Electric bikes have become a popular choice in Australia, providing a green and efficient alternative to traditional bicycles and motorbikes. But how fast can these electric bikes go in the land of kangaroos and koalas?
In this blog, we will explore the legal limits and discuss the general speed of electric bikes. We will also cover what you can do within the speed limit and the factors that affect the speed of e-bikes, along with ways to maximize their speed potential.
Speed Limits for Electric Bikes in Australia
While you might feel the temptation to zoom ahead on your electric bike, it’s important to keep in mind that there are speed limits in effect that you must adhere to.
These limits maintain a careful equilibrium between safety and efficient travel. So, even though you may desire to go at top speed, it’s crucial to apply the brakes when you reach the designated speed limits.
Here are the key points to note:
- Maximum Speed of 25 km/h: Electric bikes in Australia are required to have a speed limitation of 25 km/h (15.5 mph). This means that the motor assistance will cease once the bike reaches this speed. To continue moving faster, riders must rely solely on their pedaling power.
- Throttle Operation: Electric bikes with throttles are permitted as long as the throttle cuts out at speeds above 6 km/h (3.7 mph). This restriction ensures that the throttle acts as a walk mode, assisting riders in maneuvering the bike while dismounted or moving at low speeds. Beyond this threshold, pedaling is necessary to propel the bike forward.
- Power Output Limitation: Electric bikes with throttles must also adhere to a maximum continuous power output of 200 watts. This restriction aims to maintain a balance between power and rider control, preventing excessive acceleration that could pose safety risks.
Consequences of Violating Speed Limits
If you zip past those speed limits without following the rules, there might be some consequences waiting for you. We’re talking about the law getting involved, slapping you with fines, penalties, or worse yet, demanding a driving license!
But do not worry. The rules only apply to public roads. On private property, you are free to use your electric bike at any speed you want!
Other Legal Requirements for Riding E-Bikes in Australia
In Australia, electric bikes are classified as bicycles rather than motor vehicles. Consequently, they must adhere to the same rules as regular bicycles. To be ridden on public roads without requiring registration, electric bikes in Australia must meet the following criteria:
- Maximum Power Output: The electric motor of the e-bike must have a maximum power output of 250 watts.
- Motor Assistance Speed: The electric motor should only provide assistance when the e-bike is traveling at speeds up to 25 kilometers per hour (15.5 miles per hour).
- Pedal Assistance: Electric bikes in Australia must have pedal assistance, meaning that the motor only activates when the rider is pedaling.
- Safety Equipment: Riders of electric bikes in Australia must wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times while riding. Additionally, it is advisable to use reflective clothing or accessories to enhance visibility, especially when riding at night or in low-light conditions.
- Road Rules Compliance: Electric bike riders must adhere to the same road rules and regulations as regular cyclists. This includes obeying traffic signals, giving way to pedestrians, and using designated cycling lanes or paths where available.
- Bicycle Lighting Requirements: When riding an electric bike at night or in hazardous weather conditions with reduced visibility, it is mandatory to have a white light on the front and a red light on the rear of the bike. These lights should be visible from a minimum distance of 200 meters (656 feet) and can be in the form of separate lights or integrated into the e-bike.
How Fast Do Electric Bikes Generally Go?
Most e-bikes available today have a maximum assisted speed of 20 to 28 miles per hour (32 to 45 kilometers per hour). These speeds famously fall within the “class 1, 2, or 3” categories in the United States.
Class 1 e-bikes have a pedal-assist system that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling. These bikes typically reach a top speed of around 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour). Class 2 e-bikes have the same speed, but they can also have throttle. Class 3 e-bikes are also pedal-assist like Class 1, but they can provide assistance up to a maximum speed of 28 miles per hour (45 kilometers per hour).
Is 25km/h Enough for E-Bikes in Australia?
Yes, a speed of 25 km/h (15.5mph) is generally considered sufficient for most electric bike riders.
For commuting, 25 km/h allows you to easily keep up with urban traffic, making your ride safer and more efficient. You can navigate through city streets without feeling significantly slower than other vehicles, which is especially advantageous during rush hours.
