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All about Electric Bikes


Electric bicycles are one of the newest waves for transportation and leisure.  Many are opting for the use of an electric bike instead of a traditional vehicle.  Electric bikes are light-weight, easy to transport and re-assemble, and cost effective to travel on; requiring only an electric charge to the battery which last for many miles.


There are some federal requirements and laws regarding the use of an electric bike.  Such as in Canada, all eight provinces require that e-bikes have a 500 watt limit, with a speed limit not over 32 Kw/h (20 mph) on all level ground areas.


Before July 1, 2009, in Alberta it was allowed 75 watts and 35 Kw/h (22 mph) for the use of an electric bike; however, the restrictions on age all vary within Canada; as well, all e-bike riders are required to wear a helmet.  There are certain adaptations to laws that state if the e-bike doesn’t have the option of pedaling; vehicle licensing is required for operation, in most cases though, with an electronic bicycle vehicle licensing and insurance is not required.


A bicycle that uses gasoline or other fuel is classified differently than e-bikes; these types of motorbikes are actually classified as motorcycles, regardless of motor power and maximum speed.


Power assisted bicycles (e-bikes) require no registration or license to operate in Canada since about the year 2000, per Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (MVSR) laws.  A PAB (power assisted bicycle) is described as a two or three wheel bicycle with handlebars and pedals, with an electric motor of 500 watts of power or less, and a speed capability of no more than 32 kw/h when on level ground.  Other things that the MVSR laws require is that there be a label somewhere on the e-bike which shows that the e-bike was specifically manufactured as such.  Power assisted bicycles have to have an electric motor installed for momentum.


However, even though a power assisted bicycle is not in the same class as a gas powered vehicle, they still must adhere to the rules of the road as a traditional bike and motorcycle does.


Even though an e-bike can be imported or exported within Canada with different laws on them that are placed on automobiles and mopeds, some local cities may still restrict the use of e-bikes on certain roads, lanes, paths, or thoroughfares.


A bicycle type power assisted bicycle is allowed on the National Capital Commission’s (NCC) Capital Pathway Network; however, scooter styles are forbidden.


 A very important note to remember is that a power assisted bicycle is the industrial phrase to describe an e-bike in Canada; and the phrase “power assisted bicycle” is utilized in the Canadian Federal Legislation, this phrase is careful to apply to electric motor assisted bikes only by definition, which eliminates bikes with engines of internal combustion, except for in the United States.


Now that some of the major rules and regulations for operating an e-bike have been high-lighted in this article, the rider / operator of an e-bike can be safe and legal while using this mode of transportation.

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