Are you thinking of buying an electric bike? It’s important to note that the laws that apply to electric bikes are not the same as those that apply to regular bicycles. After all, electric bicycles usually have a motor and can therefore be considered as motorized vehicles when the motor is being operated.
Australian legislation on electric bikes is quite stringent. However, the introduction of Austroads’ National Cycling Strategy has seen various changes been made to these legislations. The strategy aims to promote cycling as an enjoyable recreational activity as well as a safe means of transport for Australians. The introduction of new standards for e-bikes is therefore aimed to encourage more people to take up cycling as a means of transport.
Legislative changes :- It should first be noted that there are two populartypes of electric bikes in Australia. Pedalec (pedal assist) bikes are those electric bikes that need the cyclist to continue pedaling in order to maintain the electric assistance. The second type have handlebar throttle. These bikes are able to provide propulsion without pedaling from the cyclist.
The new standards for electric bikes allow for the use of electric bikes that have up to 250 watts power output. This was increased from the original 200 watts. However, you will have to maintain a speed of not more than 25 km/h when using the motor. This low speed limit was set for safety reasons.
If you have a pedalec bike with an output greater than 250 watts, it will be considered a motorbike. You will therefore be required to obtain a license in order to continue operating such as bike. These standards have been implemented in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and ACT. Other parts are expected to follow suit.
Why Electric Bikes
It is expected that the market for electric bikes will open up with the enactment of the new standards. There are already many new options for e-bikes and electric bike parts for sale in the country. Electric bike enthusiasts will be able to get a wider range of e-bikes and electric bike accessories that are available in Europe at the moment.
The government believes that these bikes will provide a wide range of options for those who want to reduce their impact on the environment as well as save money on transportation. Electric bikes can be charged at any power outlet. You won’t need to deal with the high costs of fuel like those who use cars. These bikes are seen as a benefit not just to the individual, but to the community at large.
As additional people take up electric bikes, it is believed that this will ease road congestion. It will also help the government save money on infrastructure.
The government is also hoping to encourage more people to take up cycling and make it more accessible to more people in Australia. The power assistance offered by electric bikes ensures that people can travel faster without exerting themselves. It also ensures that people with lower levels of fitness can take up cycling without the fear of injuring themselves or pushing too hard. They can get some physical exercise and get to where they need to go.
While these changes to electric bike standards are welcome, there are still many areas that need to be addressed. Many electric bike enthusiasts feel that the legislations should be changed to allow cyclists to get the most out of their e-bikes. However, this is still in the making. Cyclists should for now get acquainted with the legislations in their area and ensure that they abide by them, especially when purchasing a bike.
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