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Legal Requirements

Power-Assisted/Electric Bicycles Can be Operated on Roads in Ontario

Effective October 3, 2006, the Province of Ontario began a three-year pilot project to evaluate the use of power-assisted bicycles also known as electric bike, electric bicycle, ebike, e-bike, on roads and highways where conventional bicycles are currently allowed. The pilot is opened to all Ontarians 16 years of age and older and will run for three years. For the duration of the pilot, electric bicycles will be treated as bicycles and must follow the same rules of the road as set out in the Highway Traffic Act that currently applys to cyclists.

There are two exceptions:

Operators must be 16 years of age or older, and All operators must wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times.

1) No driver's license is required,

2) No written test is required,

3) No vehicle,registration. or plate required,

4) No requirement for motor vehicle liability insurance.

5) An ebike is a bike that:

(i)has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals;

(ii)is designed to be propelled primarily by muscular power and to travel on not more than three wheels;

(iii)has a motor that has a power output rating of 500W or less. (Note: the motor is electric, and is incapable of propelling the cycle at speed of 32km/h or greater on level ground, without pedaling.)

(iv)has the proper label stating that it's a Power-assisted bicycle and meets all the requirements of the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.

The power-assisted bicycle pilot is authorized by Ontario Regulation 473/06. In this regulation, the legal definition of an ebike refers to the Federal definition of a power-assisted bicycle. For the full definition, please see subsection 2(1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

Click here to visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website

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