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Electric bikes are gaining popularity in Australia, making cities more e-bike-friendly. Riding an electric bike offers various benefits, from exercise to traveling. However, it’s crucial to be aware of and follow road legality and traffic laws. 

Ignorance or lack of information should never be an excuse for violating a law… which is why we have put together this guide. Read on to understand the e-bike laws in Australia so as to avoid potential fines or misunderstandings.

General E-Bike Laws in Australia

Australia is known for having some of the best e-bike rides worldwide. In every state and city, there are plans to make room for more electric bikes, which is totally true. But, to keep everyone safe – drivers, walkers, and other road users – we need rules that are the same everywhere. Consequently, the most important concern is, “Are electric bicycles legal in Australia?” Especially in certain regions of Australia, this is true, but it isn’t the complete picture.

E-bikes are categorized as bicycles under Australian law. Also known as pedelecs or electric bicycles, the e-bikes in Australia need to have a pedal-assist system. They are powered by an electric motor and are governed by specific regulations to ensure safety and compliance with road rules. The rules and regulations for can differ between states and territories, but generally align with the following guidelines:

Motor Power Limits: Pedelecs in Australia often need to have an electric motor with a maximum power output of 250 watts. This limit is put in place to ensure that the motor provides support to the rider while still primarily relying on pedaling. Moreover, the electric motor must activate only when the rider is actively pedaling.

Speed Limit: The electric assistance from the motor is usually capped at a specific speed, such as 25 km/h. Once the pedelec reaches this speed, the motor assistance might need to disengage to meet the regulations. The electric motor activates only when the rider is actively pedaling.

Licensing and Registration: In many instances, pedelecs don’t require riders to hold a driver’s license or register the vehicle, unlike motor vehicles. As a general rule, the requirement of license for electric bikes with a speed of 25km/h is not necessary, but if your ebike exceeds this limit then you may have to get a license. Some states (like NSW) will require registration before purchasing new ebikes.

Road Etiquette and Visibility: It’s important for pedelec riders to adhere to standard traffic rules and regulations just like traditional cyclists, including obeying traffic signals, signs, and giving way to pedestrians where necessary. Keeping the right distance of 1.5 meters from your cycling partner is mandatory.

Lighting and Visibility: Pedelecs are often required to be equipped with lights to enhance visibility, particularly when riding in low-light conditions or at nighttime.

Wearing Helmet: The law in Australia states that any rider on an electric bicycle, including the passenger, must wear a helmet. Helmets for both the rider and the passenger are mandatory. This is because the rider is responsible for what happens on their bike and they could get in trouble if they break the law.

Using Phone While Cycling: Using GPS on a phone while riding is not allowed. You can use GPS with a stand on the e-bike. Video calling or using your phone for more than two minutes is also not allowed.

Allowed Weight on E-bike: According to Australian rules and regulations for e-bikes, weight on e-bike shouldn’t exceed 40 kilograms (80 pounds).

It’s essential to be aware of the specific rules and laws in the state or territory where the pedelec will be used, as requirements and restrictions may vary. Additionally, keeping abreast of any updates or modifications to pedelec regulations is crucial for riders to ensure legal compliance and uphold safe riding practices.

E-Bike Laws Across Australian States

While the general laws provide a foundational understanding, the regulations across Australian territories warrant a detailed examination. Each state brings its own set of rules, reflecting the unique traffic dynamics, infrastructure, and demographics. Let us have a look at e-bike laws in each state of Australia.

E-Bike Laws in Victoria

Victoria is a great place for those who ride electric bikes, and the city is quite bike-friendly. Riders can get about town with no difficulty because of the city’s extensive network of bike paths and lanes. There are numerous options for e-bike touring throughout scenic landscapes, sprawling cities, and quaint communities abound. 

Electric bikes in Victoria fall into two categories.

  1. Low-powered e-bike with a motor output not exceeding 200W. 
  2. Pedelec with a combined power output of 250W and a maximum speed of 25km/h, following the general rule of pedal assist.

