Whether you are an expert biker or just an enthusiastic beginner, you must be curious to know more about Australia’s electric bike rules and regulations.
There is a massive surge in the popularity of electric bikes, all thanks to the baggage of benefits they bring. However, despite the benefits and remarkable growth e-bikes have seen all these years, many users still question, “Are e-bikes legal in Australia?”
If you are one of them, we have got you covered with a detailed guide. Scroll down for more exciting details about the rules and regulations regarding e-bikes in Australia.
Are E-Bikes Legal in Australia?
Before you take the final plunge and hit the road with your e-bike, let’s address the elephant in the room: Are e-bikes legal in Australia?
It is crucial to understand the legal parameters that define the usage of electric bikes in Australia. From specific power and speed limitations to age variations and regional variations, the legal framework around e-bikes is essential in ensuring the safety of riders and pedestrians.
But hold on, here’s some delightful news for you! E-bikes are legal to use in Australia. In fact, Australia is known as one of the most e-bike-friendly countries in the world, with each state and city having regulations for riders.
But it is important to note that you shouldn’t act upon your assumptions. Sticking to the traffic rules and understanding the speed limits for electric bikes is essential. Ignorance of these rules can land you in serious trouble and even put your safety at risk.
What are E-Bike Rules in Australia?
According to the rules and regulations in Australia, e-bikes are categorized as bicycles rather than motor vehicles under Australian legislation. This categorization shows that electric bikes mainly use human pedaling force and have additional assistance from electric motors.
The specific criteria for the categorization of e-bikes in Australia are described in detail below. Let’s take a look:
As per the latest legal framework in Australia, the power output of the e-bike should not exceed the maximum range of 250 Watts. This restriction ensures that electric bikes stay under the category of bicycles and not motorcycles.
It is also mandatory for your electric bikes to work on a pedal-assist system. Your electric motor should only be used when you are pedaling. So, ensure you are not operating your electric bike solely on the motor.
It is also essential to keep up with the speed limitations. When using motor assistance, it is necessary to note that the maximum speed doesn’t cross 25 kilometers or 15.5 miles per hour.
Electric bikes with a limit of 25 kilometers per hour automatically ensure that the assistance shuts down once you reach the maximum speed limit. Thus, you are only left with manual pedaling power. For throttle use, the max legal speed is 6km/h.
Many bikers are confused about getting a license and registration for their e-bikes in Australia.
If your e-bike has a speed limit of 25 kilometers per hour, you do not need to get a license because it maintains its status as a bicycle. However, you must have a license if it crosses the standard stipulated speed limit.
In addition to this, some Australian states like NSW have special requirements for riders when they buy their electric bikes. They are required to register their new bikes. Remember, all these rules and regulations help the government to ensure your safety and the safety of pedestrians on the road.
General Rules for E-Bike Riders
Some might think that e-bikers are not subject to the general traffic rules when riding. This is far from true. Here are some additional road rules for e-bike riders to ensure their safety:
Like traditional bikers and pedestrians on the road, e-bike users are also subject to standard road rules and regulations. For example, riders must observe the traffic signals and laws, and give way to pedestrians. They should also maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters from the other riders or cycling partners when riding.
It is also essential for e-bikers to have lights in their e-bikes to increase their visibility. This is particularly important for riders riding in poorly-lit areas or riding during night-time.
Another important rule is to wear helmets when riding on your e-bike. Whether riding the bike or sitting on the passenger seat, the Australian government has made it mandatory for all riders and passengers to wear helmets.
Moreover, if the passenger doesn’t comply with the rules, the rider can get into serious trouble as riders are held responsible. So make sure your passenger is also wearing a helmet along with you.
Riders can only carry around 40 kg to 80 kilograms on their electric bikes. You can also check the weight limitations with your dealer as it is important to make sure you stay within the limits as suggested by the regulatory bodies.
Using a Phone While Riding
Whether you want to use your phone for GPS or to make a call, it is strictly prohibited to use it while riding. Make sure you don’t use your phone for more than 2 minutes when you are riding your bike as it can lead to accidents.
Many riders are also curious to know if they can carry passengers on e-bikes.
The simple answer to this question is, if you carry a passenger, ensure your e-bike is adapted for that purpose. If it is not designed to carry passengers, it is illegal to carry passengers with you.
Consider this example: If your e-bike has a large saddle, it is probably passenger-friendly, and you can safely and conveniently carry a passenger.
However, some electric bikes are specifically designed for one user. So, before buying, confirming these details with your dealer is essential.
If you keep up these rules and regulations while using your electric bike, you are free to use your electric bike and hit the road. Moreover, it is also essential to stay updated about the regular changes in the rules and regulations regarding electric bikes in Australia.
Since they might vary in different states and territories, it would be best if you check in with your local regulatory bodies to make sure you are in the right direction.
Throttle vs Pedal-Assisted Electric Bikes
Many e-bike enthusiasts need clarification about throttle and pedal-assisted electric bikes. So before we explore other critical aspects of the legal framework in Australia, it is also essential to know the differences between the two.
Pedal-assisted e-bikes (or pedelecs) feature electric motors that operate on pedal assistance. These electric bikes may have more power when they are given manual aid. These bikes feature a motor that gives an electric boost when the riders are riding but automatically shuts down when the bike reaches its maximum speed.
Throttle e-bikes, on the other hand, can operate without pedaling. Most e-bikes today feature both throttle and pedal-assist modes. Regarding legality of throttle e-bikes in Australia, you can use your e-bike on throttle mode with a speed that does not exceed 6 km/h.
It’s important to note that the pedal-assist bikes in Australia generally follow the European Standard EN15194 pedelecs requirements, which are as follows:
- Make sure that the motor in your bike is electric.
- You should pedal to activate the motor if you travel more than 6 kilometers per hour.
- If you cross the speed limit of 25 kilometers per hour or stop pedaling, you should shut down your motor.
- It is strictly prohibited for your e-bikes to exceed the continuous power output of 250 Watts at any given time. When you are pulling away from a traffic signal, your engine can produce more power quickly.
- You should also be certified by the manufacturer and have a label or credibility to show that you comply with EN15194.
- It would be best if you also had a label that displays your manufacturer’s name, the motor’s maximum speed in kilometers per hour and the continuous rated power output of your electric motor in Watts.
Pro tip: It would be best to have an adequate braking system, a bell, or other useful audible device to help you prevent accidents. Moreover, it would be best to use red reflectors or white lights when traveling at night for extra visibility and safety.
Following these regulations, You can amp up your road adventures and have fun while staying safe.
Final Thoughts: Are E-Bikes Legal in Australia?
There you have it; we hope we have covered your query. We have also covered all critical aspects of rules and regulations surrounding electric bikes in Australia.
It is crucial to remember that these rules ensure that you stay safe and secure while commuting. These rules also ensure you don’t risk your life or other pedestrians’ lives. The government cares about you and your safety.
If you are keeping up with these rules, you are good to go. We hope you enjoyed the read. In case you want to buy an e-bike, make sure to explore our fat tire Engwe Engine Pro, long distance Engwe M20, and portable Engwe T14!