AUSTRALIAN E-BIKE LAWS
NEW AUSTRALIAN E-BIKE LAWS
250W electric bikes are now legal in Australia but there are stipulations on this new category that might not suit many E-bike riders, we recommend reading up on the rules before deciding whether you want a regular 200w system without all the limiters in place or a new 250W system. The Australian Government has seen fit to adopt the current French standards (EN15194) on electric bikes; these guidelines show little foresight into the Australian bicycle scene but are to be expected from our Nanny leaders. This new legislation is centred around “Pedelec” bikes with a new power limit of 250W, but the electrical system being speed limited to 25kmh and PAS (pedal activated motor system) are the two main requirements…that’s all well and good and our road legal 250W package will have both the PAS sensor and the 25kmh speed sensor included, but does it really make any sense to cut the power to the motor once the bike reaches 25kmh? Most fit riders can sit on 30kmh without an electric motor, and a 200w setup which is still perfectly legal to use without PAS and does not have a speed limiter, can sit on 30kmh easily with light pedaling.
AUSTRALIAN STATE LAWS
This is only to be used as a general guide. Legislation and road rules are subject to change therefore you are strongly advised to check your local jurisdiction for up to date information. All bicycle riding regulations (helmets, road rules etc.) apply equally to motorised bicycle riders.
Motorised Bicycles and Foot Scooters
Bicycles and foot scooters may be used on roads, even if they have an auxiliary motor fitted to them. This is provided the motor has a power output of less than 200 watts.
Under the road rules, these vehicles are defined as bicycles. As such, they may be used in all places that bicycles are used and the riders of these vehicles must comply with all Road Rules that apply to bicycle riders.
Where can motorised bicycles and motorised
foot scooters be ridden?
Motorised bicycles and motorised foot scooters with a power output of less than 200 watts can be ridden wherever bicycles are permitted to be ridden. They may be ridden on all roads (except most urban freeways), shared footways, segregated footways and bicycle paths.
Motorised bicycles and motorised foot scooters may not be ridden on footpaths, unless the rider;
a. is under 12 years of age; or
b. is accompanying and supervising a cyclist who is under 12 years of age; or
c. has a physical or medical condition that makes it unsafe or undesirable for them to ride on the road.
People riding motorised bicycles and motorised foot scooters must also wear an approved bicycle helmet.
What if the power of the motor is more than 200
Motorised bicycles and motorised foot scooters that have a motor with a power output of more than 200 watts are not permitted to be used on any land to which the public has access. These vehicles may not be used on roads, shared footways or on bicycle paths.
Motorised scooters and mini-bikes
In NSW any device with a motor must be registered for use on a road or road related area unless it is specifically exempt.
Motorised foot scooters, miniature motorbikes (mini-bikes) and other motorised recreational devices do not meet minimum Australian design standards for safety and so cannot be registered. This means they must not be used on roads or in any public areas such as footpaths, car parks and parks. There are heavy penalties for using unregistered and uninsured vehicles. Police can also seize and take possession of unregistered vehicles. There are some retailers who sell these vehicles and fail to warn customers that they cannot be used on roads or in public areas.
The following vehicles (irrespective of the power output of the motor) are banned from use on roads or in public areas.
Motorised foot scooters (with or without a seat) – electric/petrol engine
Motorised human transporters such as the WheelMan, or SEGWAY
Motorised skateboards – electric/petrol engine
Motor assisted pedal cycles with electric or petrol engines are exempt from registration, provided the maximum engine output power does not exceed 200 watts. Riders must follow the same road rules as for pedal cycles without motors, including wearing a helmet.
Rules for motorised bicycles
A motorised bicycle is a bicycle to which an electric motor is attached. The motor must not be capable of generating more than 200 watts of power. It is illegal to ride a bicycle on roads or road-related areas (such as paths) if the bicycle has an internal combustion engine (for example, a petrol or diesel motor) attached.
Motorised bicycles are required to adhere to the same road rules as bicycles and have the same rights and responsibilities. Motorised bicycles are exempt from registration and compulsory third party insurance.
A two-wheeled vehicle with an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor capable of generating over 200 watts, must comply with the Australian Design Rules* requirements for a motorbike if it is to be ridden on roads or road-related areas.
When riding a motorised bicycle you must:
Wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened.
The motorised bicycle must have:
A bell or horn
At least one effective brake.
