Do Electric Motorcycles Require a Licence?
All motorcycles are categorised by speed or power, irrespective of whether they have a petrol engine or an electric motor. As such, they all need to:
• Be registered with the DVLA
• Display a number plate
• Be ridden by a rider with the appropriate licence for that class of motorcycle
• Be insured
• Have an annual MOT test once they reach three-years old
• Be taxed annually, although all Electric Vehicles are exempt from road tax currently
There are four categories for road-legal electric motorcycles as follows:
A moped is limited to 28 mph and can be ridden by anyone of 16 or over with a CBT, or by someone who passed their driving test before February 2001.
Light Motorcycles up to 11kW
Light motorcycles up to 11kW* of continuous power, which requires a rider of 17 or over with a CBT or an A1 licence
Electric Motorcycles up to 35kW
Motorcycles of up to 35kW continuous power** which require a rider of 19 or over with at least an A2 licence.
Motorcycles of Unlimited Power
Motorcycles of unlimited power which require a rider of 21 who has progressed through an A1 and an A2 licences, or a rider of 24 or over with a full A licence.
* With a power to weight ratio of no greater than 0.1kW per kg. In other words, an 11kW bike would have to weigh at least 110kg.
**With a power to weight ratio of no greater than 0.2kW per kg. In other words, a 35kW bike would have to weigh at least 175kg.
Whilst a light motorcycle of up to 11kW of continuous power can be ridden by anyone of 17 or over with a valid CBT, the following conditions apply:
• The bike must display L Plates
• A pillion cannot be carried
• Travelling on motorways is not permitted
In order to overcome all the above restrictions, an A1, an A2 or a full licence is required. A CBT licence is only valid for two years, so must be repeated if a rider wishes to continue riding beyond this period. Given the restrictions that apply to a CBT licence, we would always advise riders to progress to a full licence, which will also help to reduce insurance costs.