Rules for electric two-wheelers has been trending now a days on search engines across India. Lately, the electric two-wheeler industry has been causing quite a stir. It has been attracting a diverse range of people, increasing the curiosity of both the young and the old. However, when it comes to electric two-wheelers, there are several questions that have arisen, one of the most common being whether one needs a driver’s license to ride an electric scooter.
As the popularity of electric two-wheelers and bikes continues to rise, it becomes increasingly important to have a good understanding of the regulations set by the Regional Transport Office (RTO). Unlike regular motor vehicles, electric vehicles are governed by separate rules within the Indian context. Riders of electric two-wheelers need to observe similar traffic regulations as motorcyclists, which includes obeying stop signs and giving right of way to pedestrians. We will discuss all the essential information that you must know related to the rules for electric two-wheelers in India in this article. We will explore the regulations and answer a crucial question: Do electric bikes need a license in India? So, let dive right into it.
Numerous electric two-wheelers in India come equipped with 250-watt motors which allows them to reach speeds of around 25 kilometers per hour. Consequently, electric 2-wheelers equipped with these 250-watt motors do not require riders to possess a driver’s license in India.
However, if an e-scooter or bike is equipped with a motor that exceeds 250 watts in power, it falls under the category of vehicles that requires a driving license in India. Also, whether you need a license for riding an electric two-wheeler depends on its specific type and classification. Given below are the rules for electric two-wheelers in respect to license requirement:
- Low-Speed Electric two-wheelers (with a maximum speed of 25 km/h): No license is required to run low-speed electric scooters or bikes in India. Although, there is a minimum age requirement of 16 years for riders.
- High-Speed Electric Scooters (with a maximum speed exceeding 25 km/h): To ride high-speed electric two-wheelers, having a valid driving license is mandatory. The type of license require may vary from one state to another. Hence, it is important to consult local authorities for exact information.
Keep in mind that all electric two-wheelers, irrespective of their types, must be registered with the local road transport authorities. Moreover, having third-party insurance is mandatory to cover potential liabilities.
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Rules for Electric Scooters – Age Requirements
- After you have clarified whether your electric scooter needs a license, the next step is to understand the laws and age restrictions associated with electric scooters and bikes. Here are the laws pertaining to age restrictions around riding an electric two-wheeler:
- Age Limit for Riding Electric Scooters: In India, the permissible age for operating electric two-wheelers is 16 years and above.
- Special Test for Teenagers (16-18): Adolescents falling within the age bracket of 16 to 18 are obliged to undergo a specific assessment to obtain an e-scooter license.
- Engine Size Restriction (16-18 Age Group): For individuals aged 16 to 18, they can operate an electric scooter with an engine size limited to 50 cc.
- Distinct Green License Plate: Electric two-wheeler bikes are easily recognizable by their unique green license plates which separates them from traditional vehicles on the road.
Insurance Rules for Electric Two-wheelers in India
When it comes to protecting your electric 2-wheeler, it is wise to get a complete insurance policy rather than depending solely on third-party liability coverage. Well, here is a key point to remember: if your electric scooter or bike boasts a top speed that exceeds 25 kilometers per hour and a maximum power output greater than 250 watts then insurance coverage becomes a necessity, according to electric bike laws in India.
For those electric scooters/bikes falling below the 25 km/h top speed or with a power output of less than 250 watts, there might not be a legal obligation to insure them, but it is still highly advisable. Getting an insurance for these slower electric two-wheelers can provide you with an added peace of mind and safeguard you in unexpected situations. This makes it a sensible choice for responsible electric bike owners.
Rules for Electric Two-Wheelers: Number Plates Regulations
From April 1, 2019, all vehicles registered in India must be equipped with a High Security Number Plate (HSRP) as per the guidelines laid down in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. This measure has two goals – to prevent theft and maintain an organized record of vehicles in the system. Only the law enforcement personnels are authorized to issue the HSRPs.
When it comes to number plate rules for electric vehicles in India, there are some key points to remember.
- A unique color-coding system has been adopted for simplifying the identification of different electric vehicle (EV) categories.
- The number plates of private electric cars have white characters on a green background, while the number plates of commercial electric cars have yellow characters on a green background.
- But not all electric bikes need these special plates. If an electric bike has less than 250 watts of power and a top speed of 25 kilometers per hour, it doesn’t have to get an HSRP or register with the Regional Transport Office (RTO).
These rules make it easier to manage and identify electric vehicles on Indian roads and finally ensures safety and order.
Road Tax and Electric Vehicle Registration in India
In February 2020, India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) came out with a major proposal to eliminate registration taxes for electric vehicles (EVs) in the country. Although several states have already made this change and exempted electric vehicles from registration taxes, the nationwide proposal is undoubtedly a promising development for all electric vehicle owners. Given the several subsidies and tax relaxations that many state governments have implemented for encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles, it is anticipated that this action will significantly increase the use of electric mobility in India.
Pros of Having an E-scooter Driving License
Having a driving license for your e-scooter in India has notable advantages such as:
- You can ride your electric bike freely and unsupervised on public roads.
- Your driving license is recognized and accepted throughout the country.
- Your driving skills are officially recognized.
- It is an important document to confirm your age, nationality and identity.
- In India, a driving license remains valid for a significant period of 20 years.
State-wise Subsidy for Electric Two-wheelers
State governments have announced state-specific subsidies for electric vehicles. This policy will be effective from the date of notification and will be valid for four to five years. The subsidy amount depends on the size of the lithium-ion battery pack, which again varies from state to state.
Let’s take this example: If you are buying an electric scooter in the state of Maharashtra, then you will get a minimum subsidy of Rs 5000. So, if the price of the scooter is Rs 1,15,000, the subsidy will bring the cost down to Rs 1,10,000.
So here it was: a complete overview of the laws related to licensing, registration, insurance and more of electric scooters and bikes in India. As electric two-wheelers continue to grow in popularity, it is important to be aware of the ever-changing regulations to enjoy a safe and enjoyable riding experience. Whether you are considering buying an electric scooter or already own one, understanding the rules for two-wheelers in India will help you ride responsibly within the legal framework.