Considering the idea of joining the e-bike revolution in South Australia? Perhaps you’re intrigued by the convenience and eco-friendliness they offer, but uncertainties about their legality hold you back. Worry not, for we have all the answers you seek!
In this blog, we will delve into the legal aspects surrounding ebikes in South Australia. From understanding which cycles or e-bikes are legal in South Australia to knowing the regulations that govern their usage, you’ll have all the necessary information at your fingertips.
Legal E-Bike Definitions in South Australia
An ebike or power-assisted bicycle, also known as a pedal cycle, is a regular bicycle equipped with an electric motor to aid the rider while pedaling.
In South Australia, there are two distinct categories of power-assisted bicycles permitted for use on the roads:
- Power-Assisted Pedal Cycles: These e-bikes feature electric motor(s) with a combined maximum power output of up to 200 Watts. They cannot rely solely on the motors for propulsion and must be pedal-assisted.
- Electrically Power-Assisted Cycles: This category encompasses e-bikes with a continuous electric power output not exceeding 250 Watts. Similar to the previous category, they cannot be propelled exclusively by the motor and require pedal input from the rider.
NOTE: Vehicles relying solely on an internal combustion engine are classified as motor vehicles and require a driver’s license, registration, and compulsory third-party insurance. However, power-assisted bicycles do not necessitate registration, nor do riders need a license to operate them legally on South Australian roads.
What is a Legal E-Bike in South Australia?
An electric bike in South Australia must meet the following criteria for legal road use:
Power-Assisted Pedal Cycles
- Human power (pedaling) is the primary means of propulsion.
- An electric motor(s) serves as the secondary source of propulsion, with a maximum power output of 200 Watts.
- The bike’s tare weight, including any batteries, should not exceed 50kg.
- The seat must be height adjustable for the rider’s comfort.
- The bicycle must not rely solely on the motor; the rider must use pedals for movement.
How to Identify a Power Assisted Bicycle?
To determine if a vehicle is a power-assisted bicycle, consider key differences in appearance and pedal power.
The bike should resemble a regular bicycle with attached electric motor(s). Pedals must serve as the primary power source, with a distance between the inner faces of the cranks of less than 180 mm. Plus, the bike should be rideable even if the motor fails.
Electrically Power-Assisted Cycles
- The primary source of propulsion is human power, enabled by pedaling.
- The e-bike’s maximum continuous power should not exceed 250 Watts.
- The electric power output should progressively decrease as the cycle’s speed surpasses 6 km/h.
- The electric assistance cuts off when the cycle reaches 25 km/h or if the cyclist stops pedaling and the speed exceeds 6 km/h.
What is NOT a Legal Electric Bike in South Australia?
An electric bike is not considered legal in South Australia if it:
- Lacks the capability to be manually propelled by pedals without relying on the motor’s operation.
- Exceeds a motor power output of 200 watts, even if the motor is not actively in use, unless it is an EPAC.
- Contains an internal combustion engine, making it ineligible as a power-assisted bicycle for use on South Australian roads or road-related areas.
- Is a modified EPAC with power output beyond 250 watts or an assisted speed over 25 km/h.
- Resembles motorcycle scooters with features more akin to motor vehicles and not designed for easy propulsion through pedaling.
- Falls into the category of high-powered motorized bicycles intended for off-road use, often equipped with motors surpassing 200 watts.
Riding E-Bike in South Australia Within Legal Limits
Despite being classified as bicycles, e-bike riders must meet certain requirements to ride within legal limits:
- Safety Equipment: Your e-bike must be equipped with essential safety gear, including at least one working brake and an audible warning device, such as a bell or horn. If riding at night or in adverse weather, visible front and back lights, along with a reflector, are mandatory.
- Helmet Usage: Always wear a properly fitting and securely fastened helmet when riding, including any passengers you carry. Helmets must meet the Australian safety standard AS/NZS2063.
- Riding Rules: Adhere to road rules applicable to drivers, with additional considerations for bicycles:
- Maintain a forward-facing position and have at least one hand on the handlebars while riding.
- Keep a safe distance from traffic in front, ensuring you have enough space to stop safely.
- Respect give-way signs and lines. Slow down or stop if necessary to avoid collisions and yield to vehicles at intersections.
- Always give way to pedestrians crossing the road you are turning into, regardless of pedestrian lights.
- When turning right, use your right arm to signal your intention. Left turns do not require a signal but are recommended.
Best E-Bikes in South Australia That Are Legal to Ride
Engwe C20 Pro
The Engwe C20 Pro boasts a robust 250W motor paired with a long-lasting 36V 19.2Ah (691Wh) lithium battery, providing an exhilarating ride. With it, you can reach speeds of up to 15.5mph (25km/h) and cover distances of up to 65 miles (105km) on a single charge.
Moreover, with the 7-speed Shimano gear shift system, you can conquer even rough terrains with ease.
Safety is paramount with the integrated tail light and front light, ensuring visibility during nighttime rides or low-light conditions.
Convenience is also a highlight, as the bike’s compact folding size makes it ideal for city dwellers with limited space.
- Speed: 15.5mph (25km/h)
- Battery: 36V 19.2Ah (691Wh)
- Range: Up to 65 miles (105km)
- Motor: 250W
Equipped with a powerful 250W Bafang motor, the Engwe C20 effortlessly cruises on various terrains, including hills with gradients of up to 20°.
The 36V 10.4Ah detachable lithium-ion battery offers an impressive maximum mileage of 80km on a single charge, making it perfect for both daily commutes and extended rides.
You can also customize your ride with the Shimano 7-speed drivetrain and three riding modes, ensuring adaptability to different road conditions.
Safety features include a reliable dual disc brake system and an integrated front lamp for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions or at night. In addition, the inclusion of a comfortable saddle and front suspension fork guarantees a smooth and enjoyable ride.
- Speed: 15.5mph (25km/h)
- Battery: 36V 10.4Ah (374Wh)
- Range: Up to 50 miles (80km)
- Motor: 250W
To Sum Up
Electric bikes offer a fun and eco-friendly way to commute. But before embarking on your e-bike adventure in South Australia, knowing the legalities is essential. Understand which e-bikes are allowed and the regulations in place for a confident and safe ride. By following the rules, you will be able to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for yourself as well as for others on the road.