They are considered the fastest growing category in the cycling industry globally. E-bikes widen the possibilities of cycling as a viable transportation option as well as a sustainable leisure activity.
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor offering some form of assistance to a rider in propelling the bike forwards.
Riders also have to be fitted with functional pedals for the bike to be considered a power assisted bike. Bikes fitted with a throttle based motor system must adhere to slightly different output regulations, with maximum power capped to 200w, whilst speed remains limited to 25 km per hour. Any e-bike that exceeds these regulations is categorized as a motor vehicle and standard road rules apply.
Electric powered or pedal assisted bikes follow the same standards as a regular bicycle and as such must comply with the same rules of the road. In addition to the bicycle specific laws detailed above, e-bikes are subject to both power and speed limits.
Current laws around e-bikes were first enacted in 2000 under Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. It classifies e-bikes as “power assisted bicycles”. There are three key characteristics of “power assisted bicycles”, including:
- Operational pedals
- Electric motor of 500 watts or less
- Maximum speed capacity of 32 km/hour
Moreover, “power assisted bicycles” cannot have a gasoline run motor. They may have three wheels. The current law further states that owners of electric bicycles do not require a license to operate them nor is insurance or vehicle registration required.
Ontario legislation on e-bikes places further requirements on “power assisted bicycle” riders. Specifically, Ontario riders must follow the rules and regulations that apply to normal bicycles. Thus, riders must be at least 16 years old and must wear an approved bike helmet. Ontario legislation also stipulates that e-bikes can weigh no more than 120 kilograms, requires a maximum braking distance of nine meters, and prohibits any modifications to the bike’s motor. Lastly, e-bikes are not permitted on 400-series highways, expressways, or other areas where normal bicycles are not allowed.
The team at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP strongly encourages everyone to engage in safe practices when out on the road.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to receive the help you deserve.Contact us at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP, and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.