The Lowdown on Electric Bikes
If you're like many people, you have probably looked enviously at those newfangled electric bikes with curious envy. The reality, they're really great bikes to own! Electric Bikes, also known as eBikes have been on the roads for years but have only recently gained in popularity here in Australia.
What is an eBike you ask?
Very simple! It's a power asissted bicycle fitted with an electric motor that provides additional asisstance to the rider. It comes with all the basic features a normal push bike has but with the added bonus of added power that can be used as needed.
What are the benefits of riding an eBike?
For many people, eBikes help make bike riding easier. Bike riding is a very physically challenging activity and many people simple aren't fit enough to ride, especially for longer lengths of time. An eBike helps to bridge that gap and makes harder terrain easier to navigate for those who require additional assistance. There's really not much to NOT love about riding electric bikes so let's go further into detail about the benefits.
- Makes it easier to travel longer distances.
- Asissts riders travelling up hills.
- Great for riders who have limited mobility due to age, injury and other physical barriers.
- Requires less physical exertion & provides time to cool down so you don't arrive at your destination in a pool of sweat. (gross!)
- Gives the rider a break in bewteen long rides whilst remaining mobile.
- Enables you to exercise while you travel.
- Allows rider to avoid parking fees.
- Makes it easier for rider to avoid traffic congestion with the benefit of moving ahead of the cue when stopped.
- Assists the rider in windy conditions
- Low cost operation, energy efficient & emission-free.
- Does not require license & registration.
Are eBikes legal to ride?
There are two types of electric bikes that can be legally ridden on Victorian roads. These bikes include the pedal assisted (aka pedelec or EPAC) and throttle bikes. Because these bikes offer similar performance characteristics as the traditional push bike, bicycle road rules still apply and riders are not required to be registered or licensed to operate these on the roads.
The motor of a pedal assisted bike will only work whilst being pedaled and have a maximum continued power output of 250 watts. This means you must still be actively engaged in propelling this bike forward but with assistance from the motor. You can set the level of assistance to suit your needs. Once the top speed of 25 kliometers per hour has been reached, the motor cuts off.
The throttle bike uses an attached auxiliary electric motor without the need to pedal. These bikes cannot exceed a continuous power output of 200 watts.
What is not considered an eBike (Power Assisted Bike)?
To be considered a bicycle, it MUST be a bicycle and be capable of operation without the use of a motor. Below is a more detailed breakdown of what does not fit the bill. These are all classified as motorcycles and if legally permitted on the road, require a license and vehicle registration to operate on the road. They may be ridden on private land where there is no public access without license and registration.
- Any bike that has a motor power that exceeds the power limits outlined on the vicroads website. This includes any eBike that has been modified.
- Any bike that doesn't have pedals for the operator to propel without the asisstance of a motor.
- Any bicycle that uses a petrol-powered motor.
- Motorcycle scooters with pedals.
eBikes make cycling more inclusive.
eBikes are a great choice for both seasoned bikers and those with less cycling experience as they offer many benefits that riders of all levels of experience can appreciate. Whether you're someone who is just breaking into the world of cycling or someone looking to implement cycling into their daily exercise routine, there are boundless benefits to having a power assisted electric bike. They're really worth the investment for so many reasons.