We get lots of questions in regards to potential customers who simply are confused by the electric bicycle laws in Australia.
We have had and read numerous amounts of posts to our Facebook page that say things like "they are illegal" "You can't use them in Australia" "They are classed as an unregistered vehicle" etc.
I would like to offer to you today the CORRECT information straight from the major states Australia, in regards to electric bicycles and how our 250Watt model Michael Blast Greaser is 100% ROAD LEGAL, in any state and territory in Australia, as it is classed as a "PEDELEC" and is certified to comply with EN15194
Lets see what the various major government departments actually say about electric bikes and the use of them in Australia, have a read and make up your own mind.
LEGALITY OF ELECTRIC BICYCLES IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA:
In Western Australia, two categories of PAPCs (Power Assisted Pedal Cycle) can be used:
- Those with a maximum power output of 200 watts which are designed to be propelled through a mechanism operated solely by human power, to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors; and
- PEDELECS, which are a form of electric bicycle that comply with EN 15194. Please note that amendments to the Road Traffic [Administration] Regulations (2014) came into effect from 27 April 2015, making it legal for a pedelec that complies with the European Standard EN 15194 to be ridden on a shared path up to a maximum continuous power output not exceeding 250 watts.
To be compliant, a pedelec must:
- Have a maximum continuous power output of the motor which does not exceed 250 watts;
- Have an electric motor;
- Require the rider to pedal to access the power;
- Have the power cut out when the pedelec reaches 25 km/h, or sooner if the rider stops pedalling; and
- Be certified by the manufacturer and labelled as complying with EN 15194, i.e. the label must include the manufacturer's name, the motor's cut-off speed in km/h and the electric motor's maximum continuous rated power output in watts.
Link to Official Document - Cycling Rules Rules affecting cyclists and motorists in WA
LEGALITY OF ELECTRIC BICYCLES IN QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA:
Legal motorised bicycles
You can ride a motorised bicycle on all roads and paths, except where bicycles are prohibited. There are two types of legal motorised bicycles:
- A bicycle with an electric motor capable of generating no more than 200 watts of power.
- A 'pedalec'—a bicycle with an electric motor capable of generating up to 250 watts of power, but the motor cuts out at 25km/h and the pedals must be used to keep the motor operating. Pedalecs must comply with the European Standard for Power Assisted Pedal Cycles (EN15194). The vehicle must have a permanent marking on it that shows it complies with this standard.
Source of power
The pedals on a motorised bicycle must be the primary source of power with the motor providing assistance only. Regardless of the motor's power wattage, if the electric motor is the primary source of power, it is illegal and cannot be ridden on roads or paths. For example, if you can twist a throttle and complete a journey using the bicycle's motor power only, without using the pedals, it is illegal.
All motorised bicycles with internal combustion engines, for example, petrol or diesel motors, are also illegal.
Illegal motorised bicycles are sometimes offered for sale or hire but must not be ridden on roads and paths. They may only be ridden on private property that isn't accessible to the general public.
A motorised bicycle with an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor capable of generating over 200 watts (that isn't a pedelec), or with an electric motor that is the primary source of power must comply with the Australian Design Rules requirements for a motorcycle and be registered, if it is to be ridden legally on roads.
Link to Official website - https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/wheeled-devices/bicycle
LEGALITY OF ELECTRIC BICYCLES IN NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA:
Power-assisted pedal cycles A power-assisted pedal cycle is a bicycle that:
- Is designed to be propelled solely by human power, and
- Has one or more auxiliary (electric) propulsion motors attached to assist the rider. This means that it must be possible to propel the bicycle only by the rider pedalling it. The primary driving force should be the rider, and the motor is only intended to help the rider, such as when going uphill or cycling into a headwind, or to cycle at a speed they cannot maintain solely by pedalling.
There are two types of power assisted pedal cycles, described as follows:
- Power-assisted pedal cycle - maximum power output 200 watts The auxiliary motor/s must not be capable of producing a combined maximum power output exceeding 200 watts, whether or not the motor/s is operating. FIGURE 2: TYPICAL POWER-ASSISTED PEDAL CYCLES – 200 WATTS
- Power-assisted pedal cycle - maximum power output 250 watts (a ‘Pedelec’) A ‘pedelec’ is a vehicle complying with the requirements of European Standard EN 15194: 2009 or EN 15194:2009+A1:2009: ‘Cycles – Electrically power assisted cycles – EPAC Bicycles’.
To comply with EN 15194:
- The motor must be electric • The maximum continuous power output of the motor cannot exceed 250 watts measured at the wheel Note: A motor that delivers 250 watts of continuous power can produce greater power for very short periods of time, which can be beneficial when pulling away at traffic lights or starting a hill climb.
- The rider must pedal the cycle to activate the motor*
- The motor must cut-off once the vehicle reaches 25 km/h, or sooner if the rider stops pedalling
- The vehicle must be certified by the manufacturer, and labelled as complying with EN 15194. The label must include the manufacturer’s name, the motor’s cut-off speed in km/h and its continuous rated power in watts.
* Pedelecs may be equipped with an optional low-speed start-up mode that allows the motor to power the cycle up to 6 km/h. This mode is activated by the user either when riding without pedalling or when the user is pushing the cycle.
Power-assisted pedal cycles that meet either of the criteria described above do not require registration in NSW. A bicycle fitted with a motor (or motors in combination) that does not meet either of the above criteria is a moped or motorcycle and the conditions described under ‘Mopeds’ on page 1 apply.
