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?
In NSW an e-bike or electric bike has an electric motor and battery that assists a bicycle rider with pedalling up to 25km/h. It can be:
- a power-assisted pedal bicycle (Pedalec) up to 250 watts that requires the rider to pedal in order to activate the electric motor; or
- a power-assisted bicycle fitted with a throttle or accelerator up to 200 watts.
Petrol-powered bicycles and bicycles that don’t comply with NSW regulations are not legal to ride on NSW roads or road related areas.
For more information on regulations visit Centre for Road Safety or download the Vehicle standards information (VSI) sheet 27 (PDF) which provides details on the differences between mopeds and e-bikes (power-assisted pedal cycles).
Charging the battery
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.
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. Whilst shared bikes are allowed in NSW, operators must seek permission from their local government to start a shared bike service. For more information on new laws and regulations for parking shared bikes visit Share Bikes - Laws and Information.