In terms of recreational riding, whether you’re exploring scenic routes, engaging in group rides, or simply seeking an enjoyable outdoor activity, 15.5 mph offers a satisfying level of speed. Furthermore, this speed range is enough to ensure that you can easily tackle moderate inclines and navigate various terrains.
Factors That Impact the Speed of eBikes
While legal limitations in Australia may restrict the maximum speed achievable on your eBike, there are several other factors within your control that can impact your overall speed.
By understanding and managing these factors, you can ensure that your eBike operates at its best. So, let’s explore!
The power output of the electric motor significantly affects the speed of an eBike. A higher motor power allows the eBike to generate more torque, which translates into faster acceleration and higher top speeds.
A larger battery capacity allows for a greater amount of stored energy, enabling the motor to deliver more power and support higher speeds.
Battery State of Charge
The remaining charge level of the battery has a significant impact on the eBike’s speed. As the battery charge depletes, the available power to the motor diminishes, resulting in reduced speed.
Therefore, it is important to maintain the battery adequately charged to ensure optimal speed performance throughout the ride.
The rider’s input, particularly through pedaling, has a direct influence on the e-bike’s speed. By exerting more force and maintaining consistent pedaling, the rider can maximize the motor assistance, thereby increasing the overall speed of the ebike.
The type of terrain you ride on has a significant impact on the eBike’s speed.
When riding uphill, the motor needs to exert more power to overcome the incline, resulting in a decrease in maximum speed. Conversely, riding on flat surfaces or downhill allows the eBike to achieve higher speeds with less effort, as the motor can assist the rider more effectively.
The weight of the ebike, including the rider and any additional cargo, impacts its speed. Heavier loads increase the resistance and require more power from the motor to attain higher speeds.
Therefore, reducing the weight of the eBike and maintaining a lighter load can enhance its performance and speed capabilities.
Riding against a headwind increases the resistance, making it harder to maintain higher speeds. On the other hand, riding with a tailwind provides a natural boost in speed, allowing the eBike to achieve higher velocities more easily.
Proper tire pressure is crucial for optimal ebike performance and speed.
Underinflated tires increase rolling resistance, making it more difficult to reach higher speeds. Therefore, by regularly checking and maintaining the tires at the recommended pressure, the e-bike can roll more efficiently, reducing resistance and maximizing speed potential.
The design of the e bike, including its frame geometry, aerodynamics, and components, can have a notable impact on its speed.
Sleek and aerodynamic designs minimize wind resistance, enabling the ebike to achieve higher speeds.
Best E-Bikes in Australia Within Legal Speed Limits
The Engwe C20 is equipped with a powerful 250W Bafang motor, allowing for a smooth ride and the ability to tackle steep hills with gradients up to 20°. Its detachable 36V 10.4Ah lithium-ion battery provides an impressive maximum range of 80 km per charge, making it ideal for daily city commutes.
The Shimano 7-speed drivetrain and three riding modes allow for easy adaptation to different terrains and personal preferences. Additionally, the C20 features a comfortable saddle and a front suspension fork, providing a smoother ride even on rough surfaces.
- Motor: 250W Bafang motor
- Battery: 36V 10.4Ah (374Wh)
- Range: Up to 50 miles (80km)
Engwe C20 Pro – Long Range
The Engwe C20 PRO boasts a robust motor and a durable lithium battery that deliver impressive power and a long range.
To ensure a smooth and comfortable experience, the bike is equipped with a sturdy front suspension, making it suitable for various terrains. Moreover, with a 7-speed Shimano gear shift system, riders have complete control over their speed and maneuverability.
Making safety a top priority, Engwe C20 PRO features an integrated tail light and front light, ensuring visibility during nighttime rides. Furthermore, the bike’s compact folding size makes it a convenient choice for both urban commuting and wild adventures.
- Motor: 250W Bafang motor
- Battery: 36V 19.2Ah (691Wh)
- Range: Up to 65 miles (105km)
To sum up, the legal limit for electric bikes in Australia is set at 25 km/h (15.5 mph). While this limit may seem low, it is designed to ensure a safe and manageable speed for riders, particularly in urban environments.
True that it may not offer the same exhilarating speeds as motorcycles or high-powered bicycles, but it can still provide a moderate yet efficient pace for commuting and recreational riding!