Electric Bikes, Scooters and Vehicles and how to stay legal…

By Kenn Walters

The DGT (Traffico) has started to legislate and regulate electronic “cycles” to conform to EU laws (EU Directive 2002/24/CE) and to improve upon them within Spain.

Although a farther-reaching Spanish law is awaiting a new national government/president to be enacted, the current law (19/ V-134) is in effect, with many regions and towns adding additional regulations on top of it in their jurisdictions.

Electrical “bikes/scooters” can generally be divided by the law into 2 categories.

EPAC’s (Electronic Power Assisted Cycles, aka Pedelecs) are bikes with a motor in the front or rear wheel that only cause the bike to move when the rider is pedalling as an assistance to the rider. They do NOT fall under the L classification of vehicles according to the DGT. EPACs must be certified as conforming to the “CE Marking” of UNE-EN 15194: 2018 and the ISO 4210-1: 2014 norms, (check this if buying a cheapy import, – if it isn’t CE certified, – it isn’t legal for use in Spain / EU). They have a maximum allowed power rating of 0.25KW, with speed governors which progressively reduce speeds as they approach the maximum allowed speed of 25KPH for the motor to deliver (the rider can of course PEDAL faster to exceed this speed) for this type of vehicle. These cycles are treated under law as Bicycles and may use all the same bike paths and roads that a bicycle does with Bicycle laws pertaining to their use. –

If your EPAC DOESN’T conform or lay within those highlighted points above, then it is under the laws of Spain either not allowed on the road at all or is classified as an E-Bike or E-Scooter, (see below). If you ride a legal EPAC, then don’t forget to take all your paperwork with you showing the above, as visually it is difficult for a police officer to know if you are a genuine EPAC or not and they may fine you if you cant produce paperwork if stopped showing that you are legal.

E-bike or E-Scooters are bikes (may be 2 or 3 wheeled) with a motor in the front or rear wheel that can cause the bike to move without the rider using the pedals and/or by means of a throttle. They fall under the DGT L1e-A (powered cycles) or L1e-B (moped) vehicle types. These bikes are speed limited (25kph max for L1e-A, 45kph max for L1e-B – if not, they are legally full motorbikes and require motorbike licenses and meet motorbike laws) Under L1e-A or B they require homologation, must meet regulatory/legal obligations, such as ITV, insurance, matriculation, register for road tax, wear helmet, no ear plugs/earphones, minimum age and licence to ride it etc. They may NOT use pedestrian areas or cycle lanes, or areas specifically reserved for cycles, (such as cycle crossings at junctions). Fines for getting this wrong START at 500 euros and go rapidly up into the 1000s of Euros from there…

So, if you have an E-Bike or E-Scooter, make it and yourself legal! Like this:

1. Take the vehicle to the ITV Station together with the homologation certificate, (if you don’t have one, you must get the technical body to make one for you). Then you will get the ITV card.

2. Take the ITV Card to the Traffic / DGT Office and get the logbook/legal paperwork of the vehicle.

3. Once you have the logbook, insure it and ride legally, obeying the laws regarding helmet and riding safely according to the traffic laws.

As a final note, there have been over 1500 accidents, some serious, involving e-bikes in Spain over the last 2 years. Spain IS acting to crack down on illegal usage as well as manipulation of governors and controls on e-bikes in Spain.