Link to official documentation - http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/roads/safety-rules/standards/vsi-27-mopeds-power-assisted-pedal-cycles.pdf
LEGALITY OF ELECTRIC BICYCLES IN VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA:
Power assisted bicycles
Power assisted bicycles are likely to have similar performance characteristics to pedal powered bicycles so the same road rules apply. These types of power assisted bicycles are not required to be registered nor the rider required to be licensed.
Definition of a power assisted bicycle
A power assisted bicycle is identical to a pedal powered bicycle, except it has an auxiliary motor. Power assisted bicycles have two definitions in Victoria:
- A pedal cycle with one or more auxiliary propulsion motors attached which has a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 watts.
- A bicycle certified as a Pedalec (compliant with European Committee for Standardization EN 15194:2009 or EN 15194:2009+A1:2011 Cycles - Electrically power assisted cycles - EPAC Bicycles). This bicycle features an auxiliary power producing no more than 250 watts and specifies this as a continuous rating. It also restricts the top power assisted speed to 25 kilometres per hour and requires the rider to pedal to access the power.
A motorised bicycle is not classed as a bicycle if:
- the motor is not an auxiliary source of power (a person must still be able to propel the bicycle via pedals without the motor operating).
- the motor's power output exceeds 200 watts (whether or not the motor is operating), unless certified as Pedalec.
These are considered to be motorcycles. The rider will be required to hold a motorcycle licence and have the vehicle registered before it can be used on the road network. Motorcycles cannot be ridden on footpaths or bicycle paths. Motorcycle riders must wear an approved motorcycle helmet.
What is the purpose of power assisted bicycles?
The purpose of the auxiliary motor(s) is to provide assistance to the rider, for example when cycling uphill or against the wind, to enable older or less able bodied people enjoy the benefits of cycling or to enable people travel comfortably over longer distances.
What is a Pedelec?
A Pedalec is a type of power assisted bicycle equipped with one or more auxiliary propulsion motors. It allows a maximum power of 250 watts, with a safeguard allowing for power assistance only when the bicycle is travelling at less than 25km/h and the rider is pedaling. This means that the rider must pedal to obtain help from the auxiliary motor(s) and cannot simply be propelled by the motor alone. Note: The motor may operate without the rider pedaling up to a speed of 6km/h.
A Pedalec bicycle is a safe alternative mode of transport to a manual bicycle or passenger car. A Pedalec has power assistance that allows a bicycle rider to travel further and ride with less effort.
Changes to road rules for Pedelec riders
In September 2012 the Minister for Public Transport and Roads, Terry Mulder MP, announced a change to the Victorian Road Rules to allow a Pedelec to be used as a bicycle in Victoria. Rules in other Australian jurisdictions may differ. We advise that riders check with the relevant road authority before travelling interstate.
The primary objective of the change is to provide increased options of transport for road users. Other benefits of the change include:
- capitalising on new technology and allowing more options of power assisted pedal cycles while maintaining safety requirements
- responding to demands from the community
- encouraging more road users to cycle as a form of sustainable transport
- bringing Victoria into line with regulations of jurisdictions around the world
- better identifying power assisted bicycles with a clear plate marking.
Link to Official website - https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/cyclist-safety/power-assisted-bicycles
LEGALITY OF ELECTRIC BICYCLES IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA:
What is a Power Assisted Bicycle?
A power assisted bicycle (or ‘power-assisted pedal cycle’) is a pedal cycle with a motor attached to assist the rider. The attached motor may provide assistance but the pedals must be the main means of propulsion.
In South Australia, there are 2 categories of power-assisted bicycles that may be used legally on our roads;
- Power assisted bicycles with up to 200 Watts of power (the power is controlled by a throttle or accelerator); or
- Power assisted bicycles with no more than 250 Watts of continuous power which meet the definition of a pedelec (the power is controlled by the rider using the pedals).
What is a Pedalec?
In order to be a pedalec (legal for use on our roads), the power assisted bicycle must comply with the European Committee for Standardization EN 15194:2009 or EN 15194: 2009 +A1:2011 Cycles – Electrically power assisted cycles – EPAC Bicycles (“EN 15194”)
- It must be certified by the manufacturer, and labelled as complying with EN 15194. The label must have the manufacturer’s name, the motor’s cut off speed in km/h and its electric motor maximum continuous rated power in Watts. The label is often found on the bicycle’s frame immediately adjacent to the crank;
- The motor must be electric;
- The maximum continuous power output of the motor cannot exceed 250 Watts; • The rider must pedal to access the power;*
- The power must cut out when the pedelec reaches 25 km per hour or sooner (if the operator stops pedalling) * the motor may operate without pedalling up to a speed of 6km/h
Link to official documentation - https://www.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/13614/MR1135-Power-Assisted-Bicycles-Factsheet-2.14.pdf
As you can see when someone says electric bicycles are illegal in Australia they clearly do not know what they are talking about and have just made their decision based on myths.
YES! there are electric bicycles that are illegal this comes down to 1 main aspect... POWER OUTPUT!
If you see an electric bike with a power rating OVER 250Watts this bicycle is ILLEGAL for use on all PUBLIC roads and pathways in Australia and is therefore classed as a "NON-ROAD" vehicle or "OFF-ROAD" vehicle. If you choose to ride these types of bicycles you can be fined heavily and possibly have your bike taken from you