Green Choice Moto explains Electric Bicycle laws
We at Green Choice Moto care about your safety and want to help wade through the regulations surrounding e-bikes and electric scoters. To this end we feel it is important to write Green Choice Moto explains Electric Bicycle laws and offer links to aid in this endeavor.
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Many countries have enacted electric bicycle laws to regulate the use of electric bicycles. Countries such as the United States and Canada have federal regulations governing the safety requirements and standards of manufacture. Other countries like the signatories of the European Union have agreed to wider-ranging legislation covering use and safety of their term EPAC (electric pedal-assisted cycles).
However, confusion remains regarding the various laws involving electric bicycles. This stems from the fact that while some countries have national regulations, the legality of road use is left to states and provinces, and then complicated further by municipal laws and restrictions. Furthermore, there is a range of classifications and terms describing them – “power-assisted bicycle” (Canada) or “power-assisted cycle” (United Kingdom) or “electric pedal-assisted cycles” (European Union) or simply “electric bicycles” – and as such in some cases have varying laws according to their respective classifications in some places.
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Green Choice Moto explains Electric Bicycle laws Canada
Eight provinces of Canada allow electric power assisted bicycles. In all eight provinces, e-bikes are limited to 500 W output, and cannot travel faster than 32 km/h (20 mph) on motor power alone on level ground. In Alberta prior to July 1, 2009, the limits were 750 W and 35 km/h (22 mph), but presently match federal legislation. Age restrictions vary in Canada. All require an approved helmet. Regulations may or may not require an interlock to prevent use of power when the rider is not pedaling. Some versions (e.g., if capable of operating without pedaling) of e-bikes require drivers’ licenses in some provinces and have age restrictions. Vehicle licenses and liability insurance are not required. Generally, they are considered vehicles (like motorcycles and pedal cycles), so are subject to the same rules of the road as regular bicycles. In some cases, regulatory requirements have been complicated by lobbying in respect of the Segway PT.
Bicycles assisted by a gasoline motor or other fuel are regulated differently from e-bikes. These are classified as motorcycles, regardless of the power output of the motor and maximum attainable speed.
Note that in Canada, the term “assist bicycle” is the technical term for an e-bike and “power-assisted bicycle” is used in the Canadian Federal Legislation, but is carefully defined to only apply to electric motor assist, and specifically excludes internal combustion engines (though this is not the case in the United States). Green Choice Moto explains Electric Bicycle laws.