Electric motorbikes and insurance: your in-depth guide
Electric motorbikes are bikes powered by batteries and electric motors instead of the usual internal combustion engines. Power is stored in batteries, and they can generally be charged from a standard household socket, or a fast-charging unit either installed at your home or work, or in a public place like a service station car park.
Why buy an electric motorbike?
There are plenty of reasons to buy one right now. It costs hardly anything to ‘fill one up’ with electricity – many are only a handful of pounds to charge – and there are some neat tax incentives for those willing to take the plunge.
However, while most are silent, they’re also tremendously exciting to ride too, because unlike a petrol-powered bike, full electric power and torque is there from zero revs, meaning instantaneous and often completely linear acceleration.
As with electric cars, the biggest drawback is technology, and how quickly we’re able to build up a reliable fast-charging network in the UK. You might find your bike fully charges in an hour, but if you have to queue up for longer then it’s going to get boring pretty quickly.
The other major problem is how heavy this technology is. Lithium-ion battery packs and metal-laden motors weigh a lot, and this can affect the bike’s handling dramatically. Builders are finding answers to such questions, but it’s a slow process.
Range anxiety was a problem for many when the first electric vehicles were announced, but mainstream ranges above 100 miles have meant this is less of an issue now. Even at the low-cost end of the market the £4k Super Soco TC Max will do 60 miles with few worries.
Do you need insurance for an electric motorcycle?
An electric motorbike is still a motorcycle, so if you plan to ride it on the road you’ll need the correct licence and you’ll also need insurance. The level of cover you chose for the road is up to you: you can get quotes for Comprehensive Cover; Third Party Fire & Theft, and as with any other motorcycle Third Party insurance is the minimum cover you require to be road legal.
How much is electric motorbike insurance?
Insuring an electric bike can be difficult, because many insurers still see them as quite a niche thing, though they’re slowly warming to the idea. Some electric bikes are also considered high risk because they’re silent, which means pedestrians may not hear you coming. However, there is legislation coming soon that should mean all EVs must make a noise, which will get around this problem.
Electric bikes are mostly used in urban areas, which means they’re often more at risk of theft and accidents with other road users.
Can I get my electric motorbike insured?
Despite the difficulties surrounding insuring your electric motorbike you still can, it just may take a little longer!
MCN Compare allows you to compare insurance quotes for your electric motorbike it just means you will see less insurers displayed on the results page.
Don’t be alarmed by this though, as we compare all the top insurers in one place you can rest assured you will still be getting the most comprehensive results available!
Who can ride an electric bike?
This depends on the power output of the bike. Some electric scooter and bike models can be ridden on L-plates by 16-year-olds because they’re restricted to 30mph, but other electric bikes can require full motorcycle licences because of their power output. Electric motorcycles are not to be confused with electric bicycles, which can be ridden by anyone with no licence requirement. All electric motorbikes require the same licence as petrol bikes.
Popular electric motorcycles
It’s still relatively early days for this type of bike, but already we’ve tested the Harley-Davidson Livewire and that’s proven a real talking point. And that’s not all, because you can have an electric sport bike like the Energica Ego, motocross machine like the Honda CR-E, and even Triumph are known to be working on an EV project. How does an electric retro Bonneville sound to you?
You can find a list of our favorites by checking our best electric motorbikes of 2019 article.
We’ve also laid out what we know about the future of electric motorcycling in 2019 and beyond.
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