Summary of the latest e-bike regulations in different countries

Summary of the latest e-bike regulations in different countries.

By 2022, the global e-bike market is close to historical highs. According to statistics, the global e-bike market size of $37.47 billion, to the European market.

For example, in 2022, the European bicycle market sales increased to 22 million units. The market reached $9,681.99 million. The number of people travelling by e-bike is comparable to the number of electric cars.

With the expansion of the e-bike scale along with the related infrastructure and regulatory construction, along with the development of the industry’s safety issues and riding norms need to be stopped and remedied in a timely manner, the need for the government to guide the entire industry gradually towards the formalization of the industry.

With the gradual improvement of each country’s regulations, the industry will develop more standardized.

However, according to different national conditions, each country or region will adopt different product standards, so that you can understand the relevant product regulations and standards of each major market for electric bikes.

This article will generally introduce the latest regulations and related standards for electric bicycles in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, etc.

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    United States

    The United States is an emerging market for e-bikes, with e-commerce development and a large increase in e-bikes.

    Low- and mid-range are popular with delivery personnel, but safety risks are high, so regulations on e-bikes are relatively strict.

    E-bikes in the United States are divided into three main categories.

    • Class 1: Bicycle motor only in the use of pedals to provide assistance, the maximum speed of 20 mph, does not allow purely electric operation.
    • Class 2: Bikes, which can be operated purely electrically, have a maximum speed of 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycles, which can be pedal-assisted and throttle operated with a maximum speed of 28 mph for pedal-assisted and 20 mph for throttle.

    Other categories of vehicles require registration, licence and insurance to operate. You can also check the U.S. e-bike laws for your reference.

    e-bike regulations in United States

    In addition to basic e-bike regulations, states refine speed and age limits for driving on different roads.

    California bike lanes are open for Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes. Class 3 e-bikes are required to operate in lanes specifically marked as Class 3 and riders must wear helmets and be at least 16 years old, and are not allowed to carry passengers.

    Texas requires riders to be at least 15 years old to operate a Class 3 e-bike.

    Florida has no age requirement to ride, but does not allow driving on sidewalks.

    New York City can operate an e-bike on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less, but not on any sidewalks. The rider must keep at least one hand on the handlebars. The minimum age to ride in New York City is 16 or older.

    Pennsylvania prohibits riders under the age of 16 from operating e-bikes, and e-bikes may be operated on certain sidewalks.

    On March 2rd, the New York City Council passed a plan for lithium-ion battery safety legislation in response to a growing number of fires, including a ban on the sale of e-bikes, other powered mobility devices such as electric scooters, and electric bike batteries that do not meet a recognized certification (UL 2849 or similar).

    Canada

    In Canada, the motor power of an e-bike must not exceed 500W and the motor speed must not exceed 32km/h. Pure electric drives are classified as Class 2 e-bikes.

    Variable speed e-bikes do not meet the statutory motor limits as their motors provide a maximum speed of 45 km/h. It is not promoted for cycling.

    Alberta e-bikes have a power limit of 500W and a maximum speed of 32 km/h. No driver’s license, vehicle insurance or registration required.

    British Columbia E-bikes have a maximum speed of 32 km/h. A license is not required to ride an e-bike, but the rider must be at least 16 years old.

    Ontario e-bikes cannot weigh more than 120 kg and have a maximum braking distance of 9 meters.
    Manitoba does not allow three wheel designs. Riders must be 14 years of age or older.

    New Brunswick requires e-bikes to have rims larger than 9 inches and seats at least 27 inches off the ground. There is no minimum age to ride an e-bike.

    Prince Edward Island classifies e-bikes as speed-restricted motorcycles, e-bikes need to be registered and riders need a license. Riders must be at least 16 years old.

    e-bike regulations in Canada

    Europe

    The EU divides e-bikes into four categories and all e-bikes must be registered and insured.

    Each Member State is free to enact its own regulations based on road traffic laws.

    In Belgium, vehicles with a maximum power rating of 250W and a maximum speed of 25 mph can be driven without helmets, and citizens 16 years of age or older can ride “e-bikes” with a power rating of 1,000W and a maximum speed of 25 mph.

    Helmets are not required. “Speed Pedelecs” are electric bicycles with a maximum power of 4000W and a maximum speed of 45 mph. They are classified as mopeds and the same requirements apply.

    Denmark provides for the use of high-speed e-bikes on bike paths.

    Finland limits the maximum speed and motor power to 25 km/h and 250W respectively. What does a 250W e-bike mean?

    The motor can only be used as an aid to riding. There is also an insurance law for motors with a power of 250 to 1,000W.

    These high-powered bikes are classified as L1e-A e-bikes, which must also keep their top speed below 25 mph and require insurance to be used on public roads.

    e-bike regulations in Europe

    The Norwegian Vehicle Code classifies e-bikes in the same category as regular bicycles. There are no licensing requirements. The power rating must not exceed 250W and the assisted speed of an e-bike must not exceed 20 mph.

    Sweden applies ordinary bicycle law to e-bikes, the motor is rated at no more than 250W and the motor does not provide assistance after reaching 25 mph.

    The UK e-bike law has a maximum speed of 25 km/h and a 250W motor. The maximum weight of the bike must not exceed 30 pounds. Must be at least 14 years old to ride legally.

    Italy e-bikes have a maximum speed of 25 km/h on main roads and must be kept below 6 km/h on sidewalks.

    Australia

    In Australia, there are two categories of e-bikes, both of which have a speed limit of 25 km/h.

    According to the Australian government’s e-bikes regulations, power-assisted pedal bikes (formerly known as Pedalec) must operate at 250W or less from an electric motor, and the bike cannot be powered by the motor alone.

    It must pedal and weigh less than 50 kilograms. Electric bikes need to run at 200W or less, and once the throttle exceeds 6km/h, the power is reduced to 25km/h, which can be achieved by motor driving alone.

    Helmets are required in every state and if your e-bike uses the motor to reach speeds above 25km/h, then it needs to be registered as a motorcycle and you will need a motorcycle license. Motorcycle laws apply at this stage.

    e-bike regulations in Australia

    Japan

    Starting in July, electric scooter users in Japan will no longer need a driver’s license, but minors under the age of 16 will be banned from riding electric scooters, the National Police Agency said.

    The new rules apply to scooters with a maximum speed of 20 km/h, and riders will have to follow the same traffic rules as bicycles, including not riding on sidewalks.

    Scooter riders are advised to wear helmets, but this is not mandatory.
    Under the new rules, e-scooters can not exceed 190 cm in length and 60 cm in width.

    They can also be used on sidewalks as long as their maximum speed is set at 6 km/h or less.

    e-bike regulations in Japan

    The new regulations also require electric scooters to be equipped with green lights on the front and back, which must be illuminated when traveling on roads and bike paths and blinking when traveling on sidewalks.

    Traffic tickets or fines will be issued to riders who violate traffic laws. Those who repeatedly run red lights or travel in unauthorized areas will be required to observe lectures.

    Electric scooters that are in service or on the market and meet criteria other than green light installation may continue to be used until December 2024, but only with a special license plate. Such vehicles cannot be used on sidewalks.

    Other e-scooters that do not meet the criteria are considered mopeds and require the rider to have a driver’s license and wear a helmet. Click to check the best electric scooters for adults.

    Chocolatezhu
    Chocolatezhu
    Hi, I'm an experienced writer about mechanic and an expert on bike and e-bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. And of course, I love cycling.
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