E-bikes are growing in popularity and becoming more and more visible on the streets. Powered with rechargeable batteries, they provide electric assist while pedalling and can make hills and everyday trips much easier. This means average travel distances on e-bikes tend to increase, and you can reach more destinations. Many bike shops now sell a range of e-bikes.
What's an e-bike?
There are two types of permitted e-bikes:
- Power-assisted pedal cycles
- Electrically power-assisted cycles.
The rider must primarily propel these bikes – a motor can't be the only source propelling it. The motor should only help the rider, like when going uphill or facing strong winds.
A power-assisted pedal cycle:
- has one or more motors attached with a combined maximum power output of up to 200 watts
- can't be propelled only by the motor/s
- weighs less than 50kg (including batteries)
- has a height-adjustable seat.
Electrically power-assisted cycles
An electrically power-assisted cycle has a maximum continued rated power of up to 500 watts. This power output must be:
- progressively reduced as the bicycle’s speed increases beyond 6km/h
- cut off when:
- your bicycle reaches a speed of 25km/h
- you stop pedalling and the speed exceeds 6km/h.
E-bikes are sold with unique chargers that plug into normal wall sockets. Recharging is a straight forward process and instructions are supplied with the battery. Find out more about safe charging on the NSW Fire and Rescue website.
E-bikes that comply with regulations are considered equivalent to bicycles, and the same road rules apply.
Are e-bikes legal?
Yes. E-bikes that meet the regulations above are legal.
How fast can I go on an e-bike?
The electric motor should not assist the rider when travelling more than 25km/h but does not prevent the rider travelling faster with their own pedalling or going downhill.
Are children allowed to ride e-bikes?
Yes. There are currently no age restrictions on riding personal e-bikes. To hire a ride share e-bike you must be at least 14 years old and have permission from your guardian.
Do I need a licence to ride an e-bike?
No, you do not need a licence to ride an e-bike.
What rules do e-bike riders need to follow?
Same as for standard bicycles.
Where can I get an e-bike?
Many bike shops sell e-bikes. There are also a growing number that specialise in e-bike sales and repair.
Shared bikes allow customers the ability to access different modes of transport during their journey. Shared bikes are a new mobility as a service technology mainly accessed from mobile apps. While shared bikes are allowed in NSW, operators should engage with their local government to start a shared bike service and adhere to any share bike guidelines that may exist for that jurisdiction. For more information on regulations for parking shared bikes see the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Guidelines published in November 2023 (2nd edition) by Department of Planning and Environment.