area where people are constantly passing-by.

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    Efficient Locking

    Lock the frame, along with the front and back wheel to the object you have chosen to secure it to. Should you only have one lock, remove the front wheel, and lock it together with the frame. Do not just leave it hanging loosely between the bike and the object you have locked it to. This can allow the thief more manoeuvrability where they can create enough leverage to possibly force open the lock.

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    Remember, two different locks are always better than one

    The word ‘different’ is the key factor here. By using two different types of locks, the thief will need to use different types of tools to try and defeat them. While it’s possible, it is highly unlikely that a thief with want to take the time needed or have an assortment of high-end tools with them. A U lock and a chain lock is considered a worthy opponent for most bike thieves.

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    Remove Accessories

    Whenever possible, take all accessories with you. A bicycle is a lot less appealing without lights or wheels attached to it. Many thieves who steal bikes do so and literally ride off on them. Something simple to do is remove the seat post. This will make it incredibly hard for a thief to just ride away.