When riding at night you must display:
a white light at the front, visible for 200 m
a red light at the back, visible for 200 m
a red reflector at the back, visible for 50 m.
You can ride a motorised bicycle on all roads and paths, except where bicycles are specifically excluded.
You do not need to have a driver licence to ride a motorised bicycle.
If you have a question about motorised foot scooters
or motorised bicycles, please contact
To be classified as a bicycle, a power-assisted pedal
cycle must not have a motor that exceeds 200 watts in total output.
Power-assistance greater than 200 watts (1/4 HP) requires the bicycle to be
registered as a motor vehicle.
A rider of a power-assisted bicycle must be at least 16 years of age, if the power assistance is engaged.
Bulletin explains the legality of powered scooters, skateboards and bicycles,
and miniature motor cycles etc.
The Tasmanian Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999 defines a motor vehicle, "motor vehicle" means a vehicle that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle but does not include;
an aircraft, or
a motor vehicle that travels only on a railway, tramway or other fixed track, or
a pedal cycle with an auxiliary motor (or motors) with a power output (or combined output) of not more than 200 watts; or
a self-propelled lawn mower that is not capable of travelling at a speed of more than 10km/h; or
a self-propelled wheelchair that is not capable of travelling at a speed of more than 10km/h, or
a self-propelled vehicle
not capable of travelling at a speed of more than 10km/h; and
designed for off-road work in construction, maintenance or warehouse operation; and
Only used on a public street for the purpose of loading or unloading the vehicle onto another vehicle, or manoeuvring at a work site.
Any scooter with a motor is considered to be a motor vehicle.
A motor vehicle must be registered if it is parked or used on a public street or a road related area. A motor vehicle must not be used on a footpath or shared pathway.
Any motorised vehicle which is not excluded from the definition of "motor vehicle" must be registered if it is used on a public street or a road related area.
To be eligible for registration all vehicles must comply with relevant Australian Design Rules and the Vehicle Standards and be fitted with an approved Australian compliance plate.
Any vehicle which is not fitted with an approved Australian compliance plate is not eligible for registration, and must not be used on a public street or road related area.
A pedal cycle with an auxiliary motor (or motors) with a power output (or combined output) of not more than 200 watts does not require to be registered and may be used on public streets and on road related areas. The rider does not need to hold a current drivers licence but must wear an approved bicycle helmet and obey all Road Rules.
The Motor Vehicles Act 1959, defines a power assisted
pedal cycle to be a pedal cycle with an auxillary power drive attatched up to a
maximum of 200 Watts.
Part 2, Division 1, Section 9B, covers the exemption of registration for a power assisted pedal cycle.
Part 3, Division 1, Section 25, states that a licence is not needed for a power assisted pedal cycle.
Source: SA Motor Vehicles Act 1959.
A power-assisted cycle is essentially a
complying bicycle that has been fitted with an engine or motor of some
description. Powered cycles are defined in the NT Motor Vehicles Act as;
A bicycle/tricycle that is equipped:
a) with pedals as a means of propulsion; and
b) with an engine or motor which is capable of producing a power
output not exceeding 200 watts.
These bicycles are not required to be registered and can be ridden
on the road network and in public places. All regulations relating to
bicycles, including the requirement to wear helmets, apply.
The use of motorized scooters and power assisted cycles on private property
is not regulated.
Power Assisted Bicycles
Treated the same as un-powered bicycles if the power output is not more than 200 watts.
If the power output is more than 200 watts, the vehicle needs to meet registration and licensing requirements of a moped or motorcycle. These vehicles can only be used on the road. In the ACT, the registration provisions do not apply to pedal cycles that have one or more auxiliary propulsion motors with a combined maximum power output of not more than 200 watts. These vehicles are defined as a bicycle under road transport law and are afforded all the rights and obligations as un-powered bicycles. They may be used on roads and road related areas, including bicycle paths, bicycle lanes and footpaths. (Under ACT legislation, the definition of a road related area includes footpaths, nature strips, car parks, the lake foreshores, as well as parks and reserves and other places open to the public). Bicycles fitted with an auxiliary motor that has a maximum power of more than 200 watts must comply with normal registration requirements for mopeds or motorcycles depending on the category into which they fit. These vehicles are precluded from using footpaths, bicycle paths and bicycle lanes. Riders of this type of vehicle are required to hold a motorcycle licence and wear an approved motorcycle helmet.