Posted on: 14 December 2023
Trading Standards is advising consumers and businesses to ensure that e-scooters and Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (e-bikes) are safe and compliant with the correct safety regulations before they are purchased, sold or hired out.
And businesses are reminded that it is their responsibility to inform customers that e-scooters are not currently legal for use on roads or other public highways unless a specific scheme is in place.
The warning follows a market surveillance operation on electronic vehicle safety by the Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service and a recent safety message by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) which highlights the steps people should take when owning or thinking of buying an e-bike or scooter.
Nationally there have been well-publicised incidents where electric vehicles have caught fire in peoples’ homes.
This Christmas e-scooters are set to once again be a popular purchase and retailers are legally obliged to inform the consumer, even if they did not ask for the information, that it may have restrictions on its use or capability.
Retailers should ensure that each vehicle is supplied with adequate written instructions which can be relied on for safe use for the entire expected life of the product.
Further information about the legal requirements relating to e-scooters can be found in our E-scooters guide.
E-bikes have their own set of regulations and standards governing their safety and must be fitted with pedals, a continuous rated power of the electric motor not exceeding 250 W and the electrical assistance must cut off when the cycle reaches 15.5 mph or 25 km/h.
Their rechargeable batteries must be compliant with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 and retailers should ensure that the vehicle has a ‘declaration of conformity’ certificate.
Further information about the legal requirements relating to Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles can be found in our Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles guide.
Ben Newell, Business and Commercial Manager for Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service, said: “Given that there have been incidents where personalised electric vehicles have caught fire involving lithium-ion batteries, we want to ensure that businesses know how to make sure that the products they are selling or hiring out, and the chargers that come with them, are safe and compliant with the correct safety regulations and that consumers know what to look for and what to ask before making a purchase.”