METRICATION:  75% complete
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Speed limiters in km/h Speed limiter legislation in mph
Power in watts
Weight in kilograms

From 4 July 2020, the use of electric scooters was authorised for the first time in the UK, albeit on a trial basis only, limited to the use of hire vehicles in Great Britain.

The use of privately owned e-scooters remains illegal on public highways, and e-scooter use continues to be prohibited on pavements.


The legislation governing the use of e-scooters contains a definition of “electric scooter” which includes the following requirements:

  • is fitted with an electric motor with a maximum continuous power rating not exceeding 500 watts
  • has a maximum weight, excluding the driver, not exceeding 55 kg
  • has a maximum design speed not exceeding 15.5 miles per hour

The rather odd maximum design speed of 15.5 mph is presumably an attempt to accommodate the use of e-scooters already in use in other countries, many of which have a maximum design speed of 25 km/h (15.53 mph). Unfortunately, when converting the km/h value to mph for the relevant legislation, the value was rounded down to the nearest 0.1 mph instead of it being rounded up. The legislation therefore seems to prohibit the use of the very e-scooters that it was probably intended to permit.

The maximum speed was decided after consultation, where respondents were asked to reason whether 12.5 mph or 15.5 mph should be the maximum design speed allowed. Again, these seemingly odd values are approximations of 20 km/h and 25 km/h respectively.