Are ebikes motor vehicles?

Reason I ask is I keep looking at that big 500Wh battery & thinking ‘why am I carrying a radio battery too?’

And I just happen to have a nice 36v to 12v DCDC converter in my draw.


Go to the drive-on, remove the battery from the bike, hook it to the radio and enjoy.

Elliott, K6EL
Sota MT


Hey Matt,

I think, yes they are. A bike with a motor is a motorbike. It do´s not depends on the type of the engine. A motor is a motor.
But this is my own opinion.

73, Daniel

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Not true Daniel, assuming the bike is road legal, as in the UK and the EU. You need to pedal to get any power from the motor, so no, ebikes are not motor vehicles as such.

73 Phil


Yes Phil, i know what you mean and i would say your´re right also.
It´s an interesting discussion. I think there are a lot points of view.

73 Daniel


WRT the UK - according to this UK government website ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs) need to met the basic requirements specified there in which case “you do not need a licence to ride one and it does not need to be registered, taxed or insured”

" Any electric bike that does not meet the EAPC rules is classed as a motorcycle or moped and needs to be registered and taxed. You’ll need a driving licence to ride one and you must wear a crash helmet."

“If a bike meets the EAPC requirements it’s classed as a normal pedal bike. This means you can ride it on cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed.”

I’ve no idea whether an EAPC or non-EAPC meets the rules or spirit of SOTA as a method to get to the summit - I leave that to the Wise Men.

I use wifey’s 700Wh battery (3kg). It ran the TS520 all day, with the filaments on, no special tube coal required (and didn’t use 1/3)

I bought the ebike battery with the standard 4 pin screw on connector, instead of the plug in cradle type, so it would be more versatile.
I have just started using scooter batteries. 2kg, 9Ah 36V - my son bought them for $20. Shaped to slide down in the corner of a pack with the pole.

It takes a fair bit of filtering to be able to use an EFHW with the SMPS. There are 2-inductor pi filters on the input and output. When I used a centre fed dipole, the smps seemed OK, with just some extra bypassing on the pcb, and toroids, but to use the EFHW without extra noise, it needed thorough filtering, a tin box, and connecting the tin box to radio ground. There is also 15mF extra caps, and the smps limit increased a bit to supply the peak currents. This is a nice AliX synchronous 15A smps with 60V rating (for 48V batteries). The synchronous buck convertors makes quite a lot less HF noise than the older diode type.
You can also see why I am not going to use XT60 connectors (yellow) for my 12V radios, that way lies disaster.

Hi Matt,

I believe the general guide about motor vehicles being used to get to summits that was worked out a few years ago was something like this:

Your wife drives you to the summit (lets say this is a drive-on summit with a car park). You set up your equipment ready to operate. The wife must now be able to drive away and go shopping while you “play radio”. If you have tied off a guy rope to the car or are using the car battery - this is not going to work.

If using an E-Bike - lets apply the same rule, you have a passenger riding on the luggage rack and he wants then to leave and do a tour while you “play radio”. If you are attached to the e-bike’s battery when your friend rides off, you will have a problem. If you physically remove the battery from the E-Bike, then your friend has a problem using the E-Bike and it cannot operate as it normally would.

So I think the answer is no, regarding the original question of using the E-Bike battery for your radio as the vehicle must be able to leave the summit while you can still operate.

That’s my interpretation anyway.

73 Ed.


The NZ transport regulations are quite explicit that a <=300W motor assisted vehicle is not a motor vehicle, and is covered by cycle regulations. Scooters etc that are primarily motor propelled are motor vehicles , regardless of motor power.

I have a eMB which is a road legal pedelec here in the state of N.S.W. 48V lithium battery and a 250W motor. Could ride it to a drive up summit, remove the battery from the cradle and power my radio with the battery.

Think that would be within the rules just as if driving a motor vehicle up to a summit, remove the battery from the vehicle and use the battery to power your radio.

Of course not use either the bike or motor vehicle as support for aerials, shelter etc.

Regards, Wal VK2WP

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While I cannot see anything in the rules that prohibits that, it doesn’t really seem to be in the spirit of the rules.

Yes probably does not contravene the rules, quite frankly could not be bothered to make a down regulator so as to use the ebike battery.

Have plenty of small batteries which power the radio.

73 Wal VK2WP

I hope this doesn’t put the cat among the pigeons or get me a terse reply from anyone, but … …

Out of curiosity I thought I would check the rules on ways of getting to SOTA summits w.r.t. e-bikes. After reading the General Rules (June 2022), FAQs and Guidelines for Activators I couldn’t find anything, spirit or otherwise [except about not operating on, or in, or connected to, or in any way dependent on, a motor vehicle].

Everything I thought I knew must have come from ‘case law’ clarifications posted by MT on this reflector. I suppose drive-to SOTA summits make it hard to be too prescriptive.

If I could upvote this twice I would, because reading this reply made it obvious to me that I was misinterpreting the question. I’m glad I saw this before I started replying about land use rules and regulations.

The second post in this thread is obo the MT. I think it is clear enough.

Any e-bike is considered a vehicle. Vehicle rules apply.

No fudging over motor size or percentage of motive power provided.

If you disabled the motor and 100% pedalled then it’s no longer a vehicle but who would believe you would bother to do that?


Not at all. All these periodical discussions wear over time.
When’s the great winter bonus period discussion gonna come up?


Yes Pom, this might be the much more interesting discussion.

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