The cash will be spent on product development and marketing.
MD Nick Child said the first round of funding will enable the company to move to the next phase of its development in the UK and Europe:
"Nearly 15,000 bikes have already been sold in the UK, and the market is only just starting to realise the potential that exists. We intend to secure further product penetration and awareness across the UK and Europe via independent dealers and distributors.
"There are also plans in place to support our UK dealer network which include a substantially funded marketing and PR programme, and on-going new product development to keep the brand fresh and exciting.
Powabyke Ltd was founded in 1999.
Andrew Maynard of South West Ventures, the company managing SWRVCF, said:
Powabyke was selected from over 200 applications to become SWRVCFs first investment. The company met and indeed exceeded our investment criteria. It totally convinced us of the market opportunity that exists and not least, the product captured our imagination and sits perfectly with changing lifestyles and needs.
"An important factor for us was the experience and proven track record of the existing management team, which when combined with sales and awareness secured to date and the determination to bring overseas markets to fruition, gave us confidence in our investment.
The SWRVCF is sponsored by the Regional Development Agency and is a £25m fund that has been set up to enable small and medium sized enterprises based in the South West to access up to £500k of equity capital. First round funding can be up to £250k and investment can be made on its own or alongside sources from other institutional funds.
South West RVCF is managed by South West Ventures, a division of Yorkshire Fund Managers Ltd. It is sponsored by the Regional Development Agency and investors include banking institutions, local pension funds and the UK government.
PIC SHOWS: (L to R) Andrew Maynard, South Vest Ventures and Nick Child, Powabyke Ltd.
And here's the very latest rules and regs for electric bikes, as supplied by the Department of Transport:
ELECTRICALLY ASSISTED PEDAL CYCLES (EAPCs)
The following information outlines the current situation regarding the use and construction of Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles in the United Kingdom. 1 The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983
Statutory Instrument 1983 No.1168 An Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC) which conforms to the technical requirements given in these Regulations is not considered to be a motor vehicle within the meaning of The Road Traffic Act 1988 and does not require to be registered, have vehicle excise duty paid (taxed) or be insured as a motor vehicle. It can be ridden by anyone from the age of 14 years and above and the rider does not need a driving licence or to wear a motorcycle safety helmet. The Regulations apply to bicycles, tandem bicycles and tricycles and to emphasise that the prime source of power for propulsion of the machine is through human effort, the machine is required to be fitted with pedals by means of which it is capable of being propelled. The motor assistance must be provided by an electric motor. Propulsion by an internal combustion engine is not permitted. The motor must not be able to propel the machine when it is travelling at more than 15mph. The Regulations state the following limits: Maximum kerbside weight (not including rider) - bicycle - 40kg
- tandem bicycle 60kg
- tricycle 60kg Maximum continuous rated power output of the motor - bicycle - 0,2kW
- tandem bicycle 0,25kW
- tricycle 0,25kW There are not any plans to amend these Regulations in the immediate future. 2 The effect of Community Directive 2002/24/EC the amending framework Directive for European Whole Vehicle Type Approval of powered two and three-wheeled vehicles The effect of Community Directive 2002/24/EC is to remove certain forms of EAPC from the Scope of European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA), which lays down harmonised technical construction standards for powered two and three-wheeled vehicles, including quadricycles (small four wheeled vehicles of limited mass and power). The Directive does not have any effect upon the construction requirements in the UK that allow an EAPC to be classed as not being a motor vehicle and therefore being allowed to be used as an EAPC under the UK Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983. a) A machine that is fitted with an electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power output of not more than 0,25kW and where the motor output is gradually reduced and finally cut off altogether when the machine reaches a speed of 25km/h, or sooner if the cyclist stops pedalling, will be exempt from ECWVTA. Note that this means that power assistance can only be obtained when the cyclist is pedalling. The exemption applies to two, three and four wheeled machines. Any machines of this form that also comply with the UK Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983 will be allowed to be used as an EAPC as stated in the first paragraph of item 1 above. Note that the UK Regulations do not permit four-wheeled machines. The amending Directive, which has repealed and replaced Directive 92/61/EEC, has to be applied from 9 November 2003 and Member States have to accept any machines complying with this Directive from 9 May 2003. b) A machine that is fitted with pedals and a motor that can provide power assistance at any time without the rider having to pedal, is not exempt from ECWVTA and would be required to be type approved as if it were an electrically propelled moped. However, any machines of this form that also comply with the UK Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983 will be allowed to be used as an EAPC as stated in the first paragraph of item 1 above. The system of ECWVTA normally applies to machines produced in reasonably large numbers but, as an alternative, the UK is planning to introduce during 2003, a system of Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) that will allow the approval of this form of machine on the basis of an inspection of each individual machine. 3 Machines outside the limits given in The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983 Any machines that are outside the limits given in The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983 in respect of motor power output, speed up to which power can be provided, weight, or that do not have pedals by means of which the machine can be propelled, are considered to be motor vehicles and will need to be appropriately registered, taxed and insured and the rider will need an appropriate driving licence and wear a motorcycle safety helmet. Four wheeled machines and machines propelled by an internal combustion engine are also considered as being motor vehicles. With regard to those machines that resemble a childs scooter but which are fitted with either an electric motor or an internal combustion engine, there have been two High Court judgements that have determined that these are also to be considered as being motor vehicles within the meaning of The Road Traffic Act. 4 Access to the Regulations and Directives (a) The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983 (Statutory Instrument [SI] 1983 No.1168) Is available from The Stationery Office.
(b) Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 March 2002 relating to the type-approval of two or three-wheel motor vehicles is also available from The Stationery Office and is published on the EUR-Lex European Legislation website: http://europa.eu.int/.../search_lif.html
(Source: Department of Transport, May 2003)