Un vélo électrique biplace : c'est légal ? - Elwing

A two-seater electric bike: is it legal?

, by ISAURE DUCROS, 4 min reading time

The Elwing Yuvy is one of the very first two-seater electric bikes: but are we allowed to be two people on a bike? Article R.431-5 of the Highway Code answers this question.

The Yuvy from Elwing is one of the very first models of two-seater electric bikes: an electrically assisted bike with a real saddle for two, fully comfortable for transporting a passenger in complete safety.
As a couple, with friends, with family, the options are multiple and the advantages numerous, especially in the city.

But is a two-seater electric bike legal? What does the law say in France?

First distinction to make: what is the legal definition of an VAE?

The NF EN 15194 standard governs the design of electric bicycles and the application of a safety check on them. This regulation also defines the main criteria which make it possible to make a clear distinction between a bicycle in the electrically assisted bicycle category and a moped.

The regulations define 3 essential criteria to identify an electrically assisted bicycle (VAE):

  • the electric assistance is triggered when pedaling;
  • the electric assistance cuts off as soon as the bike exceeds the speed limit of 25 km/h;
  • motor power should not exceed 250 watts.

Mopeds (such as speed bikes, 50 cm³ scooters, solex and other mopeds) are vehicles capable of traveling at speeds of up to 45 km/h and are subject to the Highway Code.

A speed bike is an electric bike with more engine power whose maximum speed is 45 km/h. In France, this type of electric bike is considered a moped and its use is subject to certain conditions.

Unlike an e-bike, a speed bike requires:

  • an A, B or AM driving license (formerly BSR),
  • a license plate,
  • an insurance,
  • moped equipment (approved helmet, gloves, yellow vest outside urban areas).

It is prohibited on cycle paths.

The Elwing Yuvy is an approved VAE (electrically assisted bicycle).

With a speed limited to 25 km/h and its 250 watt motor, the Yuvy falls into the category of VAE and is approved as such: it meets the NF EN 15194 standard.

👉 Download the approval certificate

But an e-bike... two-seater: is it still legal?

The Elwing Yuvy model is a compact cargo electric bike with a two-seater saddle.
But what does the law say? Is it legal to be two on a bike?

The answer is yes !

Article R.431-5 of the Highway Code mentions :

"On motorized motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles, mopeds and cycles, the transport of passengers is only authorized on a seat fixed to the vehicle, different from that of the driver. For the application of this article, the double saddle or the bench is assimilated to two seats."

The highway code is clear, electric bikes with a two-seater saddle, which acts as a double seat, are completely legal.

In compliance with safety rules

In France, the regulations and legislation concerning the use of electric bicycles (VAE) aim to ensure the safety of cyclists as well as that of other traffic users.

  • Wearing a helmet is compulsory for children under 12 and strongly recommended for others.

  • Electric bicycles must be equipped with lights (white or yellow front and red rear), reflectors (red at the rear, white or yellow at the front, orange on the sides and on the pedals), and a device effective braking.

  • Wearing a retro-reflective vest is mandatory outside built-up areas at night or when visibility is reduced.

  • Taking out specific insurance for VAEs (electrically assisted bicycles) is not obligatory, but all cyclists must have civil liability insurance to cover damage they could cause to third parties.

For further :

Children and electric bikes: from what age can you use an electric bike?
Unlocking an electric bike: what you need to know
How much does it cost to recharge an electric bike?
How to transport children by bike? Practical Guide.
How to properly protect your electric bike against theft: we tell you everything!
Everything you need to know about the electric cargo bike: buying guide and advice


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