Upon meeting these criteria, the electric bike is classified as a bicycle and is legally permitted on all Victorian roads. If you choose to disobey the laws and regulations regulating e-bikes in Victoria, you may face criminal consequences and significant fines.

E-Bike Laws in Queensland (QLD)

According to the bicycle road rules in Queensland, you’re allowed to ride a motorized bicycle on all roads and paths unless bicycles are specifically prohibited in those areas. A motorized bicycle is classified as either:

  1. An electric bike with a motor output of up to 200W, equipped with pedal assist.
  2. A “pedelec,” which is an e-bike with a 250W output and a maximum speed of 25km/h. It’s important for this type of electric bike to adhere to the speed limit, with the motor unlocking beyond this speed. At that point, the e-bike is powered merely by manual pedaling.
  3. Pedelecs must also meet EN15194 compliance standards.

In line with the general rules in Australia, e-bikes have the flexibility to go above the limit of 25 km/h as long as the motor is turned off and manual pedaling propels the e-bike forward.

E-Bike Laws In Northern Territory

Electric bikes are considered bicycles in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia.

  1. Riders must be at least 16 years old to enjoy the e-bike experience in the NT.
  2. E-bikes in the NT are equipped with an electric motor that assists the rider while pedaling, with a maximum power output of 250 watts.
  3. The maximum speed limit for e-bikes in the NT is 25 kilometers per hour (15.5 miles per hour), ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride.
  4. Registration, licensing, and compulsory third-party insurance are not required for e-bikes in the NT.
  5. While not mandatory, it is highly recommended for riders to wear helmets for their safety and protection.
  6. E-bikes are allowed on shared paths, cycleways, and bicycle lanes, providing riders with the freedom to explore and commute.

E-Bike Laws in South Australia and Western Australia

E-bikes have emerged as the favored transportation means for Western Australians, raising queries about the e-bike laws in the region. E-bikes are legal in WA. They are recognized as power-assisted pedal cycles and are governed by specific regulations.

  1. E-bike laws in these territories align with those in other regions. Yet, in Western Australia, an electric bike’s width must be at most 660mm.
  2. Electric bikes exceeding 250W are prohibited on Western Australian roads. They are only permitted for use on private properties.
  3. Individuals over 16 can ride ebike without a license, subject to the same road rules as bicycles.

E-Bike Laws in Tasmania

Two types of e-bikes are permitted on Tasmanian roads, footpaths, and across pedestrians unless there is a “No Bicycles” sign.

  1. The first type is the 200W power-assisted electric bike. Operated using a throttle or accelerator at initial take-off.
  2. The second type is the EN15194-compliant 250W pedelec. The motor disengages when it reaches a top speed of 25 km/h.

E-Bike Laws in New South Wales

According to the bicycle road rules in New South Wales, you’re allowed to ride a motorized bicycle on all roads and paths unless bicycles are specifically forbidden in those areas. A motorized bicycle is classified as either:

  1. An electric bike with a motor output of up to 200W, equipped with pedal assist.
  2. A “pedelec,” which is an e-bike with a 250W output and a maximum speed of 25km/h. This type of electric bike needs to adhere to the speed limit, with the motor disengaging beyond this speed. At that point, the e-bike is powered just by manual pedaling.
  3. Pedelecs must also meet EN15194 compliance standards.

In line with the general rules, electric bikes have the flexibility to go beyond the 25km/h limit as long as the motor is turned off and manual pedaling propels the e-bike forward.

Where to Buy E-Bikes in Australia?

Engwe is a well-known e-bike brand with a solid presence in the American, European, and Austalian markets. At Engwe, all e-bikes are designed to be safe and compliant with Australian laws, and so can be used all over Australia. We offer a number of high-quality and affordable electric bikes to cater to every type of rider. 

At Engwe, we believe that e-bikes can contribute to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. So make sure to check out our product line when you’re packed and ready to go. Let’s begin a journey towards fun and healthy ways to get around!

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