Electric Bike Regulations
In Australia, for an electric bike to still be considered a bicycle for use on the roads and paths, our electric bikes must be limited in their power. We currently have 2 different conditions which can be met in order to achieve this ‘legal’ status. If you meet either of the current regulations below, you can ride your electric bike a a bicycle, anywhere where bicycles are allowed. If you don’t meet the criteria below, you are riding a vehicle which is not legal on the road, and you could be charged with all sorts of traffic offenses (from unregistered vehicle to unlicenced, etc). It is worth noting that although it may be unlikely that you get caught, you are also not covered by TAC insurance if using an unroadworthy vehicle.
The existing law stated that an “electric bicycle” motor must not be capable of generating more than 200watts of ungoverned power. This law was not very clear and a little misleading, as all motors rated at 200w will be capable of exceeding that output during peak periods. However, we took it to mean that the STATED output of the motor must not exceed 200w. There is no criteria under this law to have pedal-assist device fitted, so you can set the bike up with a throttle, and even cruise control.
The Australian Federal Government has now also adopted the European standard for electric bikes (already implemented by Victorian government). This means we are now allowed to run a 250watt motor, but it must be activated by a pedal assist system. This means, you must install a pedalec device which activates the motor automatically when you are pedalling. You are not allowed a throttle capable of accelerating beyond 6km/h. The motor must be limited to 25km/h. See more info at the VicRoads website.
If you want lots of power at low speed (max 10km/h), you may be able to classify your bike / trike as a mobility device.. See VicRoads for more info here
If you disagree with the power output limit on electric bikes, we encourage you to write to the Transport Minister in your State or Territory.
Pedelec devices can be a little tricky to mount on existing bikes, and they do not respond to torque on the pedals.