Yes, you need to pedal your Vela.
Vela is a Class 1 e-bike that works with a pedal-assist system (PAS) and thus pedal movement is required for the motor to engage. Power is activated just after an estimated 1/4 turn on the pedal and progresses smoothly to the desired speed. The Vela also includes a start assist boost button, which when pressed from standing will accelerate the motor up to 4mph even if you’re not pedaling.
The boost button can also be used while at higher speeds; when double pressed, it will accelerate the rider quicker up to a higher top speed.