Electric bikes, also known as e-bikes, have gained significant popularity in India as an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional bikes and motorcycles. To ensure the safe and responsible use of electric bikes, the Indian government has implemented specific regulations and laws. Let’s delve into the legal framework surrounding electric bikes in India and explore the key regulations.
Classification of Electric Bikes
Electric bikes in India are classified based on their maximum speed and power output. The two primary categories are low-speed electric bikes (LSEBs) and high-speed electric bikes (HSEBs).
LSEBs have a maximum speed of 25 kilometres per hour (km/h) and a power output of up to 250 watts. HSEBs, on the other hand, can reach speeds of up to 45 km/h and have power outputs exceeding 250 watts.
Licensing and Registration Requirements
The licensing and registration requirements for electric bikes in India depend on their classification. As per the current regulations:
- Driving License: Just like a normal two-wheeler, e-bikes and electric scooters also require a driving license. It is illegal to drive an e-bike or electric scooter without a valid driving license.
Only electric two-wheelers with a maximum speed of 25 km/h and powerless than 250W do not require a driving license .
- Minimum Age Requirement: People aged 18 years and above can legally drive electric two-wheelers. The minimum age for driving any two-wheeler in India is 18 years, as decided by the government.
Only electric two-wheelers with a maximum speed of 25 km/h and powerless than 250W can be driven by people in the age bracket of 16-18 years as these are gearless.
- Insurance Requirement: A proper insurance policy is a must for e-bikes and electric scooters. An insurance policy will help in case of any damages caused by an accident. In case of theft, a comprehensive insurance policy can compensate the owner for the loss of the vehicle. It is recommended to ensure e-bikes and electric scooters and always carry a valid driving license to claim the insurance
- Number Plate Requirement: From 1st April 2019 onwards, it has been made mandatory for all registered vehicles, including electric vehicles, to have a High-Security Registration Plate (HSRP) as per the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.
The HSRP ensures enhanced security and authenticity of the number plates. Private electric vehicles are assigned a green background number plate with white letters. However, electric two-wheelers with power less than 250W and a maximum speed of 25 km/h do not require RTO registration or HSRP.
- Helmet Requirement: Wearing a helmet is mandatory while driving an electric two-wheeler. It is recommended to always wear a helmet while driving an e-bike or electric scooter for your own safety.
- Electric Two-Wheeler Registration and Road Tax: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a notification exempting electric vehicles, including electric bikes, from registration charges (fresh as well as renewals) and road tax.
This exemption aims to promote the adoption of electric vehicles and reduce the financial burden on electric bike owners. However, it is advisable to check the specific regulations in your state regarding road tax exemptions.
Safety Regulations and Considerations
Electric bike riders in India are expected to follow standard safety regulations and practices. These include:
- Wearing Helmets: It is advisable for electric bike riders to wear helmets for their own safety.
- Following Traffic Rules: Riders must adhere to traffic rules, signals, and road signs to ensure a safe riding experience.
- Safe Riding Behavior: Responsible riding behaviour, such as maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles and signalling intentions, is crucial to prevent accidents.
By complying with these safety regulations, electric bike riders can protect themselves and contribute to overall road safety.
Electric bikes in India are subject to specific regulations and laws to ensure the safety of riders and others on the road. It is important for riders to be aware of these regulations, including the classification of electric bikes, licensing and registration requirements, speed and power limitations, and safety regulations.
By adhering to these laws, riders can enjoy the benefits of electric bikes while contributing to a safer and more sustainable transportation ecosystem in India.
- Source: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, “Notification on Low-Speed Electric Bicycles,” Gazette of India, February 22, 2018.
- Source: Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989