Ebikes are increasing in popularity as an alternative form of transportation. As a new rider it is important to protect yourself and those around you, so please spend some time getting to know what your rights and limitations as a new e-bike rider.
What is an ebike?
An ebike, is also known as a power-assisted bicycle. Essentially it is a bicycle with a motor.
There are various styles of ebikes, from conventional bicycles to scooter types. Regardless of style, an ebike is only classified as an ebike when it meets the definition of an ebike as listed below. It's important to note an ebike is classified as a bicycle and the majority of road rules and regulations pertaining to bicycles also apply to an ebike.
- Ebike Features:
- maximum weight of 120kg (including both weight of the bike and the battery);
- wheels with a diameter of at least 350mm and width of at least 35mm;
- equipped with a minimum two independent braking systems for each tire;
- brakes must be able to stop an ebike traveling at top speed (32km/h) within 9 meters of application;
- all electrical terminals must be completely insulated or covered;
- battery and motor must be securely fastened to the ebike;
- steering handlebars and pedals;
- pedals must be equipped at all times without exception;
- designed to travel with no more than 3 wheels in contact to the ground;
- capable of being operated with muscule power;
- has one or more electric motors no greater than 500w;
- motor provides assistance when engaged by muscule power and ceases when muscule power ceases;
- if operable via a throttle, the motor ceases when brakes are applied;
- incapable of providing further assistance above 32km/h on level ground;
- bears a label permanently affixed by the manufacturer stating the vehicle is a power-assisted bicycle;
- has not been modified to produce more than 500w and to travel faster than 32km/h.
What do I need to operate an ebike?
Ebikes are classified as bicycles as long as they fit the federal requirements listed above. Legally, there are only two requirements that one must fulfill in order to operate an ebike:
- all operators and passengers must be 16 years of age or older
- all operators must wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times
- As long as the operator fits the requirements listed above, the following applies to all operators of ebikes:
- no driver's license is required
- no written test is required
- no vehicle registration or plate is required
- no motor vehicle liability insurance is required
Where are ebikes allowed?
As long as your ebike fits the definition of an ebike as stated above, it is in the same classification as a conventional bicycle. This means that you are allowed to ride your ebike anywhere were a conventional bicycle is allowed, but with the following limitations.
Ebikes can be used on: roads, bike paths, bike trails, and bike lanes.
However, you may only ride on "bike only" lanes and paths as long as the motor is not engaged at any point.
Can I carry a passenger?
Passengers are not permitted on a bicycle that has been designed for one person. Some ebikes (generally scooter types) are designed to carry passengers, but check with your local municipality to clarify whether carrying a passenger is allowed in your area.
For more detailed information regarding ebike laws in Ontario, please refer to The Ministry of Transportation.
For more information or to order call eBikes Barrie, 705-770-4535.